Steady Mobbin': Maino on His "Mafia" and Sticking to the Queen Bee Code


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Just last week, rapper Maino debuted his group, The Mafia, and the mixtape of the same name to the masses.

The Mafia, which consists of Maino, Twigg Martin, Hustlehard Mouse, Push, and Lucky Don [the one member who was unavailable for the interview], recently introduced themselves to, and they were stoked about their new project.

Before the interview even began, Twigg described his feeling about the mixtape as “ecstatic.” But, just don’t ask Maino about his previous relationship with the Queen Bee… How did you all come together and form The Mafia?

Twigg: The Mafia isn’t something that was really formed. It’s just a chemistry thing. Everybody here [are] brothers. Everybody knows each other. It wasn’t a recruiting process or anything like that. Everybody was doing their own thing, and we all came together with Maino to actually do the entire Mafia project and be a unit. We move as a unit anyway without music, but we decided to come together and do it together musically. So, you were all friends outside of music?

Push: Yeah. We’re all real close. What is Hip-Hop’s fascination with the mob?

Mouse: It’s not really Hip-Hop’s fascination. It’s everybody’s fascination with the mob. We just [came] up under that umbrella. Everybody loves the mob.

Maino: I like that – ‘everybody loves the mob.’ That has a ring to it. American culture is what I think it is. It’s a lot further than just Hip-Hop. It’s just American culture. Root for the bad guy. The mafia thing. The family. Loyalty and stuff like that. It’s just part of our culture here in this country. On the first track of The Mafia mixtape, its host Superstar Jay describes The Mafia as a lifestyle. How does this mixtape depict that lifestyle differently than it has been before on screen or on wax?

Mouse: The lifestyle that you see on screen of the mob and The Mafia is a whole different lifestyle. This is more urban. This is more relating to our culture.

Maino: To expound on what Mouse is saying, this is our version of our family. This is not an Italian thing. This is not a Greek thing. This is our outlook on brotherhood.

[youtube] What song on this project came together the easiest? Why is that?

Maino: I think all the songs really flow. Let’s take “Waddup Son,” that’s probably the most popular song right now off the tape. I started working on the hook, and it just flowed. I gave it to Mouse and gave it to Push. Luck heard it. Nobody went against the concept of it, and we kind of did the whole project like that.

Another one of my favorite [records] is called “God’s Plan.” We’re talking from a more inspirational background. Everything just flowed. In this digital age, there are so many mixtapes available. Why should listeners download yours next before anyone else’s?

Maino: Because it’s the best. Great music gonna speak for itself. Great music is gonna sell itself. Is there a mob movie that you feel gets it totally wrong?

Mouse: I can’t even say who got it totally right because I wasn’t in that era.

Push: When I watch Goodfellas, it’s a true story, and they didn’t get it totally wrong, but I always turn it off when Henry Hill goes to jail. That’s when he starts f*cking up and f*cking with the drugs. And starts being a degenerate. Then he snitched at the end. I never watch Goodfellas to the end of the movie. In the spirit of Maino’s Hustle Hard imprint and The Mafia mixtape, to paraphrase Jay-Z’s lyric, ‘are you more Frank Lucas than Ludacris?’ Why?

Push: I’m more Ludacris. But we’re at a point where we’re artists. We’re not just wild gangsters. We want to be able to put out this good music that we do. Maino sold millions of records. If he were just some mobster like people saying he is, he wouldn’t be able to do that. There’s an intelligence factor that they leave out. It is a gift that we all share that we can make our music. Maino, people seemed to like you and Lil Kim as a couple. What exactly happened there?

Maino: [Everybody laughs] Nah, man. Listen, man, it’s all about that Mafia. That’s it. That’s what it is, It’s about that Hustlehard Mouse. It’s about that Push, that Twigg Martin, that Lucky Don. That’s my comment right there.