Not many artists are willing to share the spotlight with their assembled crew before (or even after) they properly establish themselves in the market place. That’s not the case for Bed-Stuy Brooklyn product Maino. Though he’s already created a lane of his own—he’ll be quick to tell you, “Never did I say I was the illest on the mic/I only ever said I was the realest nigga right?”—as a platinum-selling artist (“All The Above”), with two championed solo albums under his belt (If Tomorrow Comes… and The Day After Tomorrow), as well as a slew of street-approved mixtapes, Maino still has mountains to climb in his career. He’s aware of that, too. “I still got a lot of things that I want to establish as a solo artist,” he tells XXL on a mid-October afternoon on the eve of a project that clearly hits closer to home than his previous solo releases. “But you know what? This helps me,” he continues, motioning towards the four-man set surrounding him atXXL’s Manhattan offices. Push!, Hustle Hard Mouse (Don’t forget the Hustle Hard), Lucky Don and Twigg Martin all make up Maino’s new collective, who go by the name: The Mafia.