Very rare video and surrealistic... enjoy fam!
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Make your voice heard and vote now for whom you think should be on the XXL Freshmen list.
The winner will be revealed on the April cover.
But it wasn't until his sophomore studio album, R&B/Hip-Hop Album No. 2, "400 Degreez," that made people take Cash Money seriously. One track from the album that shined through was Juve's anthemic Hot 100 top 20, "Back That Azz Up," which Young Money member, Drake revamps on "Practice," off "Take Care."
After remaining under the radar for most of 2011, the former Cash Money rapper returns to the game with his ninth studio LP, "Rejuvenation," on Dec. 13. Fans got caught up in a nostalgic trance when Juve's first single "Power," featuring Rick Ross and produced by Mannie Fresh, dropped, showcasing a vintage 'Nawlins flow many had forgotten. During rehearsals before his hometown show, The Juice pulled the seasoned MC away for an update on the forthcoming album, working with Drake and a Hot Boys reunion.
"Power" really turned a lot of heads when it hit the 'net.
I appreciate that man, thank you. That's Mannie, he's a master mind. It's a pleasure to have Mannie Fresh on the team. Sometimes he makes tracks that lead the way for me and this is one of them.
Whose idea was it to sample Snap's "Power"?
That was Manny's idea. A lot of cats hate on me for that but that was a classic. It's kind of amazing the way he took that from there and made it like this. I needed something to send to Rick Ross. That was something that he referenced to me.
A lot of your fans didn't really know the status of your relationship with Mannie.
You know what it was? We'd been bumping heads here and there, doing shows together but we never got a chance to sit down and really get in the studio until now. I'm glad that same man is now 85% on my new album. I think he was chillin' in Houston and I was chillin' in New Orleans and we [were] just doing two different things. I don't think of it as in "separate ways" or like that.
Was it your idea to get Rick Ross on "Power"?
I'm just a fan. I like real, real hip-hop - -when cats really rap, really rhyme and really put words together. I think he's one of them. Ross is in my top five best MCs [out] right now.
Who are the other four?
Right now: Ross, Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye [West], T.I.... that would round out my top five. There's not a lot of other cats [that] I put on that pedestal.
What does your upcoming album, "Rejuvenation," mean to you?
When you've been in this as long as I have, it's kind of hard to be observant you know. I'm not really judging albums like that. What I can say is that it's a real grown album. It's me being myself. I'm not trying to be anyone else. You know me, I'm a cat who's going be as creative as possible.
Are there any other big features on it that we can look forward to?
Drake, it's kind of a more flavorful thing. You know what's funny about that, I never heard the track. I actually went in blind and trusted Mannie. It's more like Drake going to do something and I'm gonna follow him on the song. There are other cats I've worked with like Lloyd, and Trey Songz, that's my guy. Before his career took off I did songs with Trey Songz.
The original Cash Money members have to be involved.
I'd have to get BG, Turk, Wayne and it would have to be like that.
"400 Degreez" was my album but it wasn't just me, it was all of us.
Yeah, I think he killed his version. His version is more like an R&B song and my song is more like a club record. I think he was creative in taking it somewhere else. I ain't necessarily think he was going make the song exactly like me. It's like R&B with a rap twist.
Speaking of that record, have you ever thought about making a "400 Degreez Pt. II"?
You know what? I was waiting on Universal to come to the table [with] that one. We were talking about it last year. I don't want be the person to go and mess with something that's a classic and not do it justice. The original Cash Money members have to be involved. I'd have to get BG, Turk, Wayne and it would have to be like that. "400 Degreez" was my album but it wasn't just me, it was all of us. It was always a group effort.
It really showed people the struggle going on in Magnolia...
I don't think New Orleans thought that our music could have an impact on the way [of] life. When you're making music you're not trying to think that. You're tying to make some good songs. You're so hungry that you're trying to make a song that's overwhelming so that everybody likes you. That's what it's about. If you can convince people to love your hood and see the way you live and they become interested in the way you live, then you're doing something right.
What are the chances of a Hot Boys reunion?
I would love to do a Hot Boys reunion record. I talk to Baby here and there but it never comes up in the conversation. It's more like, 'How you doing? Is everything okay with you?' We never talk about that. It bothers me like it bothers everybody else. I would love to get a record out there for all the people that never knew anything about the Hot Boys; so they could hear how we sound. [But] It's out of my control.
With a record catalog long enough to fill an encyclopedia, Mannie Fresh has basically been the sound of New Orleans hip hop for the past 25 years: producing hits for Nola staples like Lil Wayne, Juvenile, BG, Big Tymers, and bounce queen Cheeky Blakk among others.
In addition, his marching drum snare rolls and 808-heavy production trademarks have been picked up on and incorporated in the dirty south canon at large. In this lecture, hosted by Cocaineblunts' Andrew Noz, he touches on everything from his humble beginnings with local MC, Gregory D, to the Cash Money heydays, and his more recent approach to DJing
XXLMag.com: Drake’s album leaked a couple days ago and he covers “Back That Azz Up.” Have you heard that yet?
Juvenile: Yeah, the crazy part is we still trying to get the business part together on that. But yeah, man, I’m aware of the record. I’m saddened that the record got leaked, but you know Drake’s a good guy. I’m just glad that there’s someone out there that appreciates my music and it’s not forgotten about. So I think it was a great thing. I just didn’t wanna see the album get leaked, though. That kind of hurt.
When did you first hear that record?
Maybe about a month ago. Universal reached out to me. We started going through the clearance process and stuff like that and when I heard it I was impressed because I really thought that “Back That Azz Up” was a hard song to remake and the fact that he took it somewhere else, I think it was big. I like that.
Word. Were you surprised to hear it as an R&B song?
Well, you know what, the record could be used a whole bunch of ways. It all depends on who the person is that does the remix. But I’m kind of flattered that it was Drake and that it’s an R&B song. I never pictured it to be used that way but he did a great job with it, man. And I’m quite sure that New Orleans, the people down here, are gonna do our own New Orleans remix version of it, so we’ll have another version that sound more like a bounce sound to it.
Did Drake ever reach out to you personally to do the song?
No, no, no. We know mutual folks and that’s how it went about. Nah, [but] that’s what’s kind of more flattering, somebody would like my music that much on his scale right now to remake one of my records. So I like that even more that he didn’t know me. And you know, in the future we gonna get to know each other.
A couple weeks back you told us that Drake is gonna appear on your new studio album.
That’s what we was doing. We was negotiating on this particular song and him appearing on my album.
Have you recorded that song yet?
Nah, dude’s been kind of busy with this project. You know he got that deadline, so I understand what’s been going on and he got a whole lot of people trying to do features before his album come out. My album is later than his.
So I’m pretty surprised nobody from that camp reached out to you, like Baby didn’t hit you up?
Nah, and I talk to Baby. I don’t know. I think Drake and .40 pretty much put the album together themselves. I don’t know what the process is over there ’cause I don’t be around them all the time. But I still have contact with Baby and them.Switching topics, I know you are working on your new album now with Mannie Fresh. We’re lovin’ that “Power” joint. That beat is crazy. Do all of the beats have that feel or is it more of an old school Juvie and Mannie sound?
That was 10-12 years ago, man. Not only has the music industry changed, our lives changed. I try to give people music to relate to, where I’m at in life, and that’s what this album is basically about. I got a lot of stuff, man. I’m covering a lot of ground on this one.
It’s been a minute since people heard you. What have you been up to?
Well, you know the kids done got a little older now, so it’s at the stage where daddy gotta be around a little bit more than he used to be. Like they say, don’t make ’em if you not gonna take care of them right. My responsibility at home overwhelms me a little bit, but the good thing is I’m back making music. I got my own little personal studio down here in New Orleans so I’m always doing music—me, Skip and Wacko, we back in the studio together. We have another project that’s a follow up behind my [forthcoming] album. So we got a few things comin’ for this year and the next and I don’t plan on leaving for a minute. You know I don’t plan on leaving for a two-year or three-year stretch. I plan on being around dropping like two or three albums or mixtapes or what have you every year.
That’s good ’cause hip-hop missed you, man.
I love it. Sometimes it’s good to be missed ’cause you don’t know how much people miss you until you pop back up. They like ‘damn where you been?
Definitely. So I know along with you, Mannie is also working with Mystikal. There was that YouTube clip that popped up with you guys freestyling in the studio. Are you and Mystikal also working together?
Yeah, man. Matter of fact, we getting ready to do a mixtape right now.
Really? That’s dope. So you and Mystikal are working on a joint mixtape together, what are you gonna call it?
Well, it’s gonna be me. Mystikal, Wacko and Skip. We don’t have a title we just gonna start recording the songs and I guess then we gonna have a title and let one of these DJs come up with a title for us, or Mannie might come up with a title.
And Mannie’s doing all the beats on that one?
I already got some of the beats. They’re bananas! Mystical is [also] on his shit right now.
Cool, so what about your album? Who have you worked with on it so far besides Mannie and I’m assuming Mystikal?
I’m waiting for a hook back from Lloyd right now; Bun B—that’s like basically it, man. Rick Ross and the Drake record and that’s basically it right now. I’m just getting my feet wet. You can’t expect me to have everybody on my album right now ’cause I been away for a minute but gradually as I work back in like I was I will have more songs ’cause I know that’s what’s happening right now everyone wanna hear they favorite artist with another artist and see how the song sounds together. I’m open to do songs with everybody, including Cash Money. I don’t want people thinking [there’s] something going on [between us]. We cool.
Speaking of which, what do you think of the new Young Money/Cash Money artists right now?
Amazing. Amazing. I’m impressed. You know they reigning. I put them at the top of the game and I put Ross at the top of the game too. I think they giving the industry what the industry really wanted, and what the industry needed and they filling that void right now. And they making good music and that’s what its really about so, I mean so if you not making good music, what you doing this for?
What do you think of Tha Carter IV?
I got all of Wayne’s albums. Wayne can make 1,000 albums, I’ma always feel like I’m a part of what he doing and he a part of what I’m doing. You know we started together so it’s always gonna be like that. We never had a friction. Everything between me and Cash Money was always business.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Jesse Gissen @JesseXXL
The 2nd annual NOLA Underground Hip Hop Awards show was held this past Saturday, Ocotober 8, at the House of Blues. Everyone showed up and showed out.
Here is a full list of the winners:
Hottest Male of the Year
Hottest Female of the Year
Hottest New Artist of the Year
Hottest Group of the Year
Da U Boys
Hottest Lyricist of the Year
Hottest Producer of the Year
Hottest Club DJ of the Year
Hottest Mix DJ of the Year
DJ Black N Mild
Hottest EP of the Year
Nesby Phips – The 3rd Side
Hottest Street Album of the Year
Dee-1 – I Hope They Hear Me, Vol. 2
Hottest Album of the Year
Lyrikill – More Heart, More Sole
Hottest Mixtape of the Year
Dappa – F-ck Outta Here
Hottest Collaboration of the Year
8-9 Boyz ft Kidd Kidd, Kango & Big Freedia – “More Than Friends”
Hottest Song of the Year
Dee-1 – “Blue”
Hottest Female Vocalist of the Year
Hottest Male Vocalist of the Year
Hottest Videographer of the Year
Hottest Video of the Year
3D NaTee – Switch – (Dir. 3D NaTee)
Hustler of the Year
Hottest Blog of the Year
Hottest Bounce Artist of the Year
Hottest Original Bounce Song of the Year
N.O. Meazy – “Cut Like Ya Ugly”
Congrats to all of the winners!
There aren’t too many artists who have their name stamped on records from 1987 who can still claim “active” status in the 2011 Hip Hop scene, but Mannie Fresh has mastered the art of making his Bounce-based brand of Hip Hop sound contemporary in any era. From his early work providing the sonic foundation for the rhymes of New Orleans Rap pioneer Gregory D to his impressive tenure with Cash Money Records from 1993 to 2005, in which time he created the sound-beds to some of the most important songs in southern Hip Hop history, Fresh has lived up to his name and kept his sound from ever sounding stale.
But a half-decade removed from the last time he dominated the charts with creations for T.I., Young Jeezy, and both Baby and Lil Wayne (before splitting from CMR’s then last-men-standing due to reported royalty disputes), Mannie is growing impatient with waiting on both veteran and rookie artists to help him help them bring southern Hip Hop back to a position of respect within the culture (and not the derivative caricature that artists of all regions have adopted in recent years as their interpretation of what they think southern Hip Hop sounds and looks like).
And it was with an air of frustration, yet hopeful optimism, that Mannie Fresh spoke to HipHopDX for one of the most revealing conversations of the deejay/producer/rapper’s quarter-century long career. The man for whom Lil Wayne proudly declared “that’s my deejay” in 2004 revealed his standing seven years later with the spitter he helped groom for superstardom. Cash Money’s original aural architect also broke down some surprising New Orleans Hip Hop history, including the controversial origins of Master P’s “Bout It” breakthrough. During some of the most blunt commentary he has ever offered, Fresh additionally explained why he and Young Jeezy “bump heads,” why the reported Hot Boys reunion was “just a ploy,” and why working with Mystikal for the firey spitter’s much-anticipated comeback “is like pulling teeth.”
HipHopDX: I just wanna start off by noting that 10 years later the track for “Still Fly” still amazes me – that breakdown towards the end when you flip the Schoolly D, “Lookin’ at my Gucci,” line still sends shivers down my spine. [Laughs]
Mannie Fresh: Fa Sho. [Laughs] Thank you, dude. That’s alright. Shit, I’m glad it got that effect 10 years later.
DX: So is that the one, is “Still Fly” #1 in the Mannie Fresh production discography?
Mannie Fresh: Nah, man! I haven’t done #1 yet, believe it or not. I’m waiting for Hip Hop to come back. It’s in a crazy state right now. So, to me, I haven’t done #1 yet.
DX: [Laughs] Well, it may not have been an orgasm, but please tell me Mystikal recorded to that one organ-driven track you played for him in your car – that one with the Al Green vocal sample on it.
Mannie Fresh: Truthfully, bruh, this is it. Like, to record with [Mystikal] is like pulling teeth. He’s a super talented dude, but you can’t get him to stand still for nothing. So it’s kind of been a hard process with me and Mystikal. But I know it’s gonna happen. And I know he gotta feed his family so he kind of all over the place doing shows. But, you know … it’s gonna happen, that’s all I can tell you.
DX: Can you tell me if y’all actually finished any songs?
Mannie Fresh: Yeah, we got some songs that’s finished. We got like a couple of songs that’s finished. But, to me, they not single-driven songs, they just good songs. I’m looking for that excellent song where I’m like, “I know that’s the one.”
DX: So can you let the HipHopDX readers know if you think you guys are gonna get it in again or if it’s sort of on - ?
Mannie Fresh: Oh yeah, we get it in. When time permits, whenever we in the same place, we definitely get it in. Like the thing that just happened, the little cipher with all of us together [that was videotaped]. So, we get it in, it’s more of … I’m a studio dude. I stay there 24 hours a day. But, it’s kind of like when you got somebody who like, “I got three hours,” and I’m like, “Dude, we actually need to build this song.” And the thing of it is, by Mystikal coming home [after being incarcerated since 2003], he kind of got on to the new age of how records are made. And I’m like, “I don’t work like that. I’m really not nobody who gonna send you a beat. I want my beat to complement what you saying.”
DX: Damn, this is just a little disappointing to hear ‘cause I thought like it’s about to be a Mannie Fresh-produced Mystikal album ….
Mannie Fresh: Well, like I’m saying, we have a gang of songs … but we need to sit down and stop [wasting time]. It’s one of them things where [we’re] gonna have to say like, “Hey dude, I’ma take off two weeks, you gonna take off two weeks, and let’s grind it out.” And the only reason why I’m saying this to you is because I really want him to hear it [from the fans], where it’s like, okay, now you got me on your back and you got the fans on your back.
DX: Yeah, it’s already been too long, you can’t wait any longer.
Mannie Fresh: That’s exactly what I mean
DX: Let’s take it back a bit real quick. Break down for the HipHopDX readers your history with Mystikal. ‘Cause a lot of folks mistakenly think because he ended up on No Limit [Records] and you was on Cash Money [Records] that meant y’all didn’t mess with each other.
Mannie Fresh: Nah! The crazy thing is everybody that was artists from Cash Money [Records] to No Limit [Records] knew each other. We grew up in the same circle of doing music. … The two heads of those labels was the people that was beefin’. The artists were never beefin’. But it was just that ‘cause that was your side you had to go with your side. Shit, I been knowing Mystikal before he even made his first record.
DX: Yeah, I didn’t know till Juvenile told me last year that he’s the one who actually took Mystikal to Precise, who signed him to Big Boy [Records].
Mannie Fresh: Yeah. But he had a deal before that – Well, he ain’t have a deal, he had a local record out before that with the dude [KLC]. And KL seen it. Me and KL deejayed in the same club when we was young. And, Mystikal used to hang around the spot. And he just had this style – what he’s doing now – that was like, “Wow. Damn, that’s it! That’s something nobody never heard of.” So the first song that he got put on, it was more of KL hooked him up. Because, KL was the dude who was like, “Man, y’all listen to this dude, pay attention to him.”
DX: I didn’t know you and KL was in a – like, you deejayed together, that’s crazy.
Mannie Fresh: Yeah, we deejayed before either of us was making records. We was deejaying in the same club.
DX: N.O. Hip Hop was crazy interconnected originally. A lot of people don’t know you started your career with another No Limit soldier, Mia X, in a crew called New York Incorporated.
Mannie Fresh: Yeah! Dude, Mac, that was on No Limit, I pretty much raised Mac. He’s in jail right now, but Mac was signed to No Limit. But if you go back and you watch … a video called “I Need Wheels.” Mac was probably ninr, 10-years-old in that video, on his first recordDX: So you produced on his first album, you was down with Mia, so just out of curiosity, how come you didn’t end up on No Limit yourself?