Takin’ it to the Maxxx

Maxxx Flair, who attends F&M College, just dropped his EP.

It’s April 23. Night falls on the Franklin & Marshall College town. Meanwhile, local rapper Joshua “Maxxx Flair” Harris, his crew and I dart to the Other Room, the place where Maxxx Flair will be performing. I thought the Other Room was a small nightclub.  It’s not. The building, a stone’s throw away from the Lancaster-based college, contains a multipurpose room.  That night, the Other Room morphed into an underground, hip-hop venue. 

To give Flair’s entrance some suspense, the F&M student begins talking on the mic before he enters the stage. Then he ascends from a pitch-dark stairway that leads to the stage. During the performance, the invitation-only crowd circled around Flair as he delivered a hefty 25-song set. His distinct voice and swag made the performance intriguing. He might’ve inherited his rap ability from his hometown. He reps Queens, NY, also the home of rap greats, such as Nas and Run DMC.

Flair, 20, held the show to promote his EP titled Wi-Fi: The Prequel. Aside from showing the MC’s skills, the disc introduces listeners to some talented producers, including Brooklyn-based Snake Eyes.  Snake Eyes uses an up tempo ’90’s beat on “Pray for This,” cinematic strings on “007 (Oh No)” and spine-chilling organ chords on “The Rapture.” Flair also shines on “The Rapture.” Flow stops whenever the mic drops/but images get cropped/so an acappella is a Photoshop, he says on “The Rapture.” Producers Swiff D (“Down Down”) and Master Chef “Time to Go”) also appear on the EP. Here are some other facts you might not know about Flair.

What year are you at F&M, and what’s your major?
I’m a sophomore and sociology major.

When did you first pick up a mic?
I began rapping in sixth grade but didn’t even begin to take it remotely serious until freshman year of high school.

What’s your career goal in the rap game?
I want to take this rap thing as far as possible. I’m not really worried about [signing with a major label] right now. I just want to make good music people can appreciate, and let the money and notoriety follow. 

Who’s your favorite artist?
I don’t have a favorite artist. Some of my favorite old school artists are Big L, Big Pun, B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Outkast, Brand Nubian, DMX, Lost Boyz, Onyx, Ma$e, The Diplomats, Eminem, Joe Budden and G. Dep, just to name a few. As far as today’s rap, to name a few, I listen to Fab, Pac Div, Wiz Khalifa, Laws, Blu, Ludacris, T.I., Freeway, Wale, but I’m open to anything. If it sounds good, I rock to it.

I became a Gang Starr fan because it was one of the first groups to fuse jazz with hip-hop. I also dug Premier’s beats and how Guru incorporated consciousness in his rhymes. Do you remember the late rapper?
R.I.P. Guru—that was a huge loss to hip-hop. I do remember Gang Starr. “Skills” was the joint!

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