Maino's Tomorrow Has Arrived
In a year that featured the Beijing Olympic Games and the election of Barack Obama, Maino was the forgotten feel good story of 2008. At the age of 29, after serving a ten-year prison sentence, Maino dropped If Tomorrow Comes... and quickly made the climb to the top of the hip-hop world.
After following up with a series of unsuccessful mix tapes, Maino has returned to the mainstream with The Day After Tomorrow, an equally inspirational sequel to his successful debut. As he did with the original, Maino includes a narrative that develops through the album, reflecting on the last five years of his life and setting up a theme for the next few scenes. Every song is as catchy as the last. Also returning from the debut is Maino’s heavy reliance on repetitive hooks in every song, including the biblical “hands in the air” line performed by Roscoe Dash on “Let It Fly."
Just when it seemed impossible for Maino to release another inspiration song about how he overcame his past and found success, he found a way to make another 15. In a time when hip-hop doesn’t have much to say, these tracks can make anyone feel like they can do anything (or reexamine their life). The Day After Tomorrow manages to give off a spiritual air without an obvious intention to do so.
The release of the album promoted with the release of the singles “Let It Fly” last June and the less successful “That Could Be Us” in October. While these are two of the best songs on the album, they set a misleading tone for the rest. These two upbeat tracks are a total contrast of the others, which have a more subtle way of uplifting spirits.
The album includes a wide range of famous featured artists, like T.I. and Roscoe Dash, and some less known names like Mista Raja and Mouse, all of whom add something distinct to the finished product. Robbie Nova’s amazing and passionate solo on “That Could Be Us” could be enough to launch a successful career.
The Day After Tomorrow takes the risk of straying from the strict rhyme spitting that made If Tomorrow Comes... so successful, incorporating well executed techno aspects into a few songs, most notably “Never Gon Stop” and “Make That Money,” the opening songs. The risk should be well rewarded, as both songs have the potential to be the next hot singles off the album.
If there is one potential complaint, the best way to describe the album interlude is strange. It features the sounds of Maino’s friend walking in on him performing acts of... ill repute. The imagery the scene presents and the overuse of the F word makes this track flat out disgusting.
Maino shows no signs of the sophomore slump, and The Day After Tomorrow should enjoy as much success as his debut, if not more. If you’re looking for something new to pop in the car and cruise through a personal reflection period, this album should be a first choice.