In between expanding his growing brand and prepping his upcoming sophomore album, The Day After Tomorrow, Brooklyn rapper Maino found the time to chop it up with BET.com’s Jabari Johnson for another episode of Face to Face.
After his 2009 debut, If Tomorrow Comes, was fueled to respectable sales figures by smash hits “Hi Hater” and “All the Above,” the darkhorse MC is now looking to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the game. His new wardrobe illustrates his long-term ambitions. When asked why he traded in his trademark black bandana for thick-framed glasses and a trim button-up shirt, the rough-edged rhymer spilled his motives.
“We just evolving as people,” explains the MC. “Who I am and what I’m about is already solidified,” he continues, pointing to the black bandana flag tatted on his left forearm. “That black bandana is forever, it’s always.”
This new look is a proactive move against those that try to pigeonhole him. “I don’t always wanna be the artist that’s so predictable. I don’t wanna be figured out or typecasted like, “All he do is wear black.””
By committing to never letting outside expectations limit him, Maino is taking control of his brand and image. “You open up doors for yourself that you may not have been able to open prior because people think they know you from the way you dress or what they hear about you.”
Maino is wise enough to know that success in music is not promised. So, while he can, he intends to make the most of the opportunity. “Everybody doesn’t become a Jay-Z,” he explains. “I feel I’ve excelled far further than what was thought of me. I don’t think people thought that I would even reach this far.”
Maino’s ability to think ahead of the game has allowed him to exceed expectations.
“I was coming from prison, I don’t know if I was everyone’s favorite. I remember it was said that a lot of other dude’s was gonna be that dude, or he’s next, but I don’t remember people really having that feeling towards me.”
Even after proving those that overlooked him wrong, Maino is not bitter. “That always worked for me because the more you underestimate a dude like me the more I’ma strike.”
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