One of 2009’s most noteworthy musical moments was the return of soulful crooner Maxwell after being away from the spotlight for eight years. The Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter, whose critically-acclaimed album BLACKsummers’night is quickly closing in on platinum status after debuting last year with 316,000 copies its first week, has enjoyed a strong comeback with the hit tracks “Pretty Wings” and “Bad Habits.”
But for his third single “Help Somebody,” the usually romantic Maxwell took a more socially conscious approach to the music. “It’s all about being a humanitarian,” he explained to VIBE about the song, which also features hip-hop icon Nas on the remix. “It’s probably one of the dirtiest records, in terms of sound, that I ever made; there’s a blues-gospel feel to it.”
The singer also credits his personal growth for his ability to pull off such a serious-minded statement, something he says he was incapable of doing when he first came on the scene with his 1996 neo-soul classic Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.
“I don’t think my records would have sounded as raw back then,” Maxwell continues. “Living life helps make the music better.” ––Keith Murphy