Maino, who appears on this season of Gossip Game, is taking his talents to a different kind of stage. The Brooklyn rapper has landed the lead role in the forthcoming hip hop musical Freedom, chronicling the life of a man jailed for a crime he didn't commit.
The play is based on the real life story of David Ranta, a Brooklyn man who was freed last month after serving 23 years in prison for a murder conviction. Ranta had been found guilty in the 1991 botched robbery and shooting death of Brookyln Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger.
There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime.
Freedom aims to shed light on similar cases.
"Jurors go into a trial thinking that if a defendant was seen committing a crime, and they confessed to doing the crime, they are guilty," read a press release about the play. "However, statistics show that in 25 percent of the cases where the defendant was exonerated because of DNA, they had made incriminating statements, confessed, or plead guilty."
"Mistaken identification accounts for a third of wrongful convictions. Statistics reveal innocent people get convicted every day."
Chicago rapper Chill Ill was also tapped from the world of hip hop to star in Freedom.
Maino made his acting debut as "Poet 1" in 2012's thriller Identical. He's slated to appear in this year's TV movie Dice City, alongside Tyler Perry-go-to Lance Gross and singer/actress Teairra Mari. Mostly, however, he's likely to pull from his own experience of receiving a 10-year bid for a drug-related kidnapping before he was rehabilitated through music.
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(Photo: John Ricard / BET)
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