Mack Maine Speaks On His Music, His Connection With Wayne, & His Role In Young Money


Below is a recent interview Young Money artist Mack Maine did with Yo Raps. In the interview he speaks on his music, his connections with Wayne and Young Money, and much more. Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Tell me when this musical journey first began for Mack Maine?

I first started back when I was a kid watching Baby and the Hot Boys record. I was around them all the time, so I started playing around with it; rhyming with kids around the hood, battling, making fun of people. I kept pursuing it, and eventually got serious with it.

So, you’ve actually been connected to Wayne pretty much your whole life?

I’ve known Wayne since we were kids. We were always cool.

Is that why you just went ahead with the obvious and signed to Young Money?

I was signed with a label called Infinity Records, and then signed a deal with a NBA player that didn’t really work out. I shot a video with two unsigned rappers, and it went on BET Uncut and Wayne saw it. He called me, and didn’t know I was a free agent. He thought I was already picked up. I flew out to meet with him, and it’s been history ever since. We were always under the same umbrella though — We been cool since way back.

Has the whole magnitude of this situation actually sunk in yet?

When I heard a song I was on come on the radio, that’s when I knew I could take it to the next level.

From there, you officially became Mack Maine?

My real name is Jermaine, and people used to call me Maine. I used to be Young Maine, but there were too many “Youngs” out there. I’ve always had a way with the ladies, so the Mack came on and it made it Mack Maine — Bitch, I’m Mack Mainnnnnnnne!

You also now serve as VP of the imprint, so what are some of your ultimate goals and plans for Young Money?

For everybody to go platinum or better! I want every artist in Young Money to be successful, and to be able to establish themselves as individual artists.

How do you categorize what it is that you do on the mic?

Real! I speak what’s real. I got a catchy flow. I’m really versatile. I can change up my delivery on any beat. I can fuck with any genre. I rap on emotions, and rap on what I feel.

Give me a quick rundown of your resume — What are some of your fave/standout joints that you’ve done?

The Knuck If You Buck freestyle is definitely the one verse that the fans remember the most. They still know every word when I’m performing it. “Young Maine for president, I’d probably paint the white house black if it was my residence.” My favorite is a joint I did called Just Ventin’, and the freestyle I did on the Put You On The Game beat. Man Cry, with Mistah Fab, is one of my favorites, as well as Throw It Back, with Weezy, where I did my funny “Stoopid Macknoopid” delivery. If y’all don’t know who that is yet, you will find out. You got a little taste in the Every Girlvideo — Stoopid Macknoopid is crazy!

What’s the name of your forthcoming debut?

It was Mack Maine For President, but I couldn’t get it off by the election. It’s undecided still.

What can you tell me about your upcoming solo release?

I’ve worked with Nesby Phips, Don Cannon of course, StreetRunner of course. Those are my dudes who I know come with consistent heat. Da Bizness! I cannot forget Da Bizness, they got some fire! Shout out to them. But as far as the process, I don’t sit down with them and tell them what chord to use next in their melody. If it’s a nice beat, I’m gonna kill it. I get the beat, and I go off on it.

Where does your “open game” come from?

I rarely ever write. Everything you hear, it’s freestyled off top. It comes from my chest, from my heart. I rap on experience. I rap on what I live, and what I know. I don’t really sit down with a pen and write rhymes. I get in the booth and let off.

What’s the formula for your success?

Never give up. Keep it 100 percent real with you and everybody around you. Don’t try to change yourself to impress other people. Make smart decisions. Everybody is going to make mistakes, its how you learn from them and bounce back from them that builds character and dictates if you’re built for this game. It’s a rough game, a rough industry, but you got to keep going.

I’m hearing that you also have a strong interest in acting…

Yeah, acting, I’m interested in pursuing some movies. Any directors out there send your boy some scripts! That and being a businessman — I’ve had the opportunity to learn the business aspect of the industry, which is something I enjoy and want to pursue.

Tell me about these two other side ventures; Kush Entertainment and Soothe Your Soul Music…

Kush Entertainment I started with my homie, T Hill. Shooting DVDs, and little interviews and stuff for rappers. He had to do a little bid, but he home now so it’s on again. Soothe Your Soul Music is another label I just started. It’s just getting on, but it’s gonna be big.

On a serious note, are you happy with the state of rap music?

Yeah, it’s cool. The fans are happy. I’m defiantly not mad with that. It’s a proven fact in the midst of a recession and economy failure nobody wants to hear the sad reality of it. We want to cheer people up, let them take their minds off it. Make good enjoyable music. People are hating on Hip-Hop though. People are still out there spitting, it’s just the listener is choosing to listen to other stuff. You can’t get mad at the listener.

How do you make sense of all this illegal downloading that is blatantly ripping artists, like you, off?

It sucks, but it’s part of the game. There’s no reason to complain about it. You got to find a way to get around it — Ring-tone money, digital download money, show money, publishing. People think because rappers aren’t selling records they’re going broke. There’s rappers out there getting 100, 200K a show.

Outside of music, what are some of the other things you partake in?

I play ball, and I’ll play any one of these niggas out there for 10 stacks! Besides hooping, I twitter sometimes, I chill at the crib, I mack all the time. I’m about to get back on my movie watching game! I don’t have a lot of free time away from music.

Although it’s still very early on, as far as your career goes, what has been the highlight to date?

Saturday Night Live season opener with Michael Phelps! How the hell did a real nigga from Hollygrove get on Saturday Night Live season opener with Michael Phelps? That shit crazy!

Wow! Well, looking ahead, what does your future hold?

I see myself in a big ass mansion in Hollywood ready to do my next movie. Shout out to my whole Hollywood click; Young LO, Cali, Raven Symone! Shouts out to Joelle Ashley, too! Nah, but I definitely want to be somewhere in Hollywood sitting on a big hill reading a script to my next movie.

As for now, has your “official” first single and video been selected yet? Still untitled debut album, scheduled for release when?

Not yet! Album will be out within the next year. It’s gonna be a problem! I got like 200 songs right now, so I got to pick the right ones to make a classic.

In the meanwhile, are there any mix-tapes that you are currently working on? Or, guest appearances on other people’s works? Also, is there a Young Money compilation coming down the pipeline?

Young Money album coming soon! I’m always down for working with people and doing features. If you want a feature, hit my man TZ at upfrontent@gmail.com.

You’ve been on the hugely successful I Am Music Tour — How’s that been going for you? You have any funny stories and/or anecdotes from your experience(s) out on the road?

Aw, mannnn, I do got a funny story. The last show was in Detroit, and I shouted out, “What’s really good Chi-Town?!” Awwww man, that’s the craziest feeling ever! Remember that Snickers commercial “Wanna get away?” Yeah, it was just like that, for real!

That is funny! So, what’s actually to be expected from a Mack Maine performance?

A lot of energy, and a great time! If I’m in your city, you got to come out and see me. Young Money puts on a show!

Any additional shout outs?

Shout out to Weezy and the whole Young Money Fam; Gudda, Thugga, Streets, Twist, Chuckee, TZ, B.P., Drake! Drake got a mixtape killing the game right now! New Orleans, Tez Poe, all my fans, all my supporters, Luv da Luv!

– By Todd Davis ( Yo Raps)

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