Brooklyn rapper Maino learned to rap so that he could deal with boredom and isolation while imprisoned. After about ten years, he was released and set up an imprint called Hustle Hard. He enjoyed airplay on New York City's Hot 97's and made several mixtape appearances. "Rumors" and "Take It Like a Man" got his name buzzing; Universal signed him in 2005. The deal eventually fell through, but Atlantic picked him up in 2007, and the MC issued the street single "My Life Is Like a Movie" that year. Another track, "Hi Hater," surfaced the following year, prefacing his major-label debut, 2008's If Tomorrow Comes.... ~ Cyril Cordor
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