Maino is the underdog everyone in New York wants to win. He has the street cred, he’s done jail time, and he’s smacked a few different rappers. Overall, he’s a guy you don’t wanna mess with.
He’s one of the new guys in New York, but as he says in a recent interview with Complex, he’s not trying to bring the city back. Maino wants to usher in new faces.
“There’s no representation of the new New York — it’s only the same people that have been here 10, 15 years,” Maino tells the magazine. “I feel like I’m the face of the new regime … But I don’t want to bring New York back, I want to bring it forward. F*** what happened already. Where we bringing it back to? We got to focus on what’s right now.”
While admitting that something new needs to come out of New York, he isn’t forgetting where he came from, and that’s Brooklyn. Maino says over in his borough, he’s still 1992.
“Brooklyn made me who I am today,” says the rapper. “It’s good to see all these nice modern complexes and apartments … But the working-class people, that’s struggling every day, can’t afford that. Where I come from, it’s still like f***ing ’92Ã¢â‚¬â€pain, shooting at the police. It’s crazy.”
Although he enjoyed his first taste of national success with his hit single, “Hi Haters,” earlier this year, the buzz from his single has died down. However, while awaiting the release of his debut If Tomorrow Comes…, he stays in the media, even if it’s for something controversial.
His most recent press blitz came when he confirmed rumors that he smacked rapper Yung Berg. That situation is over, but he warns rappers like Berg — who also received media attention over the past few months when his chain was snatched in Detroit — that if you “uphold” your chain, you shouldn’t wear it.
“Rappers getting their chains took ain’t never going to stop,” Maino told Complex with a laugh. “I like Yung Berg … But they’ve got to understand, ‘If you can’t uphold it, you shouldn’t have it.’ People in the streets are hungry. N****s even tried me in my own borough before. But I got my sh** together. I’m wearing my jewelry on the f***ing moon. Straight up with it.”
Read the rest of the piece at Complex.com, where he talks about his underground classic “Rumors,” and being a newbie, fresh out of jail.