Earlier this year, Brooklyn MC Maino went on a robbing spree of sorts, rhyming over some of today’s popular instrumentals as part of his #RespectTheJux series. Teaming up with Funkmaster Flex, the Bed-Stuy native seeks to showcase his versatility as he compiles the recent freestyles in one tape with Respect The Jux.
The jack move kicks off with Ace Hood’s block anthem, “Hustle Hard.” The gritty Lex Luger production prompts the Brooklyn bully to get busy, showcasing his keen hustle mentality. “Got that money on my mind/Finding ways to make it/Holding onto my .45/I gotta ride to take it,” he spits. On DJ Khaled’s “Welcome To My Hood,” Maino enlists the duties of his BK brethren Red Cafe and Uncle Murda to add their NY flavor over the anthemic banger, while on the bass-driven Pac-Div single, “Anti-Freeze,” the Hustle Hard general declares that he runs the 718, before passing the mic to G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks.
Despite a couple other highlights, including the Wu-inspired “Machine Gun Rap,” Respect The Jux has some duds, often attributed to the tired beats that the Atlantic signee chooses to rap on (“Black & Yellow”, “Racks”) and the redundancy, which find him sounding lazy. This maybe best exhibited on the underwhelming “Dime Piece” (Over Rick Ross’ “9 Piece), where Maino drops lackluster rhymes like “This chick is bad/Pretty skin tone/I took a picture right on my iPhone/She wanna roll let’s go to my home/Bring ya friend/Let’s do a three some.”
Despite its bumps in execution, Respect The Jux showcases that Maino’s hunger to hold the torch for the big city. However, The Day After Tomorrow will have to prove it. —Ralph Bristout