'The First Time': Maxo Kream Talks Choking at His First Show, Getting Slapped, and DJ Screw

Houston rapper Maxo Kream, or Emekwane Ogugua Biosah Jr., blew it the first time he took the stage.

“I start rapping and I choked, like on some Eminem-type shit,” says Maxo Kream, who was around 19 at the time of his first onstage performance. But that didn’t mean the larger-than-life, friendly but in-your-face Biosah was going down without a fight. When the boos came, he responded, “Y’all got me fucked up. Anyone in here got a problem with me, come look at that shit. You feel me?”

Biosah’s determination to succeed, against all odds, perhaps can be traced back to an altercation on the basketball courts when he was in sixth grade.

“These two big dudes, they played left tackle and right guard, they was all the way in high school, they were seniors,” says Biosah, who got made fun of by the older boys. “I take my basketball and hit his Honda Civic. Put a dent in it… When he hopped out at first, I run to the door. But then I turned around because I got into it with another high schooler like a week before that, and I ran from him. I used to talk shit… When I turned around he was right there. I was like ‘What’s up?’ This n— slapped the holy grail out of me. What I’m talking about, he slapped me into next week. He was so gangster with that, he slapped me, he set me down, talked to me then was like, ‘Bro if you got any problem, anybody fuck with you, I got your back.’ Sometimes a big homie gotta rep you up so you can become Maxo Kream like this.”

Or maybe he gets it from his dad, also named Emekwane Ogugua Biosah, a Nigerian immigrant who would use the alias Brandon Banks, the title of Biosah’s last album.

“I was in the house doing my homework, and my daddy was on the phone making a call. And he was like ‘Yeah, this is Brandon Banks.’ I was like, ‘Daddy, who the hell is that?’” says Biosah. “‘Brandon Banks’ was his get money name, like you know what I’m saying, that was like his alias. So like everything he was hiding from me was Brandon Banks. Brandon Banks got a lot of money. I seen Brandon Banks touch a lot of money. Do a lot of big dog shit.”

On Monday, Maxo Kream released Weight of the World, a record featuring Tyler the Creator, A$AP Rocky, Monaleo, and Freddie Gibbs, in which he continues to tell the stories of family, hustling and Houston’s streets.

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