Max Burgundy, a rapper born and bred in New York City, takes on the complexities of the world within his rhymes but refuses to forget about life’s simple pleasures. Backed by nostalgic, sample-filled beats, Burgundy’s flow is laid back and uses a classic rhyming style while employing the highly personal storytelling techniques of contemporary rappers like Murs and Atmosphere. He runs off of the very simple principle “Oreos for breakfast,” a lighthearted “when life gives you lemons” type of idea meant to describe dealing with what you’ve got and making your own way in the world.

Burgundy was born in the Bronx but has since relocated to Brooklyn. He describes the move as revitalizing because that’s where all the “music and people [his] age are living.” Born Max Rivera, he contemplated using multiple stage names. “As I moved into rapping about more personal and real things, I thought, why not use my government name?” he says. “There is nothing realer than using your own name.” But a decision to sub out his last name was made to reflect his love of burgundy wine. As far as we can tell, he has no intentions of making Will Farrell movie references.

Already having shared the stage with some of indie hip-hop’s big names like Atmosphere, Das Racist and Eyedea (RIP), Burgundy hopes to reach out further into the indie world. “I want to work with JJ, Lykke Li and Santigold,” he tells CMJ, describing how exciting it would be to hear “beats from indie groups and people that normally don’t make hip-hop but use the same equipment.” His goto beatmaker is KayKay On The Beatz, a Chicago-based producer whom Max describes as “dope and so slept on.”

Burgundy and KayKay are finishing up a mix together, Stuff White People Like, set to be released sometime in late June. Burgundy describes the upcoming record as a “collage of nostalgic sounds” as well as “the opposite of [his] ‘Oreos for breakfast’ lifestyle, lyrical, entertaining, personal, explorative and provocative.” A mixture that he says is “classic Max Burgundy.”

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