Features: The Alchemist
“Maintain (Fuck How You Feel)” by hip-hop heavyweight Havoc, featuring The Alchemist, is a defiant anthem illustrating the uncompromising nature of the rapper’s hustle and rise to success. Within its hard-hitting bars, the track delves deep into the intricacies of street life, the relentless pursuit of ambition, and the defiance against societal expectations.
Beginning the verse, Havoc likens his refreshing presence to “that new car smell,” a vivid metaphor for his unique and rejuvenating contribution to the hip-hop game. He urges listeners to brace themselves for the rawness he’s about to deliver. There’s a resilience evidenced in the lines “They try to go against us, mothafuckas all fail / Steady making bread, while yours is all stale”, underscoring Havoc’s determination to prevail despite adversity. His audacious claim to dominance, that “Every day [is] a Friday to us”, emphasizes the artist’s defiant attitude against the routine grind, spotlighting the luxuries that his success has afforded him.
His gritty realism shines through in the line, “Fresh out the dungy, where some souls never make it out”, referring to his journey from gritty neighborhoods to his current status. Life, represented as a spiteful woman in the line “Life’s a bitch, but me and her just finished making out” reveals Havoc’s acceptance of life’s pitfalls, while simultaneously asserting his command over his destiny. The couplet “Like a nigga that we gotta murk and take out / Push the envelope like the knob on the mixer” cleverly juxtaposes street violence with studio craftsmanship, capturing the two worlds that constitute his life.
In the chorus and repeated lines “Just maintain, sit back nigga! / Fall the fuck back! / Fall back!’, Havoc is sending a clear message: maintain your own lane and don’t intervene in his. It’s a non-negotiable assertion of his space and an uncompromising demand for respect.
Overall, “Maintain (Fuck How You Feel)” serves as a testament to Havoc’s survivalist mentality, his relentless hustle, and the unwavering commitment to his craft. It’s a headstrong narrative of a life lived on his own terms, brazen and unapologetic, entrenched in the harsh realities of street life, and the sweet successes of the rap game.