Trinidad Jame$’ performance at Converse Rubber Tracks last week (Nov. 12) where he went on rant claiming New York’s rap scene has fallen off—and that Atlanta runs New York musically—has been well documented. New Yorkers have responded, artists such as Smoke DZA and Hopsin have fired back, and the conversation surrounding the state of New York hip-hop has re-entered as a main topic of discussion. Jame$ has since then clarified some of the points, put out a track on this topic and even claimed that he has something in store for New Yorkers today (Nov. 18).
Maino, one of Jame$’ most outspoken critics, has had enough of artists disrespecting New York City. The Brooklyn native wants New Yorkers to understand that Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse and Jame$’ comments are two different situations. XXL spoke to Maino, and he explained why Trinidad Jame$’ comments were disrespectful, his disappointment with New Yorkers and the state of hip-hop in New York. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
You’re pretty pissed about the Trinidad Jame$ incident.
Maino: It’s just sad that we’re in a place, as far as a city, we’re so disorganized, people feel like they can do or say whatever they want. This don’t fly anywhere else. It’s an unspoken rule as an artist, as a man, when you go to other people’s cities, you show love you’ll get love, you show respect, you’ll get respect. You don’t go into people’s territories, into people’s cites and talk down on them. You don’t go and critique them and tell them what their issues are. And people saying, “What [Trinidad James] said is true.” OK, what he saying is not unheard of. Everything that he said is shit that I said in “What Happened” and everybody know it. However, it ain’t what you said it’s how you say it. When you get on a stage and say, “We run y’all and I ain’t trying to start nothing but if you want do something we can do it.” What [does] that mean to you? That’s not a man just speaking his opinion. That’s a man offering a challenge to anybody that don’t like what he said. It’s not like he went up there and said, “I feel like New York need to get back on their game.” That’s cool, that’s understandable, that’s his opinion. But the man went up there and said, “I’m not trying to start nothing but if you want to do something, we can do it.” That’s to me, speaks volumes to how a man actually felt. He’s trying to flip and bounce now. Everybody I know that lives in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, they got pride in their city.
What was your initial reaction to Trinidad James comments?
Somebody sent me the link. There were people tweeting saying, “Is he crazy?” It was just that nobody addressed it. People was offended with him saying, “We run y’all.” We run y’all? What does that mean? And he knew he was saying something crazy because he heard the crowd. And then he said, “Well I ain’t trying to start nothing but if you want to do something we can do it.” People only say that when they know they over stepped their boundaries.
I’m more mad at my city for being that disunited and that weak. That people feel like they can say and do whatever they want to say and do. People are comparing this to the Kendrick thing, which I spoke about. We’re so fucked up here, what’s stopping anybody else from saying anything and we don’t want to say nothing? What’s next? At least have respect for the city that you in. When you go to Chicago you got to have your hat a certain way. When you walk into these places, it’s already understood, don’t come over here with that bullshit. I just got back from Houston today. Imagine if I went on stage and start blabbing about this and that. I would be food. I would be on a menu and it would be on because people love their city. People have pride in where they’re from. We’re the only people that got it fucked up. We think people can have opinions and say whatever the fuck that they want to say to us, in our own city.