Last week I was watching the video for Maino’s “Million Bucks,” which had just leaked to the internets, and it occurred to me that I had yet to hear the song on KMEL, the only real hip-hop station left in the Bay since 94.9 became a “party station” (since when is “party” a genre??) Now, I’m sure this record is getting played on Hot 97, and I suppose one could view its absence out here as a regional thing. I mean, I doubt Funkmaster Flex goes out of his way to drop the bomb on new E-40 singles. However, it’s not like KMEL exclusively plays Bay Area artists—far from it. So why wouldn’t they play Maino? After all, dude is the first new rapper to come out of NY on a major in a long time, and he also has an incredible backstory, having spent ten years in prison before beginning his music career in 2003. So why did even his massive hit “All of the Above” only get middling airplay out here?
Maybe ’cause he’s not from the South.
To illustrate what I’m getting at, consider this: During the short time I spent driving today–while listening to the radio–I heard songs by Bun B, Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, Dorrough Music, and, alas, this moron. Not a single song from the East Coast, and only one from the Bay (which, to be fair, didn’t make it any less terrible.) Almost every single joint was from the South. Now I have no problem with southern rap, but the fact is I don’t live in Atlanta or Houston, and my radio station should reflect that. I’m not asking KMEL to play Messy Marv and Yukmouth 24/7 (I don’t think I could take it) but they could at least spread the love a little, playing artists from all of California, the Midwest, and yes, the East Coast. For example, I know the new Fabolous singles are trash, but there’s no excuse not to play them when you’re playing “Ice Cream Paint Job” on the fucking hour. The man is on Def Jam, for God’s sake. And what is the excuse for not playing any of the new Red and Meth, not even once? When the first Blackout dropped, “Da Rockwilder” got plenty of spins. But I guess you know better than us what we want to hear: Plies. As much Plies as possible, please.
Give me a fucking break.
Anyway (takes deep, calming breath), this Maino record is kind of hot, and it boasts probably the best beat of Swizzy’s career. Who knew altruism could be so catchy?