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M.A.X. Country: Serbia
Genres: Chillout, Hip-Hop
Official Website: No website

Social networking:

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Biography:

Nemanja Maksimovic, also known as M.A.X., is one of most active and most respected artists on the Serbian hip-hop scene in the last few years. He is a raper, producer, showman, author of “Global Culture“, one of the most influential radio shows with the highest ratings devoted to hip-hop culture in Serbia in 2008 and 2009, as well as the author of the 2008 album “My story“, which is considered one of the classics of Serbian hip-hop music and has been qualified as one of the most inportant hip-hop albums of the Serbian scene perhaps even in last decade.

M.A.X. was born in Knin (Croatia) in 1981. In the begining of the 1990s his home country was immersed in a bloody war, which terminated in the exgodus of hundreds of thousands of people who were forced to leave their homes in refugee columns with only the most essential means of survival and flee in the direction of Serbia and Belgrade leaving behind burnt down homes and ruins of everything they had spent centuries creating. On coming to Serbia isolated by economic sanctions, suffering the hardships of a refugee life and living on humanitarian aid during the first few years spent in ghettoized Belgrade, his first ineterest for hip-hop music started as a form of art and a means of expression using which he could narrate and describe both his life story and the story of the destinies of people from the Balkans and the streets of Belgrade.

His first studio single “Ray of Hope“ from 1999 became very sought-after on Belgrade radio stations immediately upon airing. The quality and the success of this single enabled his contribution on the 2001 compilation “Who Is In Tha House-vol.3“ , featuring the song “Till the Next Day Comes“, as well as a guest appearance in the song “Belgrade“, together with the most eminent representatives of Serbian hip-hop in that time. After that he was performing at a series of parties called “Fight Against Bad Taste“, as a part of a crew called “Hood Support“, as well as performing in numerous legendary Belgrade night clubs.

In the year 2003, he became acquainted with Ponk, who used to be a member of a very significant group “BG Posse“ comprising the first wave of Serbian hip-hop music and later worked as a co-producer in the recording studio of composer Sanja Ilic and as a sound expert in “Balcanica“ group concerts. Together they produced the album “Maximally“, which, although it was planned, has never been published by one of the biggest record companies in the country at that time, and the explanation was that some of the songs from the album cannot be published because of the explicit content of its texts and the pronounced socio-political implications, which would be detrimental to the record publisher’s general policy. After that, M.A.X made a short break in his musical career, brought on by a difficult financial situation and certain family problems, during which he did various kinds of jobs unrelated to music, often finding the solution for his financial problems on the street itself, among people hailing from different kinds of social milleu, as well as the people living on the social margin itself. Following this period, he engaged in musical conquests with renewed enthusiasm and revitalized creative energy, thus bringing out a single “Serbia in a Joint“, one of the controversial songs from his unpublished album which instantaneously became an underground hit, which it still is today, raising a lot of dust even outside hip-hop circles. Since then, M.A.X’s career of an uncompromising rapper has taken on an ascending direction.

Over the years he has made many friends on the musical scene and cooperated with a considerable number of musicians, as well as with young and talented people whom he helped at the onset of their careers, and in the year 2005 he decided to commit himself more seriously to the job of producer and beat maker. He cooperated with a young producer JCook on his mix tape “Codex 011“, which featured the elite of the Belgrade hip-hop scene, and the single “Marketing Team“ from the mentioned mix tape, made in collaboration with Ill Government, became another major hit. The recording of the new album “My Story“ commenced in 2006 and lasted for about two years. In the
meantime, M.A.X held a great number of live performances throughout the towns of Serbia and cooperated with the Black In White crew on their new compilation “B&W Definition 2“ as well, where he made an appearance in one other hit single “Statistics“ together with Flip-Flop and Don Maxoni. In April 2008, the long-awaited solo album “My Story“ was finally published for the label Take It Or Leave It/ Rap Cartel, and at the very start received positive reviews of both the wider public and the critics. In the major portion of the album M.A.X. was the sole author not only of the texts themselves, but also of the music and the arrangements. In addition, the single bearing the same name “My Story“ left no one unaffected and soon became an unprecedented hit, especially among the people from the territory of former Krajina, who have mostly survived one of the greatest exodus of Serbian people in recent history, as the song itself describes, which placed M.A.X among the rare who represent the voice of displaced persons from Krajina and the Serbs from diaspora, especially those living in the USA, Canada and Australia. According to many, “My story“ presents not only a rap song and a true story, but also the bringing into light the truth about healthy upbringing of Serbian children in the darkest years of the Balkans agony, as well as an attempt to preserve one additional dialect of the Serbian language, which found itself on the brink of extinction due to the force of circumstances. Apart from this, the singles “Our Country is Crying“, “From the Blocks“, “One of you“ and “Peace to All“ stand
out. There came a series of performances throughout Serbia again, and he received an invitation to perform at one of the biggest music festivals in Europe- the Exit Festival for the second consecutive year, where he performed in
2008 on the Exit Music Live Stage dedicated to the best upcoming artists of the region in that year, and in 2009 he performed on the Fusion Stage, which is the second largest concert stage of the Exit festival, the capacity of which
is 10000 people.

There came a series of various nominations, such as the Discovery Of The Year nomination of the music TV Metropolis, the Debutant Of The Year nomination of the web magazine Popboks, in which he won third place according to the audience votes, as well as the nomination for the regional award “Index“ in the competition for the best regional hip-hop album, where he won the most audience votes. In addition to this, he worked as the author of a hip-hop radio show “Global Culture“ on internet radio NoviRadioBeograd from August 2008 until October 2009, devoting his time to the promotion of the domestic hip-hop scene, as well as the young and perspective demo groups making their first steps in hip-hop music. He himself also stated that he would like to use the trust given to him via this free medium to present to the public as much as possible all the potential which the domestic hip-hop culture has among talented MCs, DJs, break dancers and graffiti artists, but also as a counter-attack on the rigid attitude and yearlong shunning of this sub-culture on the part of the big media which has lasted since the very inception of this culture in this region. By conducting extensive interviews with numerous acclaimed and less acclaimed artists and bands, thus accumulating a sizable musical archive, M.A.X has made an opus of sorts and given a sectional view of the situation on the domestic hip-hop scene at this point in time, thus leaving yet another personal mark and footprint in the promotion of this culture in Serbia. He also has a proven track record in organizing various MC and demo competitions in which he participated as a warming up MC, proving to be extremely successful as a showman in direct contact and communication with the audience. He also participated in the media sponsorship of the first Serbian hip-hop festival B3O which was transmitted via the radio show “Global Culture“ livestream for 6 continuous hours. In the course of the year 2009 M.A.X published a few additional singles which have also met with great audience reception, and the song “We All Dream of Heaven“ from JCook’s second mix tape “Hell“ has been qualified by many as the best rap song of the year 2009. Furthermore, he also formed a live band “Krajc Collective“ with a very
original set-up – sampler/rhythm machine, record players, drum and base guitar, with which he is currently performing, promoting his still current album “My Story“ and working on new songs the publishing of which is planned for the year 2010.

 

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