Interview With Maine The Medicine & "Live From The Catacomb" Video
I had the pleasure of linking up with Maine The Medicine to chop it up about his forthcoming solo album titled “B.U.T.C.H” (Built Under The Culture’s Hands). Fans can expect the LP to drop August 6th on all major platforms.
MJ: Your new album B.U.T.C.H. (Built Under The Culture’s Hands) debuts everywhere August 6th. After listening to the album, I think it’s fair to state this is by far the most superior of album releases. Can you go into detail about the correlation between the title of the album and MAINE as an artist?
Maine: The title B.U.T.C.H is in honor of my father who for the last two years has been through so much, from dialysis to both legs being amputated, and not knowing what his day to day would look like. I know there were times he wanted to give up, but he hung in there and kept fighting. Witnessing that I wanted to show my father the ultimate respect and name the album after him, plus he was the first one to introduce me to Hip-Hop. My first two records he bought for me were Kurtis Blow and New Edition. Between my father and cousins Sudan and Barkin from Queensbridge, and my uncle Stevie, a Latin percussionist who played with Luther Vandross for 20 years… I was raised under music. That’s where ‘built under the culture’s hand’ derives from. To a fault Hip-Hop consumes my entire life from the way I think, dress, and talk. All I ever wanted to do was rap. Even now at the age of 42 all I want to do is rap and let the world hear my music.
MJ: This 22-track LP epitomizes the essence of Hip-Hop and upon release will potentially push the culture to the forefront. Talk about everything that went into creating this album. It’s evident this was a skilled mastery in the making.
Maine: I went into this album with the mindset of curating something personal and special. I wanted to give the fans that gritty Maine with the punches, but also give them a candid look into my life and some of the things I have been going through. Music is truly the best therapy whether your writing or listening to it. I want my album to show great lyricism and storytelling, and to give the younger generation a reason to appreciate our culture; learn from it instead of rebelling against it. I carefully handpicked people who I knew were Hip-Hop fans to express their love for the culture and who or what made them fall in love with it… Although I hate to sound cliché, this album takes you on a journey.
MJ: The production embodies the perfect blend of soulful undertones, gritty mixes, and of course that classic boom bap heavy bass. That arrangement intensifies your clever wordplay and rhyme schemes. Tell us about that emcee and production chemistry.
Maine: Going into the album I knew I wanted a certain feel and vibe to the album. That boom bap and soulful feel has always been my sound. I knew with this being my solo project I had to go back to that sound. I must give a huge shout to my big homie U.G for pushing to do another solo project, “Maine when you gonna work on that project, I’m waiting for you lil bro, I got you.” He started crafting some heat for me and flawlessly fell in line with the sound I wanted. Then he jumped on the “M.A.I.N.E” track and the ball started rolling. Native Seals was also a major influence to push this solo project. My second single “Let Me Love” featuring Ty Soul is one of the many gems I got from Native. Of course, I needed to include production from my 20-year crew I.M.F Catacombs with Willy Sully and Da Leadgeon. They know my style and right off the bat they went in without me having to say anything and created 5 joints on the album. I also was blessed to have production from Father Focus Confusous, Jlstudios, Big City, and Know- it.
MJ: It was difficult to pinpoint album favorites, as each track flawlessly transcends into the next track. However, “MAINE” did stand out for a couple of reasons. In the industry there’s a craze that after a certain age rhyming should be left for resumes so the younger generation can shine. The issue with that is there’s a fair number of young artists who are not ‘built under the culture’s hand’, not willing to learn the history of Hip-Hop, and are not creating music for the purpose of longevity. “MAINE” nails that from beginning to end with in your face, stay in your lane lyrics. Share your insight on that track.
Maine: That track was produced by U.G and features U.G of the legendary Cella Dwellas. He was so invested in that track. I did a hook for it, but he wanted to take it up a notch. So now that track is on steroids especially once he jumped on it. Honestly, I was becoming frustrated with the lack of effort in the verses I here now a days, rapping over the vocals, and following the hottest trend. Once I heard the beat, I just unleashed that frustration. The hook defines me and what I’m about, which is a product of my era who was ‘built under the culture’s hand’… Some of my personal favorite tracks are “Never Fails”, “Dedication”, “I’m Trying”, and “let me love you” just to name a few.
MJ: Take this time to share with fans and listeners anything else they can expect from “B.U.T.C.H”
Maine: Aw man I want the fans to know I put so much thought, effort, and heart into this project. I want them to see how much I have grown as an artist, and that I will continue to push myself to be creative and not become stagnant. I’m also coming out with a solo EP produced by my catacombs team, an I.M.F EP is also in the works, a Mercy Gang album, Maine and Ty Soul EP, CBC 2, and a couple of other projects are in the works… I’m 42 I need to keep making music while I can because tomorrow is not promised. I want to give a special s/o and respect to the artists featured on the album including U.G, Suspect, Elz Sinatra, Ren Thomas, my B.O.B brothers Holla Da Scholar and Mercy, Will Sully, Paulie, Da Leadgeon, Lambo Lo, Ty soul, Amanda Rogan, Jay Preston, Dan Schultz, James Ebron, Vision, Bomber The Monsta, and DJ TMB. It was truly an honor to work with all these amazing artists.
Here’s a sneak peek into what’s to come. Watch the official video for “Live From The Catacomb” off the forthcoming “B.U.T.C.H” album.