“Trapped inside my mental prison”

And so goes Young Maxwell’s monumental debut, Ugly Heroes. Maxwell is a young artist out of Chicago who has already presented us with one of the best projects this side of 2019. The city has become known for its emo, hazy, atmospheric hip hop which dates back to, arguably, Lucki’s Alternative Trap in 2013. In the last 2 years, copy cats have filled SoundCloud and Twitter feeds with music that often sounds like a nonchalant one take.

Ugly Heroes has given me hope that there can be meticulously crafted tracks, and full albums, incorporating the best of the above elements. Maxwell has a very distinct tone and voice and uses it as a creative weapon to fit his lyrical structure.

He is as poetic as he is musical, dancing between philosophical musings, almost processing through his past while speaking them. While the production could have easily gone the typical route, it only furthers his story of struggles, devilish thoughts and ultimately, the meaning of his existence. Genres aren’t defined or even melded. His music cannot be identified, only listened to with thrill and excitement. The real attention grabber is his ability to make all 7 tracks catchy and melodic, incorporating pop sensibilities in his bar for bar skills.

Chicago is his for the taking.