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Chit-Chat: Five Minutes With Maiya The Don

As a former beauty influencer and makeup artist, Maiya The Don is well acquainted with the ethos of “look good, feel good,” a mindset that pairs naturally with her infectious charisma both on screen and in sound. Strutting down the streets of New York, blinged out in designer fits and effortlessly enticing men, it’s not that Maiya demands to be the center of attention; it’s that she’s already earned it.



Quick to turn down broke guys and online haters, the NY rapper is quick to deliver witty one-liners with a bravado that allows her to stay on top of every beat, whether it’s tender 90’s R&B samples or Megan Thee Stallion punches. On the surface, she’s here for a good time, but she’s not going to let her quick successes undermine all the hard work she’s willing to put in. It would be unfair to ignore the technical intricacy she’s practiced persistently in her writing, and it’s hard to miss. Her compelling blend of brash tones and menacing hooks like “Diamonds super blue the Hugh on Hefner / Like Griselda shooters on a Vespa / Doors up, pull off in a Tesla” in “Into Myself” is a self-taught narrative that she’s developed over time, there’s a consistency in her discography that lends itself to an artist who’s here to stay.


Her most recent project, Hot Commodity, positions her in a space where she’s proved she's capable of leading the current landscape of female hip-hop artists on the rise, and she’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon. On a sunny day in West Los Angeles, before her Rolling Loud set, we got to speak with her about growing up in New York, being a female in the hip-hop space, and new music on the way. 


First of all, you look amazing. I know you started as a makeup artist – do you still do your own makeup for shows and appearances?

I do sometimes do my own makeup; it’s really annoying now because I’m always on the go. It depends. For example, today, I have a makeup artist, but sometimes, you know, on a quick show, I will do my own makeup. However, I actually like to have a makeup artist now!


You mentioned in other interviews wanting to pursue music because you were trying to find a path that felt more fulfilling to you. Now you’re at Rolling Loud; how does it feel to be here in this moment thinking back to the early stages of your music journey? 

Yeah! Actually Rolling Loud Miami last year was my first show ever, and I was really excited 'cause my first time at Rolling Loud was my first show. So now I feel like I’m more seasoned and more excited, and yeah, it’s so awesome to be here this year.


What has changed for you this year now that you’re at your second Rolling Loud, and what feels different?

Well, it’s definitely cooler outside in LA, haha. It’s not as hot, but yeah, I feel more comfortable on stage and have a better feel for what I’m doing now!


You’re in a lane right now that feels super important individually but also as part of a wider community of female hip-hop artists that are dominating the rap game. Who are some other female artists that you’ve been working with and who inspire you? 

All of them. I’m such a huge fan of everybody in the game right now, and everyone is killing it. I just feel like females are at the forefront of music for the first time in a long time, so I feel really good to be a part of this movement alongside females like Latto, Anycia, and Flow. I just wanna go down and say everybody’s name because everybody is putting in the work and putting their feet to the ground and moving shit. And it’s so exciting to be a part of but also to watch. 


Is there something you want to change in music or the culture while you’re moving within this movement of female hip-hop artists? 

I think just changing the narrative of the women being a part of it; I think there are a lot of people out there that think that there are men spoon-feeding women of what they should say or what they should or shouldn’t rap about in the context of their music. And I think it’s gross, we’re here, and we have something to say that’s equally as important,  we’re equally as talented, maybe even a little bit more, so I think something I want to change is the narrative of it all. Making sure we get the respect that we deserve, you know we’ve earned it. 


Speaking of your music, you just dropped your debut album Hot Commodity, which is incredible by the way. I'm a big fan. What is your favorite bar on the album, and what are you most proud of when you look back on that album?

My favorite bar is “I should be handin' out W2s to you hoes / cause y’all bitches stay in my business” cause somebody ALWAYS got something to say about Maiya the Don, Maiya this, Maiya that. And that’s what I have to say to them. 


You’re from Brooklyn, New York, and I hear a lot of old R&B and hip-hop samples in your project. Is that sound something that inspires you and who are some East Coast artists that you look up to or inspire your current sound? 

Absolutely, I think I’m like chronically New York. It’s like, oh my gosh, I’m so New York, and I always feel so inspired being home and just being around all the people that come from where I’m from!


You recently came off tour with Flo Mili at the end of last year.  How was it for you to be able to see your fans responding to your music and what’s one of the biggest things you learned about yourself as an artist after touring?

Amazing. She’s my girl, and she’s just so commanding. I just found a new respect for her as an artist. You know, that’s my friend, and I love her to death, but watching her perform every night, you know, in sixteen cities, was a beautiful experience. It was very humbling, and I was just happy to be a part of it, especially because the first time my song got popping, you know, she was the first to embrace me, and it was just amazing.


What about the tour was humbling for you? 

Yeah just being there, I think it’s really easy to be a good performer when everyone knows your name and knows the words to your song. So, to have to go out there and earn that attention from the audience, it takes a lot. And it taught me a lot that you just have to be on stage to experience to even put into words what that does. Even last year, when I performed at Rolling Loud, people didn’t know me, hopefully this time it’s different, but I know now it’s not discouraging. It’s just an experience performing in front of people who don’t know who I am, and I’m earning it now. 


What’s one song that when you hear it immediately hypes you up and puts you in a good mood?

Anything by Megan Thee Stallion – I was actually listening to "NDA" on the way here!


What’s next for you, and what can listeners expect from you in the next couple of months?

New project this year! New songs, new visuals, prepare to be sick of me this year!

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