Max Wassen was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the son of Swedish immigrants. At the age of 6 he moved to Vaughan, outside of Toronto, and heard hip-hop for the first time. The song was "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas - which features layered vocals, dynamic rhythm, a risky, sprawling arrangement, and the signature party vibe that has made the team of will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie into household names.
Max was hooked. He proceeded to pick the lyrics of that song apart, to the endless frustration of his mother, finding an artistic foothold in the process. At the age of 12, Max moved to Sweden, where he, to put it mildly, did not feel welcome. Coming home every day from the bullies at school that called him invandrare, and fitta, he found refuge in the music of Eminem - as an example, the song "Sing for the Moment" which twists a sample of the hook to Aerosmith's "Dream On" into a soul-cry of solidarity for the misunderstood, the casually oppressed, and the underdogs of the world. Max had found his home in the world-weariness and raw honesty of modern hip hop.
Max Wassen started 'writing his own shit' to get away from the racism, the hate, and the intolerance, and in the process crafted his own impressive aesthetic as rapper and producer. "Growing Pains" mixes a vocal cadence over the verse that is reminiscent of Eminem with a chorus feel that brings to mind The Black Eyed Peas, and as such is a perfect showcase of his early influences. The final vibe is all Max Wassen, and finds him dropping a poetic flow about the fleeting innocence of youth, along with a reminder that we all need time to slow down and appreciate the moments that don't come back.