Guest Star: "Loon Tried To Let Me Rhyme & I Got Booed"

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 12:45AM

Written by J. Bachelor & Cyrus Langhorne

[After highlighting urban music's "Started From the Bottom" rising stars looking to capitalize off their national buzz at South By Southwest, SOHH now shifts its focus toward the "Now We Here" artists who have reached the top and cemented a national fan base. Today, we chop it up with Brooklyn rap star Maino.]

What was your very first rap name?

I ain't never have no rap name. I still don't got one. Nah man. I got my nickname.

Tell us about the first show you ever did in front of a crowd.

I'mma give you the show that I did. I had got cool with Loon. Loon used to be signed to Bad Boy, shout out to Loon and he was performing in New York City and I was on my come up. For some reason, he took a likin' to me and asked me to come out with him and he tried to let me rhyme and I got booed. It was crazy because the same people that'll cheer you on a year later will boo you. I had eventually came back and it was crazy, but just the fact that I had went through that it determined anything, but it was just that, "Damn." They was raw out there. They didn't even give me a chance. They came to see him and that was that. They didn't wanna see his man, whoever the f*** the n*gga was. They came to see Loon and that was that.

What was your first big purchase as a rap artist?

Man I done bought a lot of things, my n*gga. I like them cars, man. I done bought so many cars, you know a n*gga from the hood so the first thing a n*gga wanna do is buy him somethin' nice ... crib, cars, jewelry. When I first got any small check, I went and bought a car. First check I ever got, the first car I ever bought was a Magnum. I went and grabbed a Magnum real quick. It wasn't even no big check, I got like a 30 grand check.

Outside your crew, name 3-5 artists that are still getting their start, who you feel have a bright future in the game.

I think anybody got a shot if they work hard enough and put out the right kind of music. I just can't name somebody off the top of my head. I'm a fan man. Like, alotta these n*ggas get in these interviews and act like they only listen to themselves. They f*ckbag n*ggas. They playin'. They lyin'. I listen to everything that's hot my n*gga. I listen to what's on the ground level, the n*ggas that's on the come up, I listen to the n*ggas that's on the internet tryna get heard, because at some point, we all was them. So I believe everybody got a shot if they creatin' that energy and they dedicated.

Brooklyn rapper Maino, born Jermaine Coleman, grew up in the borough's Bedford-Stuyvesant section in a household with two drug-addicted parents. Lacking parental guidance, Coleman kept to the streets and involved himself in petty crime, which landed him in prison in the early '90s. There he learned to rap so that he could deal with boredom and isolation. In 2003, after about ten years, he was released from prison and wasted no time setting up his new imprint, Hustle Hard. From his own mixtapes, street singles like "Rumors" and "Take It Like a Man" got his name buzzing among major labels, including Universal, who signed him in 2005. However, the deal eventually fell through, since his intended debut album, Death Before Dishonor, was permanently shelved. Nonetheless, Atlantic picked up Maino and his Hustle Hard imprint in 2007, and the Brooklyn native quickly issued street single "My Life Is Like a Movie" that year. Another track, "Hi Hater," surfaced the following year, prefacing his major-label debut, If Tomorrow Comes... and its platinum-selling single "All the Above," both released in 2009. The Unstoppable EP would land in 2010 with The Day After Tomorrow album and its lead single, "Let It Fly," both following in 2011.

Check out Maino and The Mafia's "Streets Still Calling":

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