After a summer spent making memories, Roxbury rapper Maye Star is ready to release his new 13-track album “SUMMER STAR” on Nov. 14. This is the third project from the artist-songwriter-producer — doer of all things — since 2020. Last year, Maye Star dropped “Mayeday 2020” and “Supa Moon” only five months apart.
With “SUMMER STAR,” he wanted to reveal his range — and he delivered. He uses soulful sampling, electronic beats and raps over his own looped voice throughout the album. In “LESS IS MORE” and “SPINDABLOCK,” he gives listeners a glimpse into his duality as an artist. The two songs were originally one before inspiration struck.
“The sample that we used for ‘LESS IS MORE’ is the same for ‘SPINDABLOCK,’ we just flipped it,” he says. “It was soulful and classic for ‘LESS IS MORE’ and then we flipped...it and turned it into a drill sensation on the second part.”
“SPINDABLOCK” is a bouncy song featuring artist SliccBae while “LESS IS MORE” has this emotive vocal loop that makes you feel like it’s an intro to a R&B heartbreak album. “King bed with no queen just ain’t as comfy to me,” Maye Star raps over his own honeyed loop.
Maye Star samples his own vocals throughout the album and finds creative ways to weave them into different songs. “That’s what I like to call ear candy,” he says of his creative process. As for inspirations, Lil Wayne remains one of Maye Star’s rapping influences along with Jay-Z, André 3000 and Nas.
Listeners land in Miami on track five, “SUMMER BREEZE,” when a pilot announces, “We have just landed in Miami and it’s a beautiful 85 degrees outside.” Maye Star also included sounds from “Scarface” and “Miami Vice” to set the scene and whip the listener around town with the top down. Intertwined through the lyrics of the songs, Maye Star drops in lingo that he’s been using all summer — phrases like “send it,” “uppery” and “we outside” — creating a time capsule.
After a decade of creating music, Maye Star says, “My rapping style really hasn't changed. It's only progressed. It's always been on that diary-like type rapping. It's always been like speaking.”
In the last song on the album, “THE RAPTURE,” Maye Star gets vulnerable, sharing how exhausted he is. He raps, “They don’t even ask if I’m okay,” followed by “Summertime, a big time for flexin’ but what about a check-in?/ Lots of pain flowing through my section.” He also opens up about his mom’s health struggles in a later verse. The track concludes with two minutes worth of voicemails flooding in from loved ones just checking in on him saying things like, “You better make sure you’re still taking care of yourself,” and “It's your mommy, just calling to check in on you.”
Maye Star hopes to entice people with “SUMMER STAR” and he wants listeners to walk away with an important message: “This is all fine and dandy, but do remember that life is real.”