Maxwell’s favourite hip-hop song of all time
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Maxwell's favourite hip-hop song of all time

Maxwell, born Gerald Maxwell Rivera, is a renowned American singer known for his soulful and silky smooth R&B vocals. He gained fame in the mid-1990s with his debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. With a distinct blend of neo-soul and classic R&B, he continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Despite being a singer, the musician also knows a thing or two about the world of hip-hop. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, the singer shared that his top track was the 1988 song ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin” from Big Daddy Kane.

“I was in middle school when Kane dropped ‘Half Steppin’”, he shared. “He was the quintessential guy at that time in the late ’80s: He had three cuts in his eyebrow and the three-piece suit; he’s got cash on deck, he’s got his ladies. But it wasn’t really a pimp vibe. He was just a well-dressed dude, you know? That did a lot for people in my community.”

‘Ain’t No Half Steppin” by Big Daddy Kane is a classic hip-hop track from his 1988 album “Long Live the Kane.” Known for its sharp lyricism and dynamic flow, the song epitomizes the golden age of hip-hop. Kane’s intricate wordplay and confident delivery cemented it as a timeless hip-hop anthem.

“He changed how people did things,” noted Maxwell when speaking about the song. “As much as hip-hop is about the actual songs, it’s also a lifestyle, and there was something so magnetic about him. People put cuts in their eyebrows to be like him—years later, Jay-Z had that line, ‘three cuts in the eyebrow, tryna wild out.’ When you can get Jay to say that, so many years later? That’s how far-reaching Kane’s impact was.”

There was another reason that Kane and his tunes resonated with Maxwell, “And dude was in the Sex book with Naomi Campbell and Madonna! He got a little flak for it at the time, but come on man, that’s legendary. He had a Casanova energy going on, but dude had serious respect. He was this ray of light: Who is this Black man killing it right now?”

Listen below to Maxwell’s favourite hip-hop song, ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin” from Big Daddy Kane.