Last week, Maxo Kream and Tyler, The Creator combined bar-spitting abilities on a new single, "Big Persona."
In the eighth edition of Last Week in Music, Marty Gross and Finn Askin — co-hosts of 'The Spins' music podcast — discuss the electrifyingly braggadocious single.
Initial thoughts on the song?
Marty: If I am going to go to my initial thoughts, I thought it was “LEMONHEAD” off of
Call Me If You Get Lost. But when the horns settled down, and those tappy chimes came along, I knew we were in store for a Tyler classic. I mean, you could’ve blindfolded me, jammed paper towels in my ear canal, and played that beat at a minuscule volume, and it would've taken me precisely nine seconds to recognize it as a Tyler beat. It has all the ingredients: a precise drum pattern that solidifies the track, some gnarly horns to give it some spice, and some dramatic piano chords at the back half of the song! On top of the fantastic Tyler production, we are blessed with another great collaboration. Maxo struts onto the scene with his classic flow and satirical-gangster bars. Gotta love it!
Finn: The beginning of this song genuinely made me feel as if I was sitting front row at a World Class Boxing Match. Glory-inspiring horns accompanied by a funky, chime-y synthesizer made for a beautiful initial impression. Tyler, The Creator’s deep and growling voice emphatically hops onto the track after a quaint bass drop. This vocal inflection that Tyler uses across this entire song seamlessly glides along with those same horns and synthesizer, but also a clean 808 progression and 10-or-so clap hits. I truly enjoyed everything TYLER in this song. Maxo Kream's flow seems a little too lackadaisical for the track and honestly just made my ears anxiously wait for the next time Tyler hopped back onto the track; his verse dragged. This quite honestly felt like a Maxo Kream feature rather than a Tyler one. Tyler ran verse one, the chorus twice, and even contributed to Kream’s verse. I still needed even more from the young king.
Finn: My favorite bar came in the chorus as Tyler straight bellows his lyrics onto the track:
Big dreaming, big business, bitch riskin' (Watch your fuckin' mouth when you speak to me)
In his usual fashion, Tyler is outright owning the song. With complete and utter confidence, he is getting every person as hype as possible when they hear this. As cap as it sounds, I would listen to just this chorus as a looped track. It gets me AMPED.
Marty: I'm the trap Barack Obama, Betty Crocker, used to pedal
I mean… C’MON MAXO!!!! Unlike my co-host, I have been listening to Maxo for quite some time, and his gangster, lackadaisical flow not only intrigues me, but possesses my body to head-nod after every line. These bars are common in a Maxo Kream song, and I’m all here for it!
Why Maxo Kream and Tyler? Did you ever expect this?
Finn: To be completely and fully honest, I was fairly ignorant to Maxo Kream’s music prior to the dropping of this track. His tracks “Roaches” and “Meet Again” sit among my liked songs; however, I never dove deep into his music nor added those two songs to any playlists. I, however, can’t say I will ever ache to hear this duo come together again. As hype as the chorus got me, I just felt the two did not hold any vocal chemistry nor do their flows really match. Maybe give me a legitimate Tyler-produced song with a Kream feature, and I will take another peek.
Marty: I did not expect this at all, but I was so excited when it happened! Maxo and Tyler have very different and distinct styles, and when I saw that the music video was coming out, I was intrigued to see how they would mesh. Obviously, after listening, it went pretty damn well. The collaboration was electric, and even though this does sound like a throwaway from Call Me If You Get Lost, this song will be in my rotation for a long time to come.