Mack Maine: Lil Wayne’s Presidential Homey

“Music can steer you in the wrong way or the right way, and hopefully I steer people in the right way at the end.” – Mack Maine

As a long-standing fixture on the underground scene, Mack Maine has steadily garnered attention in the mainstream, a presidential campaign years in the making. A choice feature on Lil Wayne’s number 1 single, “Got Money,” and fresh off of the first of two rounds on a huge tour with Weezy F, Keyshia Cole, Keri Hilson and Gym Class Heroes, Mack Maine’s is quickly becoming a force in Hip-Hop. He’s the president of Wayne’s Young Money. He helps manage the career of Wayne. A master multi-tasker, Mack’s responsibilities runeth over. Here’s how he runs his administration.

AllHipHop.com: You just came off the widely successful “I Am Music” tour with Lil Wayne, and you performed every night in your own set. What was that like for you?

Mack Maine: It was like a dream come true. Something like a little kid that plays basketball right, and he in his backyard and always dreamed of making that last shot of the game and making the fans go crazy. It felt like that. The way everyone screamed when you come out, it was just some s**t you always dreamed of. To be able to have this opportunity, it’s just unreal. We had fun the whole time, the chemistry was great between all the artists, all the Young Money artists got their shine…it was a beautiful thing.

AllHipHop.com: You were actually the only Young Money artist that performed every night right?

Mack Maine: Yep.

AllHipHop.com: Why’s that?

Mack Maine: Well we didn’t want to have everybody rocking every night because it’s like, Young Money artists, different ones is poppin’ in different regions. So we were switching it up every night and that worked a lot better. Me, I’m kind of like the team captain so, I’d go and do my thing and then I’d bring everybody out.

AllHipHop.com: Young Money has a nice roster going. Who’s everyone on there?

Mack Maine: Young Money is myself, Nicki Minaj, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda, Drake, T Streets, Tyga, Lil Chuckee and Twist. Chuckee and Twist [is] young too, 13 and 15.

AllHipHop.com: The rapper Curren$y was once upon a time on the label, but he left due to frustration that he was never going to come out. Did you ever have the same fears?

Mack Maine: Not at all.

AllHipHop.com: Did you guys stay cool?

Mack Maine: We haven’t spoke in a little minute, but I got love for him. I wish him much success.

“I’m one of the realest to do it. I want to make an impact on peoples’ lives more than anything… After people hear a song, hopefully they go on smiling with their day. Sometimes they may cry…”

AllHipHop.com: You and Wayne have a very close bond. How did that relationship come about, and how did it end up with you being on Young Money?

Mack Maine: That started before music. We started in the neighborhood, we both from Hollygrove [New Orleans]. We been close since Baby and Slim in the Cash Money days, so it’s beyond music. That’s my brother. We had kind of both did our own thing with the music after the Hot Boyz days. I ventured off, had a couple moves that never really went through. He thought I was signed to somebody. Then I eventually had a video that played on BET called Unsigned Hype and Wayne actually happened to see it. He hit me after that like, “Man what you doing? I thought you were signed to somebody! You supposed to be over here!” He got me a flight the very next day, and I been Young Money ever since.

AllHipHop.com: With the release of the new Young Money single, “Every Girl,” should we be expecting a Young Money album?

Mack Maine: Yep! It’s dropping the same day as Rebirth, Wayne’s album. Right now it’s looking like June. So look out for that. The video for “Every Girl” coming soon too…it’ll be out in about two weeks. We shot it in L.A. the same weekend we shot the video for Prom Queen.

AllHipHop.com: You also just recently dropped a mixtape with Don Cannon, “This is Just a Mixtape.”

Mack Maine: Yeah, shout out to Cannon. It’s a great mixtape. It’s better than some people’s albums. I got some nice features on there. Wayne on there, Mistah Fab, Gorilla Zoe, Pleasure P, Rick Ross, I got a track with Mystikal and Soulja Slim, rest in peace. It’s all original beats. Things of all that nature and whatnot. It’s a beast. I’m a beast. Free download so check that out.

AllHipHop.com: The “single” so to speak, was actually released as an experiment on Twitter and it was really successful.

Mack Maine: Yea, it got like 14,000 hits in two nights. It was crazy. Shout out to my dude Moe Arora from Rockstar Branded on that one. Check me out on Twitter too. Www.twitter.com/mackmaine.

AllHipHop.com: Also on that mixtape…you have a song, “Soldiers,” dedicated to the soldiers fighting in the war right now. What inspired you to write that?

Mack Maine: Well as you know I don’t write any of my songs, everything is just off the top. So it’s not like I sat back and heard the beat and was like this one gonna be for all the soldiers. I can’t even lie and say I did that. I think it was something I felt in my spirit, you know? I heard the beat, you know me and the beat…we had a good chemistry, and that’s just what came of it. It actually made me respect the soldiers more after I did it, just listening to it. I think they really get overlooked and I don’t know nobody in hip-hop that ever did a song for the soldiers. You got to let them dudes know we appreciate them. They put they lives on the line for our freedom, so how could you not appreciate somebody that’s basically willing to die for you?

AllHipHop.com: Absolutely. So, you don’t write any of your songs though? They’re all off the top?

Mack Maine: Yep all of them. All of my last mixtapes, “Freestyle 101,” “G-Series (with Curren$y),” “Bitch I’m Mack Maine” and “This is Just a Mixtape”…all off the top. I’m about to start writing again though. I just kind of want to do everything. Some will be written; some will just be written in my head, depends on how I’m feeling at the time.

AllHipHop.com: Well besides your freestyling capabilities, what defines Mack Maine as an artist? What are you about?

Mack Maine: I’m one of the realest to do it. I want to make an impact on peoples’ lives more than anything, you know? Music is supposed to be about feelings, emotions, stuff like that. After people hear a song, hopefully they go on smiling with their day. Sometimes they may cry, some might reminisce, some people may change their lives after hearing a certain song. Music can steer you in the wrong way or the right way, and hopefully I steer people in the right way at the end.

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AllHipHop.com: Aside from rap, you actually have a lot of other ventures going on as well. You’re the President of Young Money now.

Mack Maine: Yeah, it’s been my long time goal to be an executive. Just in general. So it was kind of a natural fit for me. And I feel as though, who could represent artists better than an artist? I know the game…I know how it is, how it feels. So I can use that knowledge on the other side of the table now, and have Young Money do its thing.

AllHipHop.com: You also co-manage Wayne, right?

Mack Maine: Yea, it’s like Tez, he the primary manager. And then I come in and I help with different business ventures too. Like I might take a few meetings, and I handle a lot of day-to-day business with him too. Like right now we’re about to take a trip out of the country real quick to handle something, stuff like that. So that’s my little j.o. as far as that go.

AllHipHop.com: What’s the future looking like for you?

Mack Maine: Bright! I’m about to start my first movie this summer. I was supposed to start after the tour was over, but we going out for another round. So after this one, I’ll be in there by the summer. It’s a gangsta flick. Kush DVD, my DVD series where we do behind the scenes footage and all that…we’ll be back at it soon. Free T-Hilly…that’s my business partner. Make sure you check out my MySpace, www.myspace.com/maine4president…you can download the mixtape there. Young Money coming soon. We about to take over. Mack Maine for president!

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