: <p>While Maino does admit to striking a man during his performance in Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday night he denies punching the man, "That wasn't a punch. That was more like an open handed smack, more or less," he explained. </p><p>The incident began wh

Monday, Aug 4, 2008 4:43PM

Published by SOHH.com

Written By Danica Dow

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With footage of a physical altercation involving Brooklyn based rapper Maino and a concertgoer popping up all over the net, SOHH checked in with Mr. "Hi Hater" himself to get his side of the story.

While Maino does admit to striking a man during his performance in Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday night he denies punching the man, "That wasn't a punch. That was more like an open handed smack, more or less," he explained.

The incident began when a man in the front row started taunting the rapper. "He was cursing me out," said Maino. "It was a little too aggressive to my liking. I'm a grown man. I demand respect and I respect everybody. So I just felt like it was a lack of respect."

"I just felt like it was a situation that couldn't be avoided," he continued. "I tried to avoid it and homie just had to be disciplined. It was nothing major."

The incident didn't end with Maino's dose of discipline. It started an all out brawl in the club. "It started a big fight," said Maino. "[But] I didn't get jumped. I honestly don't have a scratch on me but it was definitely a big fight a lot of people were fighting. People were swinging, other people were getting hit."

In other news, the rapper's long awaited debut album, If Tomorrow Comes, will be released on Atlantic Records this fall and Maino couldn't be happier. "I feel great. I feel really really good because I've been on my grind for a while. I've put my time and my heart in to making this album and making these records. A lot of people think maybe that ‘Hi Haters' is all I got but I'ma prove them wrong."

Maino's hit single, "Hi Hater" had caused many people to draw comparisons between he and Mims, another New York rapper who had a hot summer anthem, "This Is Why I'm Hot."

"That's the nature of people," he said. "You give them a little bit of something they compare you to bullsh*t… no disrepect to Mims."

"I'm cool with that though because it makes people doubt," he added. "I like when people doubt me, underestimate me ‘cause what happens is when a person underestimates me they put they self in a disadvantage. This is how over and over again I've been able to stay."

Maino's debut album, If Tomorrow Comes, features production from Dangerous LLC., Cool and Dre and J.R. Rotem and guest appearances by T.I., Swizz Beatz, Plies, Jadakiss and Fabolous. The album will hit stores on September 23rd.

[For more on the Big Apple rap scene peep SOHH NYC]

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