TIM EINENKEL: In an email you wrote to me, you say your biggest music influences are Tupac and R. Kelly. How do these two artists play out in your music? How have they influenced you?
MAXI PAYNE: Well with Tupac, his passion behind his words and his quest to make truthful and timeless music is a very large part of his influence on me. As well as his content being filled with emotion. R. Kelly is the personification of a versatile artist. He can make songs and any genre, and topic and keep his unique style. I try to encompass these attributes into my music by being honest with myself and open with my fans.
TIM EINENKEL: Why did you start rapping?
MAXI PAYNE: I started rapping because I was dissatisfied with the type and quality of music that was being put out. The goal was to make music that me and my friends could listen to and enjoy. It became my passion after I realized that I actually had talent!
TIM EINENKEL: What purpose does music serve for you?
MAXI PAYNE: Music is an all purpose tool for me. I use it to get motivated, to chill out, when I’m feeling and to celebrate. It assures me that I’m not the only one dealing with certain issues and/or feeling a certain way. Music is my therapy, my ear and my voice.
TIM EINENKEL: In your bio on reverbnation.com, it says music always served as your counselor, what kind of impact do you want your music to have on the listeners?
MAXI PAYNE: The same or a similar effect that listening to good music has for me. I want it to be fuel to keep going forward. An eye opener to issues not spoke on everyday. Something the listener can relate to, feel. I want to inspire thoughts, improvement, and strength.
TIM EINENKEL: Your song “Water” off the mixtape The Caution Tape 2 could constitute as a battle rap but a line which really stands out for me is “knowing your true intentions, all I see is a clown or minstrel blackface, putting on a rat face…” Who is this line meant towards? Is this a commentary on mainstream rap?
MAXI PAYNE: The line is not meant for anyone in particular, it's how I feel about a lot of mainstream/commercial artists, as well as anybody else who glorifies ONE aspect or side of things, doesn't feel the need to HELP or lend a hand to someone unless they are benefitting. To say it simple it's for those who get into "character" and are not sincere in what they do, only chasing MONEY!
TIM EINENKEL: You have written many songs in your young career. What is your favorite thing about rapping?
MAXI PAYNE: I love to write, but being able to "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" is most likely my favorite thing. I can express my true feelings, helping me get through life's struggles and help someone else do the same. Also the experience of seeing how other people will receive the work I've done.
TIM EINENKEL: “Dear Everybody” off the mixtape The Caution Tape 2...what did you want to accomplish with this song? Was this an ode to Tupac’s “Dear Mama”?
MAXI PAYNE: I was in a place where I felt I needed to address several issues/feelings that I was having, and I didn't feel/want to spend time and energy addressing each one separately, so I tried to speak to everyone that I could at once. As far as being an ode to 'Pac, it could be but I didn't write it with that in mind.
TIM EINENKEL: Being somebody who grew up in South Central, LA, did you get smack from friends, for naming a track “Michael Jordan (Fire)”? (asked jokingly) Why did you choose MJ to name the song after and not Magic, West, Chamberlain, etc?
MAXI PAYNE: (laughs) I only got one buddy who said something, but it was before he actually heard the track. It's kind of a inside thing...I had sex with an unnamed woman and after round 2 she said "...that was that Michael Jordan!" but I chose MJ because he is a symbol for "the best ever". See I gave her that Michael Jordan, I'm arguably the best ever, in her eyes.
TIM EINENKEL: What do you hope to accomplish in the music business? Is rapping your main focus?
MAXI PAYNE: I only hope to have the ability to support my family doing what I love to do, and reach as many people who will give me an ear. While staying true to myself and without selling my "SOUL". Rapping is the main focus but I’m also working on engineering, mixing/mastering, production, and even some of the behind the scenes stuff.
- Tim Einenkel for RAPstation.com