“New York! New York City,” Maino chants while shooting the upcoming special for MTV2′s “Yo! MTV Raps Presents: Classic Cuts.” “My back to the wall. We Giants, baby, ya heard.”
Not only does Main hope his city’s team snags the win, he also hopes his second album, The Day After Tomorrow, which comes out on February 28, will be a success, too. Last week, however, he put out a mixtape to keep his street momentum going until the LP’s release.
“The name of the tape is called I Am Who I Am: The Mixtape Before The Album,” he shares. “We dropped this 30 days before the album. You have songs like ‘Rare Breed,’ that’s a shout out to all of my homies. Dudes from Brooklyn who come from a real place gonna love it because they’re gonna know exactly what I’m talking about. This ain’t for everybody. This mixtape ain’t for everybody, it’s for my niggas. Not your niggas but for my niggas. Then you have ‘Last of the Mohican’ where I’m talking directly to the street, things of that nature. You know I’m out her making love records, so I gotta balance it out. I think people forget sometimes I come from mixtapes and that’s how I got in the game. So I always have to cater to my people.”
The love song Maino is referring to is “That Could Be Us,” where he talks about finding true love and becoming a power couple like Jay-z and Beyonce and Barack and Michelle Obama. The hard-hitter says the ladies are eating that record up.
“Yeah. Yeah, indeed,” he says. “Women respect great music. We can’t leave them out. I follow behind great artists that are able to balance both — do street records them come with music that caters to women. We can’t forget women are probably the larger portion of the buying public. It’s just me growing as an artist, growing as a man, with my creativity. [Still, I'm] never leaving the streets alone.” —Shaheem Reid