By : Shamus Hill
7 min read
As many of our readers are aware, Boston is in excess of exceptional talent. Whether it be in Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, or any of other neighborhoods that melt together to create the city, there’s no shortage of impactful art in the 617. One artist who hails from the area, or “Boss City” as he likes to refer to it, is Maye Star. As a native of Roxbury, Maye Star has become a staple within the local music community throughout the last decade – routinely gifting listeners with eclectic, polished bodies of work that last the test of time. The last twelve months have been considerably notable for Maye Star, both within his career as an artist and his personal life. Not only has he unearthed new music, an array of visuals, and his very own art exhibit; he also welcomed the birth of his son, who just recently celebrated his first birthday. With so much happening in the last calendar year, it was only right that he encapsulated it all with a musical release. ‘IZUN’ is the end result of these recent experiences, and exists as a metaphor for balancing all of life’s variabilities.
The name of the album itself is a Hebrew word, Izun, which directly translates to “having a just balance”. Whether it be fatherhood, pursuing a career in the arts, his emotions, or relationships, Maye Star is focused on becoming the best person he can possibly be, and balance exists at the core of it all. While this theme is certainly a prevailing factor within his life outside of music, it’s also a guiding light for his career as an artist as well. ‘IZUN’ balances the experiences that have molded Maye Star into the human being he is, and is one of the most profound collections of songs that exists within his discography. Heavily rooted in Hip-Hop and Rap music, each of the eleven songs that formulate this project’s track list are brilliant. They are truly sonic representations of who Maye Star is, and further his position as one of Boston’s most exciting talents. Whether you’re in search of bars that strike like lightning, a laid-back song that’ll set your mind at ease, or a single that inspires thought, ‘IZUN’ has something for everyone and every mood. Not only does the album place Maye Star’s talents on a pedestal, but it also gives listeners a glimpse of fellow Massachusetts artists, kei and FELIX!, who are featured on “Numbers Is Off” and “Check In” respectively.
Aside from the music itself, Maye Star released visuals for “God Body” and “Balance”, and also created his very own art exhibit experience to accompany the release of ‘IZUN’ – helping to instill that this project is truly a full-bodied experience. It’s a direct extension of his current mindset, and paves the way for all of the greatness that is just over the horizon. Despite this album being well-received, many fans have been anticipating his forthcoming project, ‘KROSS TAPES’, which has been teased for nearly a year now. Named after his son, Kross, Maye Star has been working diligently towards the completion of this project for quite some time, as it’s likely to shape up to be one of his most vulnerable pieces of work yet. With an album as incredible as ‘IZUN’ was, it will be difficult to follow up with something that’s of equal caliber, but as many know, Maye Star is always up for a challenge. Stay tuned for ‘KROSS TAPES’, and for anyone who’s looking for their next listen, ‘IZUN’ certainly deserves a top slot on the list.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #163 November 2023
Check out all the art and columns of November's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass