Being known as the realest rapper in the game doesn’t come easy, but Brooklyn’s own Maino brings his hood mentality and love for music to the forefront of hip-hop, regardless of hip-hop’s transition to pop music.
Maino released his sophomore album The Day After Tomorrow, which hits store shelves today.
Check out the exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: What can we expect from The Day After Tomorrow?
Maino: To understand The Day After Tomorrow, you have to understand my first album, which was If Tomorrow Comes. If Tomorrow Comes is a story of what I was actually going through in my life. I was a dude who was in the street and went to prison and started rapping in prison. When I came home, I had this vision, this dream, about getting away from the street and getting into the music business.
The Day After Tomorrow is kind of a sequel, the continuation. It’s not where I’m at today. Now I became an artist and everything I’ve been going through as an artist, my experiences, the changes in my life, the feelings that I go through, the sacrifices that I feel that I had to make in order to make this happen … it’s another story.
What kind of features can we expect on your album?
Not too many. You don’t want to buy an album for features. If you’re buying an album and it has 12 records, you don’t want 10 with features. I got a couple records with a couple people. I got Wayne on there, Roscoe, just enough. Light, where you get the bulk of me. Not just a bunch of me featuring the world. I do that for the streets.
I just about finished a mixtape called I Am Who I Am / The Album Before The Album. That is straight original music. Me, DJ Green Lantern, DJ Infamous, straight original music. A lot of songs that I wanted to be on the album but couldn’t make it are on there. It’s like a real album. I’m going to give you two albums anyway. It’s quality.
Speaking of Wayne, what do you think about his diss to Jay on “It’s Good?”
It’s hip-hop! Battling and being competitive with other artists has been around since before we been around. So it is what it is. Let’s see what happens. I’m very interested. And now they’re saying Wayne is looking at a bigger number.
But the debate is, just because you sell records, does that make you a better artist?
It’s not about who’s better. When it comes battling, the only way to see it is to be in the battle. Nas and Jay-Z went at it. That’s how we saw what was what. I don’t think we stepped away and felt Nas was better than Jay-Z, or Jay-Z was better than Nas. It was a great battle. Everyone felt that Nas won the battle, but Jay-Z is still a king at the end of the day.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would you want to collaborate with?
Because a lot of people I want to collaborate with, I worked with. Snoop Dogg was one of my favorites and I worked with Snoop.
You and T.I. are cool.
He just got out of prison. Do you have any advice for him or have you spoken to him?
Not yet. I will though.
What are you going to say to him?
Stuff he already knows. I’m always encouraging. He’s not a person who hasn’t been in the industry, a person that wasn’t already a big superstar, so his transition is going to be easier than the average man just getting out of prison. First and foremost, his family, kids, getting back to them, his personal strength, and then we get to the business.
The great thing about it is that he has a lot of opportunity and that’s what life is about – having opportunity. The average man in the street doesn’t live to his potential, because he doesn’t have the opportunity. The average dude in the street may have talent, may have potential, but it’s never realized because the opportunity, those doors, or to know the right person … So T.I.? He good. Come out in Maybachs. It’s all good.
You were in prison for ten years…
Yes, I was that man.
Ten years is a long time. When you were in prison, did you ever envision yourself being where you are today realistically?
I started rapping when I was in there. In the back of my mind I started to say, ‘Yo, what if I went home and did this? Big was poppin’, everything’s rockin’. What if I went home and did this?’ And at the same time I’d say that: ‘Nah, I ain’t gon’ f*ckin’ make it.’ I was fighting myself at a point, saying, ‘I ain’t no f*ckin’ rapper.’
Rappers was liars and we’re n*ggas trying to live it. It’s either something happens, or it doesn’t. What are you really going to lose? You’re going to fall back in the street anyway. I’m coming home with no job skills, no higher education. What else am I going to do?
The MTV documentary you did, World of Jenks, put a lot of people on to you. How was it filming that show?
Yeah it did. It was good. He was getting on my nerves sometimes though. He was being judgmental, saying ‘Yeah f*cking right, we partying.’ But he’d say ‘Is this what it’s all about? This is all you do?’
Have you talked to him since?
All the time. He was in my video “Keep It Rockin.”
You’re one of the most honest rappers in the game. You said something about these rappers being soft nowadays, right?
Not really soft. They just cool.
Do you ever feel like hip-hop is getting weak?
It depends on the perspective that you’re looking from, the kind of person you are. What we may perceive to be cool, somebody else may perceive to be fly. Some of these dudes are cool and years ago, they would be looked at as corny. But because of the age that we’re in now, where a lot of these kids are moving away from being tough, they’re more into wearing Vans and Skippy’s and being skateboarders and just want to smoke weed, they appeal to regular dudes like Wiz Khalifa. He’s regular. He’s not macho and tough.
If you could collaborate with any pop artist, who would it be?
Katy Perry. I love Katy Perry. My favorite song is “E.T.”
Do you have a celebrity crush?
I love everybody. I don’t want to talk about it, because then my other celebrity crushes get upset.
Do they know that you have a crush on them?
Some of them do and may get jealous.
What’s something that you can’t live without?
My son. I’m obsessed with him.
If you were Tiger Woods, would you have let his wife take you for all that money?
I wouldn’t have married her. F*ck out of here.
Who would you marry?
Why would you marry her?
I’m only playing. I’m just saying. I don’t know Tiger, I don’t know his business. I don’t know if he identifies with himself. Maybe now he does understand who he is in society. I don’t understand this whole marriage thing. Why are you entitled to all my money? Do you actually need that money? It’s crazy.
You can’t leave the girls alone?
Me? It’s hard.
But don’t you get tired?
Yeah, I get tired. I do want a girl. I want to settle down. But then I want to do other things too.
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