It would be a tragedy to do a write-up on Marino Maali and not mention his verse on “Trouble Makers” off Dirty Sneakers (a 2009 release from Miami’s J.NIC$). A personal favorite when it comes to South Florida references, Marino Maali went on to spit, “Mami got coke in her nose, she’s a pretty white girl from Coconut Grove.” Odd enough, those words stuck in for a listener who was finally becoming knowledgable about the scene happening right here in the city.
As nostalgia fades in and out, here we are in 2013 with the release of Loud & Proud, a defining project for an artist that deserves much praise. “Watch Me Grow” is a decent start to those unaware of Marino Maali, featuring a short snippet that explains exactly how he got the stage name (SPOILER: It was all a dream). It’s been a while since we’ve seen an Intro that acts as the ‘meat and bones’ of a tape, and not simply a filler or throwaway. The top half of Loud & Proud is expressive and knocks harder than usual (the production on Hard Grind caught my ears instantly).
Marino Maali and West Palm native Sean Buck are worth mentioning all on their own, especially for the excellent chemistry the two have together. “Call Us Back” was perhaps the most polished effort between the two. Lil Champ FWAY pops up and makes a guest appearance, proving a point to all those who dare question his work ethic. Marino Maali crafted an enjoyable project, and hopefully South Florida takes the time to dish out some support. Download Loud & Proud right down below.