“I did it for the dream, man, the dream,” rapper Max Steinke said when explaining why he took a leap of faith with his career.
Steinke, more popularly known as MadMax, is from Maryville and has been brushing off the haters since he was 13-years-old. Now, with his recently signed record contract with Bentley Records, Steinke continues to seek the success he dreamed about since he started writing all those years ago.
Part of this success is not monetary. Steinke says one of the most important aspects that keeps him going is how often fans reach out to him. Steinke sees these fans and connects with them in order to push himself and others forward.
“Before I signed my deal, there were more people reaching out locally and a little nationally,” Steinke said. “Now there is a lot more nationally, and I have even started seeing people reach out from other parts of the world. My label is really big overseas, so that push really helps.”
This success found Steinke at 18-years-old recording with a group in New York called Mizz Carrera’z Fast Life. Since his career’s inception, Steinke has been featured on the This is 50, a hip-hop website started by 50 Cent. He has also been on one national tour with rapper’s Suspect and Trazz. Steinke’s first headlining tour is coming up in February, where he will be performing with Wil E. Haze.
Before he found his success, Steinke first found himself fighting a serious form of obsessive compulsive disorder in his early years. His peers often looked down on his end goal of writing music for a living, leaving Steinke with encouragement from only his closest family and friends. These two things gave Steinke a lot to work against.
“It was different,” Steinke said. “People weren’t used to it and I understood. That’s why I never let it bother me. I just kept doing my own thing and kept going. Eventually people kind of understood that I wasn’t going to quit and I was serious about it. It took a couple of years to get people on board, but I just kept going.”
Steinke makes it clear that when he is writing his music, he is writing about his experiences and things he wants to experience. But when he does this, he does it with a younger generation in mind. Steinke wants his music to be something younger generations can listen to if they need guidance.
“Growing up man, I just went through some things that can really get a young person down,” Steinke said. “I saw some things and it really sucked, and it’s one thing that keeps me going. A lot of my fans know this about me and reach out to me about similar stuff. When they do, sometimes I’m able to calm them down just by giving them the time of day.”
Steinke’s love for music and sympathy for others going through similar issues made it clear to him what he needed to fight for from the beginning. With his rapidly growing success, Steinke can hopefully fight for his dreams across the globe.
“Just being able to connect to the music is what really helped me,” Steinke said. “When I was able to get that music to other people, I started realizing that they could feel what I was saying through my lyrics.”