Few artists circumscribe the possibilities of their art more thoroughly and with such panache as Lo’Max. His perspicacity about hip hop and what it might mean is as breathtaking as it is audacious. High praise? Probably, but not hyperbole. This is an individual who, as interesting as he seems and as confident as he has every right to be in his own abilities, obviously never forgets that his creative achievements are the sum of hard work, application, consideration and focus – and that means that as quirkily creative as this EP may sound at first – it has all those serious qualities wrapped up inside of it.
“Boom Bap Back!” is poetry and art, so it doesn’t need to adhere to the eventual standards of modern pop science. Today’s conventional histories of hip hop will not, in the main, speak of Lo’Max as an old-school artist – but he has taken he’s canonical narratives, from the music’s first great Golden Age, where the genre found its voice, hit its stride, became the most important and interesting sound around.
“Boom Bap Back!” can be accepted as yet another taste of the Golden Age placed into modern-day rap, for a number of largely agreed-upon reasons, but the one that matters here is the way the beats turned out. There are five different beatmakers, yet the EP succeeds in being a cohesive piece of hip-hop art.
Reconnecting to the past and to the fundamentals of the genre right at the point where it was about to go mainstream, Lo’Max has taken on the task of making not just a recording of personal importance, but of absolute necessity to keep the original art form alive.
Now we have 5 tracks of personal philosophizing and theorizing taking root here. This is an exercise in going back to the basics, and making something that is synonymous with authenticity and integrity.
Lo’Max clearly saw, heard, and felt, in this music, a means of giving hip hop back some of its original spike and bite, which is what he does on standout tracks such as, “GOOD OLE DAYS [PROD. LEWIS PARKER]”, “BOOM BAP BACK w/ Qil [PROD. HUNDAT%]” and “DON JON BLAZE’S INTERLUDE [PROD. BE FRANKY]”.
“Boom Bap Back!” is a great attempt to reset the clock – to go back to the essence of beats and rhymes, and remind both dedicated fans and curious outsiders that a serious lift from an unexpected underground musical source like Lo’Max, is what true hip hop is all about, and that all the other dividing and polarizing factors in this industry makes no sense.
Ultimately, the worth of an emcee can only be judged by their lyrics and their skill on the mic. I think that’s what “Boom Bap Back!” achieves here.