They can deny him radio spins—at least for now—but they can’t deny his talent.

Who is Andy Mineo? He’s one of only a handful of rappers to reach the #1 spot on iTunes Hip Hop chart without being a household name within the genre. Mineo was also the one wylin’ on MTV Rap Fix. In a cypher hosted by Sway and featuring 360, Emilio Rojas and Bizzy Crook, the Reach Records artist gave us bars like the following:

“Man, back up give me two feet like an ottoman / It’s obvious I’m out of your league like Jackie Robinson / Fake studio thugs be talking ‘bout their llamas when / the only Eagle you seen throwing bullets was Donovan.”

A native of Syracuse, New York, the Italian rapper grew up in a single-parent home. Issues of anger and aggression led to him being kicked out of public school, but he was able to focus all of his energy into music. Mineo and a friend built a studio in his basement. A close inspection of Mineo’s lyrics show that he has wrestled through that anger and bitterness and found a way to provide hope to others.

But make no mistake, this Italian boy gets busy on the mic, too.

That’s how Mineo ended up flowing on the Sway in the Morning Show, and how his latest project hit the #1 spot briefly on the iTunes chart.

After creating a buzz with the Formerly Known and Saturday Morning Car Tunez mixtapes, Mineo dropped his first full-length album Heroes For Sale in April of 2013. The album, which featured the hit “Uno Uno Seis” with Reach Records’ co-founder LeCrae, is Mineo’s attempt to be transparent and honest with his struggles, a stark contrast to the Photoshop-perfect image many rappers try to portray.

Mineo gained even more momentum with the release of his most recent project—the chart-toppingNever Land EP—a six-track project that was documented in a four-part mini-documentary series calledSaturday Morning Car Tunez Season 2.

HipHopDX caught up with Andy and discussed his latest project Never Land, Italians in Hip Hop, his lane in the industry, the struggle to forgive his father, and why he doesn’t get any radio spins.

Andy Mineo Reflects On His Sicilian Heritage & The Term Paisano

HipHopDX: What’s been the response to Never Land?

Andy Mineo: Well, the response to Never Land has been extremely positive all around. From a statistical standpoint, it was the #2 Hip Hop album in the country the week that it dropped. It remained in the top 20 for a little while. It hit #1 on iTunes for a few days overall, and to date, it’s sold about 40,000 units. It’s doing well for having been out for about a month-and-a-half.

The core fans have really loved it, and I think the new fans, or new people who were introduced to it, have become fans.

Read the full interview on

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