Maino has defended NBA YoungBoy from Ja Morant’s gun critics, saying the basketball’s star recent behavior has “nothing to do with Hip Hop.”
Morant was again suspended from playing on the Memphis Grizzlies after another video surfaced of him donning a firearm, this time in a vehicle alongside a friend while blasting NBA YoungBoy’s latest album Don’t Try This At Home. Since then, many critics have come out and accused Hip Hop of influencing Morant’s recent string of behavior, with Ja Rule,Paul Pierce and other influential figures agreeing that rap music plays a role.
In a quick catch-up with TMZ, Maino said he doesn’t agree that rap music should be blamed for poor choices, and that Morant’s antics aren’t correlated with the genre.
“It don’t have nothing to do with NBA YoungBoy it don’t have nothing to do with rap music,” Maino said. “All of us as men, as adults, we have responsibilities and decisions to make. That’s like when keeping it real goes all the way wrong. How real do you need to keep it? You understand? We know you like the music, you come from a culture, but homie truth be told you got way more opportunity than the average person. Don’t throw the opportunity away trying to keep up with what’s going on.”
He continued, “Listen, I just feel like he needs somebody to really, really talk to man. I don’t know if the people he got around him is at a point where they feel like they not living in fear. Because some people be around you and they’re fearful of saying something that you might agree with. He gotta have people around him that don’t care what he got to say, or listen homie you dead in the wrong.
“It’s no reason why you got another gun in the camera. I get it I come from making a lot of mistakes trust me, so I understand, but he not the average person. You got a lot of responsibilities man.”
When asked if he thinks Ja Morant could potentially lose his chance at pro-ball, Maino said that sometimes these big lessons are learned the hard way.
“It’s sad but sometimes we gotta learn the hard way,” he said. “Sometimes we gotta learn the hard way. What else can you say? You already was in this situation. I’m the last person to try to condemn somebody for making mistakes because I’ve made many. But c’mon, it’s not even about being a role model…you have the opportunity to change lives.”
Patrick Beverley was the first to speak about how music may have influenced Morant’s actions, who has since been suspended eight games for flashing a firearm on Instagram Live earlier this month.
“It’s crazy to say this but Charleston White was absolutely correct,” said Beverley on an episode of his podcast last week. “The music we listen to and how that is the new brand. The music say I keep pipe, I do this and I do that. That turns into, ‘I need a pipe.’ A pipe meaning gun.”