Diggin In The Crates: Mannie Fresh

Mannie Fresh is one of the greatest producers in hip hop history. He started back in the 80s with MC Gregory D as they worked their way through New Orleans' bounce heavy scene, before he aligned with Cash Money Records. He was the true heart of the Cash Money Records movement, producing 98% of the albums that came from the early 90s all the way through 2005. His catalog is impeccable and today we will take a look at some of his best beats and pay homage to a legend. It's BEAUTIFULLLLLLLL(I had to).

*B-32- I Need A Bag Of Dope

-This song is quite possibly one of the most hilarious songs I've ever heard, but despite the obvious message behind the lyrics, the beat is booming with a nice riding feel to it. A younger Birdman speaks about his drug of choice over a smooth Mannie Fresh beat.

*B.G.- Down For My Stacks(feat E. Vicious and Mr. Ivan)

-Released on the B.G.'z debut album "True Story" in 1995, this track features what would eventually become the late 90s signature Cash Money sound. Solid drums atop a slick keyboard groove with bumping bass to accompany it.

*Pimp Daddy- Who Got The Birds(featuring Big Tymers, B.G., Lil Ya)

-Released on Pimp Daddy's 1996 "Pimpin Ain't E-Z" album, this beat was melodic, smooth and almost soulful. Fresh hits them with a slower tempo style, letting the beat ride.

*B.G.- Hot Boys 226 (featuring UNLV, Juvenile, and Lil Wayne)

-Released on B.G.'s "Its All On U Vol. 2" album, this track is tough. Each MC uses Fresh's smooth yet drum heavy track to talk their shit and the end result is great.

*Juvenile- Money On The Couch

-One of my all time favorite Juve tracks and Fresh beats, this song tends to get overlooked, but both Juve and Fresh murdered this one.

*Big Tymers- Try'n Make A Million(featuring Juvenile)

-Released on their 1998 "How You Luv That" album, this track feels a bit menacing due to Fresh's sinister keyboard work. Fresh did his thing on this entire album, this one in particular is just a bit slept on.

*Hot Boys- Respect My Mind

-Released on the "Guerrilla Warfare" album in 1999, Fresh with some beyond dope work on the keyboard with the hardest drums possible. Every MC coasts on this track as well, but the real star here is Fresh with this sick production.

*Juvenile- Guerrilla(featuring B.G.)

-Tha G Code is a classic and I personally feel that it is Juve's best album. This song is the final track on there and it closes out the album perfectly with a catchy menacing hook backed by Fresh's slow, creep up on them at night production work here.

*The Notorious B.I.G.- Hope You Niggas Sleep(featuring Hot Boys and Big Tymers)

-This album "Born Again" catches a lot of flack and with good reason, but this song is a classic. Biggie easily fit well over this hard knocking Fresh track, and B.G. personally steals the show on the mic here. Fresh outdid himself with this one.

*Lil Wayne- Shine(featuring Hot Boys)

-During this period, the Cash Money reign was slowly starting to fall heading into 2001, but on Wayne's "Lights Out" album, we got one of Fresh's most simple yet iconic beats. The melody was reminiscent of some Nickelodeon theme with a very simple drum pattern, but it worked perfectly. Fresh proved that even his most simple work can beat your best.

*Turk- Growing Up(featuring Mickey and Christina)

-Turk's first solo album is slept on. Fresh's production on this album was amazing and this track proves it. This beat was reminiscent of something Mike Dean would have crafted for Scarface perhaps, with a bluesy melody accompanied by some smooth knock drums.

*Lil Wayne- Young'n Blues

-I personally hate this 500 Degreez album, but this song here was great. Fresh's production was smooth, melodic and bordering soulful. The signature sound of Cash Money was beginning to evolve.

*Juvenile- Bounce Back(featuring Baby/Birdman)

-The signature sound had definitely evolved, and this track remains one of my favorite Fresh beats as a crisp sample along with a bouncy drum pattern carried Juve's 2003-2004 comeback.

*Lil Wayne- B.M. JR.

-Tha Carter 1 is a classic album, or at least a debatable classic. Fresh put some of his best work on here, with this track being one of the best, if not the best song on the album. Fresh gives Wayne a murderous beat and Wayne definitely does it justice.

*Mannie Fresh- Wayne's Takeover 1(featuring Lil Wayne)

-Fresh had been on a roll in 2003 and 2004, switching up his style of production, and this was no different. This is one of my favorite all time Fresh beats as he once again gives Wayne an epic beat to float on. Wayne does it justice here as well.

*Pimp C- Cheat On Yo Man(featuring Suga and Mannie Fresh)

-Released on Pimp's 2006 "Pimpalation" album, this track was a trunk rattler, as well as something you could get your two step on to. Fresh with the bouncing drums and smooth melody wins every time.

*Juvenile- Bad Guy

-Every time Juve and Fresh work together, its an instant winner. This track continues that formula on Juve's 2012 "Rejuvenation" album. Nothing but dopeness.

With over 25 years in this game, Mannie is one of the greatest ever. His catalog is so extensive, and might be one of the largest ever. It would be impossible to give you every amazing beat that Fresh has done, but here I just decided to look at some of his best and a few of his underrated beats. He hasn't been as active lately, but with rumors buzzing on a Hot Boys reunion yet again, along with other projects ready, we could see a huge Mannie Fresh resurgence soon. We here at TEAM DAR would welcome that with open arms.



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