Leicester born Maze started out DJing on Pirate radio Station, Kickin FM 107.5 at the age of 16. He began rhyming in 1994 alongside Oxford based Rappers Thunda Tongue and Tung- Fu. In 1997, together with partner DJ Kerfew, Maze had his first high street release on Spida's Tones of Life album entitled Guidance.
Since then he's been working with Thunda Tongue as part of a UK collabo group called WCE (World Champion Entertainment) after which MIC (Mother Indias Children) was formed with Kerfew in 1998. So… ten years later, Maze has developed his skills, honed his ambitions and is surely but steadily asserting himself back into the forefront of the UK hip hop scene.
Here we've got three brand spanking new releases from the man in question… First off, there's 'Left Behind', a dark street style track complete with dramatic violins and high pitch keys. 'Left Behind' is a fairly one toned track, the drama is constant and only slightly amplified in the chorus with the additional strings. This one toned presentation allows the verbal element of the track to take a front seat as the rest of the track, musically is nothing catching or out of the ordinary. And lyrically, Maze is demonstrating his experienced comfort in the scene by getting personal. Strangely enough, although the lyrics are generally aight, their delivery doesn't seem to carry them in the right way. The lyrical flow itself is continually on point, but the words themselves aren't given the right foundation in order to have their potential effect. The last verse stand above this, triumphing over the rest of the track with a smooth yet lively deliverance of some straight to the point lines.
Next, we've got the Mafioso Italiano collab… Again there is an obvious favouritism for the strings. But this time their use is way more original, way more catchy and way more effective. Just before you get used to, and potentially bored of the beats, we're hit with some fantastic cross lingual spitting. This collab is on point, Maze has picked a rapper who adds an unexpected other level to the track, and in doing so brings out a complementary strong side to himself. By demonstrating his versatility he's reminding us that he knows what he's doing, and he's been doing it for a while.
'Somewhere In Africa' is the most likely track out of these three to get a replay. Or several. The beats are minimal but well gathered. The lines are flowing as ever, with some more abrupt lyrics and ideas being thrown at us. He's talking about the sad truths facing the Africa which most Western people have solidly pushed to the back of their minds. The Africa which we all sigh and shake our heads in remorse for, but forget to realise the variety of people is holds, and the harsh reality of many of their unfortunate living situations.
Following in the steps of other British hip hop stars such as Skinnyman with his WaterAid campaigns, Maze is trying to make a distinct point. He's talking about that 'Somewhere in Africa', where there's some kid, with some name, who's suffering. And then he's bringing us back to our own doorsteps. His main focus for the track is of the political tensions running up to election time. Tensions we can only guess at. But the track itself highlights way more about Africa, the Western mindset and our own integrity and situations. He brings us back to the fact that poverty and war are a result of greed – "It's the evil that men do".
You may find Maze's words reminding you of certain situations going on both in and out of the UK 'running their countries military style' and of 'more than just a gangster elected', need I say Mugabe? This track will be Maze's claim to open minded intellectual ability as a rapper who is fully aware of their surroundings and more than ready to wake a few more people up.