BF3: The Kids Needed A Hero” by Maky Lavender
New and versatile Montreal rapper shows off his West Island charm
By Frédéric Guillette
Photo by Genius
Recently, my research for new Montreal music led me to Maky Lavender, a rapper from the West Island. He has been signed with Ghost Club Record’s since 2017. According to his label’s website, Maky studied communications in order to “strengthen his skills in video production and film studies”. This piqued my interest, given that I’m also an artist and currently studying Cinema & Communications here at Dawson.
His latest project is titled BF3: The Kids Needed A Hero. “BF3” stands for Blowfoam 3. The album seems to be the third installment of a trilogy, but eager to hear what this guy sounded like, I dove headfirst into the newest project.
Judging solely from the cover art, I expected an amateurish sound. Said expectations were pretty much met. The production and mixes certainly didn’t sound like what you tend to hear on big-budget commercial albums.
However, the amateurishness isn’t to the album’s detriment. It gave the project more personality and authenticity than your run-of-the-mill “Rap Caviar” trap artist could ever have.
Although only lasting a little under 30 minutes, BF3 is a versatile project. Tracks like “Rumblin” will make your head bop. The likes of 21 Savage would fit like a glove on hard-hitting trap bangers like “My Family!!!”. There are also some softer sounding cuts like “Paranoiiia” or “Rollin…,” the latter of which is reminiscent of cloud-rap or early A$AP Rocky.
Maky’s ability to naturally flow over these varying instrumentals is notable. Despite these different sounds, the album rarely ventures so far out of its aesthetic that it loses cohesion. The production isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s very charming and has a lot of personality.
The lyrical content is fairly braggadocious, but the passages that interested me the most were the introspective ones. On many of the tracks, Maky brags about his success, but he isn’t shy about the people he had to cut off along the way.
This theme appears many times on the album but in my opinion this extract from the closing track, “When Your Hero Let’s You Down,” captures it best: “I don’t mean to make big of a deal // I don’t wanna be bothered // And my heart is full of sorrow , Ptsd , oh you name it // Got family members asking me every day if I’m famous // I got friends that won’t talk to me always knew they was b***hes // I got plenty DM's from girls who think ima be cheating”. While Maky is proud of where he’s made it thus far, he isn’t fond of the attention it has brought him, and how it altered his entourage’s behaviour. I love when rappers dive into their philosophies and concerns in their music.
I do have a few complaints about this project. Some tracks rely a little too heavily on hooks. It’s something I noticed on “DIGGITY”, “Rollin…” as well as “Oh Mah Gad!”. The songs end up feeling repetitive, but an additional verse would have easily completed them. The guitar solo at the end of “Oh Mah Gad!” was pleasant, but felt out of place. It's very theatrical, whereas the rest of the album seemed more laid back. Also, although the mixing is good for the most part, it can sound sloppy at times.
A highlight for me was “Soju Boys”. Everything from the vocals to the 8 bit sounding beat is perfect and made it by far my favourite cut on the project. I also like the West island representation with tracks like “West Island Freestyle'' or “Jeanne-Sauvé Alumni.”
He namedrops his hometown a few other times; like in “Juno Talk” when he exclaims “Every time I drop a song it's like ‘West Island Is Back?!’”. Another fun lyrical highlight is on the track “DIGGITY”, where he takes a cheeky jab at our provincial government:“Pour que le gouvernement m’accepte je vais faire quelques lines en français. // Ils voulaient un track en français // je t’en ai donné un.”
BF3 made me eager not only to listen to more Maky Lavender, but to discover more hidden gems in the Montréal rap scene. I urge anyone who has made it this far to go give the album a chance. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Maky.