Readers first got wind of Maximus Da Mantis via a collaborative effort with another local name that was shared with the site. The post got a favorable response and thus Maximus decided to allow The Illixer to breakdown a full project from his catalog. The album that was selected is entitled The Art Of Life. It is a 20 track offering interwoven with the theme of Hip-Hop as a dying art form with Maximus making a valiant attempt to save it. Discover a couple of records that stood out to the site after the break.
The production here is decent. It consists of: a low-pitched foundation, refined musical components, a mid-tempo pace, and a chill vibe. The hook is solid. The delivery is accelerated and the lyrics are quality. They pose a very deep rhetorical question. The verses are pretty significant as well. Maximus provides a standout flow, thoughtful wordplay, and engaging rhymes. He definitely brings awareness to the listener as he discusses the various issues that plague the world we live in. A few lines worth noting are: “I see vets with no legs. Old age, still dreaming of glory days. And the haze ain’t helping. (…) Young kids documenting life through the words we yelling. It’s a vicious cycle. Jesus betrayed by his own disciples. It’s gotta be drug money or lottery. Even though it’s wrong. I feel the pain pumping through my arteries. City hope gone like a thief at night. We battle wars like we need to fight.” Those are some very intricate bars being spit right there. Overall, this song is worthy of a few spins for sure.
The production here is good. It entails a light bass, soulful secondary ingredients, a catchy rhythm, and an old school vibe. The hook is on point as well. The delivery is easy to follow and the lyrics contain substance. The verses are dope too. Maximus serves up a clean cut flow, choice wordplay, and respectable rhymes. He does a wonderful job of paying ode to the more cultural aspect of the art form. A handful of memorable lines include: “I love it, the movement. Heads grooving, bobbing up and down. N—as hands waving in the air. Screaming lyrics while they’re walking through the town. This is Hip-Hop. Breathe it in. Let your neck pop, wreck shop. Burn a L. Let the vibe flex and twist ya cap for a second. White boys down for the session.” One has to appreciate the down to earth groove in those bars. All in all, this track is a hit and a site favorite.
“The Paint Brush Moves”
The production here is nice. The intense core, full background sounds, and middling gait result in a mellow street vibe. The hook is adequate though rarely utilized. The delivery is straightforward and the lyrics are unique. The verses are slightly unorthodox as well. Maximus exhibits a strong consistent flow and descriptive rhymes. He paints intriguing images for the listener through his words; demonstrating the depth of his abilities on the mic with lines like: “I hear a gasp, a laugh, and a panic attack. The kid laying on the floor wasn’t fully whacked. A murder act gone wrong. Revenge in the picture. I flee the scene like I’m sand in the scripture. The art of life son.” Striking bars being set forth right there. In the end, this was an unconventional yet first-rate effort.
**My Two Cents: I chose to review The Art Of Life because I loved the concept behind it and was curious to hear how it played out. My curiosity was well fed. Maximus made an upstanding contribution through his versatile style and elaborate content. I like the fact that you have to really focus on what’s being said and maybe spin each track multiple times to fully appreciate the work. And the production served as a great accessory to the piece. As a whole, I’d say The Art Of Life ranks a 4/5. Open minded Hip-Hop heads will dig it for sure. Others may be taking a gamble but it’s certainly worth giving a chance. -MinM