"Even God Has A Sense Of Humor" is the long-awaited follow up album to Maxo's critically acclaimed 2019 release Lil Big Man. Across the 14-tracks, Even God Has A Sense Of Humor pays tribute to the mercurial nature of life and includes features from Liv.e, keiyaA, LastNameDavid, and Melanie Charles along with the previously released singles "Free!," produced by Dev Morrison and "48," produced by Madlib and featuring Pink Siifu. The FADER recently sat down with Maxo to discuss the album, which they described as having "a defiant glow, like a bronze statue still standing after an intense tornado."
Born Maxamillian Allen, Even God Has A Sense Of Humor finds Maxo earnest, full-hearted, and lyrically agile. His delivery punches as he poetically unpacks the trials and blessings that have marked the last three years since Lil Big Man, his stirring and meditative debut album. “Life is always gonna be life-ing,” Maxo says, speaking to the spiritual lessons that inspired this new project and an album process that has revealed to him the many ways in which he’s divinely protected.
The album’s striking cover features three casted sculptures of Maxo by legendary NYC-based artist artist John Ahearn, photographed by the rapper’s friend Steven Traylor. The image both preceded the music and set the tone for the record’s overall aura. Experiencing the casting process—which required long periods of stillness for form, and breathwork to avoid claustrophobia—became a metaphor about ego death for Maxo. “I had to go to a space where I was just not there,” he says. As the molding was poured over his body and the voices of those in the room became distant, Maxo’s inner world came into focus. “By the time it hardened, it seemed like the sculpture had risen to be 20 feet above where it was first— almost like it grew tall,” he explains. EGHASOH, in its aural ebbs and flows, honest questioning, profound revelations, and elegant verse, is Maxo standing spiritually tall following a period of challenges with family and friends.
Maxo’s writing process has always been rooted in imagery, observation, and capturing moments. Growing up in Southern California, Maxo spent a lot of time combing through old family photo albums, some of whose contents have become the artwork for prior releases. But his fascination with visual memento is less about nostalgia or remembering, and more about exploring concepts of growth, healing, and cycles. His artistry is intentional and deeply sensitive: “If I’m not feeling it, I’m not gonna record.” While his past records openly grappled with emotional turbulence, anger and depression, EGHASOH is Maxo’s acceptance stage: “I can't really judge nothing. I can't sit up and be mad at shit because everything is, everything is kind of coexisting,” he says.
Musically, EGHASOH is an impressive evolution from Maxo’s earlier, unornamented lo-fi projects. With an emphasis on jazzy instrumentalism and soothing, intricate vocals from both the artist and featured chanteueses Liv.e, Melanie Charles, and keiyaA, EGHASOH is a welcome and beautifully complex sonic effort. Its contributors include a range of musicians: Pink Siifu, LastNameDavid, Madlib, GrayMatter, Karriem Riggins, Beat Butcha, Lance Skiiiwalker, and more. The album was executive produced by Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker.
“Nobody talks about the fact that we’re changing as we get older... Everybody just acts like you supposed to know,” Maxo says on album standout, “Face of Stone”. It's moody bassline meets a cinematic accordion melody that paradoxically both broods and uplifts—a fitting production choice that mirrors the song’s story. “I’m seeing how this world is chipping you and withering your bones,” Maxo says. “I’m talking about myself, talking about my bro. [But] it’s never nothing you gonna do that’s a one stop shop in this life. You gotta keep staying diligent and consistent.” For Maxo, Even God Has a Sense of Humor is nothing more than another moment on the timeline of his offerings of self-expression as an artist—one whose sole intention is to, in his words, develop as a human being and heal.
A3 Both Handed
A6 What 4
A7 Fall Down
B2. Face of Stone
B3. We Watch
B4. Who Gives Me Breath
B5. If It Was
B6. Like I Don't See U