Of all the names they featured on their compilation album Undisputed, Def Jam left off their best new signing: Maxo. Like Ka, Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE, the L.A. rapper’s music is introverted and introspective, low-key and lo-fi. It’s less concerned with winning the fleeting attention of the masses (which is probably why he wouldn’t have sounded at home on Undisputed anyway) and more focused on exorcising his demons — and forging an intimate connection with his audience in the process.

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Today Maxo has opened his Def Jam account with the release of his new EP, LIL BIG MAN. Full of warm, jazzy, indica-mellow beats, the 10-track project finds him mourning the pitfalls of the streets (“This for n*ggas dying ‘fore they get to dream, watchu mean? / Victim of the streets before his teens”), baring his insecurities (“God know my skin not the toughest / I cover up my pain with a grin”), and staying true to his kinfolk, even when that loyalty isn’t reciprocated (“I told myself if I get it I’ma split it with my n*ggas that was with me / Tell me why I’m riding dolo”). Really, he’s just trying to navigate a life that was never golden.

Check out Maxo’s LIL BIG MAN EP below, along with his videos for “Time” and “In My Penny’s.”

LIL BIG MAN is also available on TIDAL, Apple Music and Spotify.