Baton Rouge has experienced fleeting recognition on a mainstream level thanks to Boosie BadAzz and Kevin Gates, but the city is becoming a real hotbed in the digital era. YouTube has become a major outlet for local artists, helping to attract fans and labels alike.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again, who's currently enjoying his freedom after being released from jail, is the most well-known of the new crop of Baton Rouge rappers, yet the duo of Maine Musik and T.E.C. may have the highest ceiling. The two spent some time at No Limit Records before venturing off on their own and finding greater success as independent artists.

Over the past two years, the duo has watched their profiles grow exponentially due to the popularity of their music videos. While the visuals like "Ain't No Comin Down" and "Go Crazy" are attracting millions of views, Maine and T.E.C. are not trying to present any abstract ideas. The pair makes a point to keep it straightforward.

“Don’t think too hard,” Maine tells XXL of their videos. “Go with what first comes to mind. Everything will be fine.”

Although Maine and T.E.C. have put out a few projects and collaborated often, their proper introduction as a duo will be their upcoming Spider Nation mixtape. The tape will not feature any mega stars, but it will include appearances by artists they related to such as the late Zoe Realla and BTY YoungN.

“That shit so crazy,” T.E.C. says of Zoe and BTY’s recent deaths. “Both of them died back-to-back before we could even drop that bitch.”

With the Spider Nation release right around the corner on June 23, XXL had the chance to sit down with Maine and T.E.C. to learn more about the talented rappers. Here’s your chance to get to know the South Louisiana duo in The Break.

Age: Maine Musik, 23; T.E.C., 23

Hometown: Baton Rouge

I grew up listening to: Maine: “I grew up listening to Boosie BadAzz and my cousins, ’cause they use to rap and shit.”

T.E.C.: “I’d say Boosie too. The Hot Boys. I really got to fucking with [Lil] Wayne tough. That’s like my favorite rapper.”

My style’s been compared to: Maine: “I get a lot of comparisons. They be like, ‘He be on some Soulja Slim shit. He be on some Meek [Mill] shit sometimes.’ I just be rapping though. I love this shit.”

T.E.C.: “Niggas be comparing me to everybody. They got their own opinions like sometimes they be like we on some Boosie and Webbie shit, Hot Boys shit.”

Most people don’t know: Maine: “We really love this. I think they know we care for the music, but this is really all we’ve got. We never stop doing it. I don’t think people knew that, so I want them to know. This is something we’ll never stop doing. Real talk, we been doing a lot of research. We really be mainly focused on what the eyes can’t see. We read a lot of books. Our favorite book is Behold a Pale White Horse.”

T.E.C. “A lot of people be saying we took off so fast and shit. They don’t know about how long we’ve been doing this shit together. [We] been doing this shit, ya heard me? I wanna let them know we been doing this shit for a minute down here, about 10 years."

My standout records or moments to date have been: T.E.C.: “'Go Crazy.' That bitch done just took off! Rocket ship shit.“

Maine: “'Go Crazy' and 'Fundu.'”

T.E.C.: “Yeah, Fundu showed us some shit. 'Ain’t No Comin Down,' we can’t forget that bitch ’cause that’s when everything got rolling.”

Maine: “Yeah, that’s the viral sensation. It fucked the game up.”

T.E.C.: “From there, everything we been dropping, they just been loving the shit.”

My goal in hip-hop is: Maine: “[Sings] I just wanna sit back and count these digits. And I just wanna take care of my children. Like [Young] Thug say, I just want the money. I just want us to be able to live.”

T.E.C.: “A nigga just want the money, ya heard? Nigga want to be remembered and shit too, like on some ’Pac shit. Like our music always be around and that. But really, a nigga tryna get the funnel cakes.”

I’m going to be the next: T.E.C.: “We the first us! Ain’t nothing like this. I’m telling you, we about to get a fucking country. We gonna be the first rappers to get our own country and y’all can try to be the next one like us. I’m trying to go further than everyone that came before us."

Maine: "We gonna be the next Batman and Robin. Shit never gets old. Niggas still watch Batman. It don’t matter who playing them. Niggas still watch Batman, so we wanna have that [staying power]."

Standouts: "Ain't No Comin Down"

"Go Crazy"



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