Mannie Fresh: Chubby Boy Keeps It Moving

Mannie Fresh. Producer. DJ. Quiet Icon. The producer and DJ provided the sonic backbone to one of the biggest labels in Hip-Hop, Cash Money Records. These days, Mannie has assembled the skeleton for his own imprint, Chubby Boy Music, which he hopes will help him eventually muscle though the treacherous waters of the recording industry. […]

Mannie Fresh.


DJ. Quiet Icon. The producer and DJ

provided the sonic backbone to one of the biggest labels in Hip-Hop,

Cash Money

Records. These days, Mannie has assembled the skeleton for his own


Chubby Boy Music, which he hopes will help him eventually muscle though


treacherous waters of the recording industry. He’s invested in himself

and a

new group Solefresh, a pair of young White teenagers from his native New

Orleans, among others.

Mannie Fresh, who doesn’t frequently interview,

talked at

length about his legacy with Cash Money, the state of music and the

legacy he

expects of himself moving What’s up, Mannie. What’s good with you? Mannie Fresh: I’m good man, you know, on the grind dude…just trying to get it. I hear that, I hear that. AllHipHop talked to your guys Sole Fresh recently. But you have been a little bit under the radar these days. How you been doing ? Mannie Fresh: I’m good man, I’m good you know. But you gotta take into consideration, it was only six rappers left. (laughs) Yeah six rappers. It’s a different era than back in the day, huh? Mannie Fresh: Yeah that’s what I’m sayin’, so you know. It’s not a pile of work out there no more. Yeah, the magazine game is crazy because, like you said, you can only put a couple of people on the covers to sell magazines… Mannie Fresh: Well you know what I’m talkin’ about then, you know what I’m sayin, there ain’t no break out artist or none of that. Yeah. Mannie Fresh: I’m kinda like when are we gonna get a new generation to do that, we’ve been waiting on it for I don’t know how long. Its like, okay, when is it gonna come? Right, right, are you optimistic or do you feel, uh, or are you pessimistic with the process? Mannie Fresh: Truthfully, I’m both, you know what I’m sayin, cause sometimes I feel like doomed and sometimes I feel like its hope, you feel me? Its really on what side of the bed I wake up on, truthfully if you really wanna know, because I feel like the first person that go left and that take a chance, like you know, they gon’ win. So take a chance, you know, and I guess that kinda means as a company, you gotta take those type of chanced. Absolutely, I mean that’s for sure now and actually the people that are kinda winning a little bit now are those people that take those chances. Mannie Fresh: Exactly. Your musical sounds has always been unique to say the least, so, it hasn’t been where you try to copy off somebody else, I guess it was kind of the opposite Mannie Fresh: Yeah, even the Sole Fresh (Mannie’s new group) you know, they are White kids, they wear skinny jeans and they got their own form of what they do. What I’m telling them is dude, don’t change nothing about y’all. I don’t care how long y’all been around us, whatever you see us doing, don’t start mimicking, do what it is y’all do. What brought you to Sole Fresh? What made you say, these guys are the group? Mannie Fresh: My point is that I just said, these guys are leaders more than followers and when I met them, they didn’t feel out of place. You put the White boys in the crowd with a bunch of Black Hip-Hop heads and they smarty boys with skinny jeans and they colorful. Like “Hey dude, this is what we do, you know we ain’t tryna change nothing for nobody.” On top of that, they had the guts to go out there and do them songs, to not know if we gonna get booed, kicked off stage. Its not a racial thing but if you had to rock a black crowd and you’re a skinny jeans white boy, some kids are gonna have fear. Musically, do you feel it fits in tune with what’s poppin? A lot of Pop Hip-Hop and stuff is doing some actually some really good things, believe it or not, like some of its corny but some of its actually poppin. Mannie Fresh: Well let me say this, Pop Hip-Hop dude, is better than what’s going on with us right now . That’s all I can say. What’s crazy to me and this is not a sell out statement, but I’ve been doing old school sets and my old school sets is starting to cater to White kids and what’s crazy to me is the young White kids, they know the words to all the old school Hip-Hop songs. I’m like dude we’re letting Hip-Hop slip right between our fingers we’re forgetting that. I’ll do a set, I’ll play “Friends” (By Whodini) I’ll play “I’ll Take Your Man” (by Salt-N-Pepa) and they know these songs. They are doing their history on these songs and its kind of crazy. I’m like we’re not doing our homework, we’re not taking care of Hip-Hop. If this is suppose to be our thing, our music, we can care less about what happen, how Hip-Hop got to where it is. We are on, what’s going on now and that is not Hip-Hop, you know Right well that’s called integrity and that’s a good trait to have in the game today because there’s not too many people that feel that way. A lot of people just do whatever can get them a check. Mannie Fresh: And even y’all information, when I did the “Like a Boss” video, I read all of my comments from what people say and the cool thing is, people say it on and the rest of the blogs ‘this is the Mannie Fresh that we like. We know that’s not his best work but at the same token we appreciate that he didn’t do nothing crazy, you didn’t try to do something that a young dude would do’ or they’re like ‘damn dude, I love the beat and loved the rap that you said in it, this is Mannie Fresh’ that right there is confirming to me to stay in your lane, do what you do. Can you speak on what you’ve been up to? A lot of people may or may not know. Mannie Fresh: I’ve just been in the lab dude, truthfully, like I said, I got like 100 songs that can hit right now but I find myself keep erasing them or I just put that to the side and the engineer is asking me ‘what are we going to do with this are we ever going to put it out’ and I’m like ‘dude, I’m just not feeling it’ (laughs) I’m really hand picking the songs that I really want to do and come out with and I feel like the way music is my biggest thing to do is to stay in touch with cats like you and to just keep dropping songs, keep dropping videos. Chubby Boy Music was really like my thing and I kind of just bump in to artist, I don’t even go out and find people, like Sole Fresh just kind of bump into them like ‘come on man’ The title for the EP, Fresh is the Word that’s one of Mantronix songs and that was one of my favorite songs back in the G so I stuck with “Fresh is The Word.” My publishing is “Fresh is The Word.” Okay, that’s was sup. You’ve recently did an interview with a magazine and I think the headline on it was pretty sensational. Mannie Fresh: “Slavery with Cash Money”, and I will say this dude, that was ignorance on the magazine. That was to sell, and if you read the article the interview was nothing about that, they just did that to sell, whatever it is that they do, to keep up mess or whatever. I’m not apologizing for nothing, I made that statement in the interview and out of the whole interview that was what they took out of it. yeah, I feel you, I guess you obviously weren’t misquoted but can you kind of explain the statement itself, what you were saying.? Mannie Fresh: I mean, truthfully it’s basically based on this. I did albums for Cash Money, I didn’t do singles, I did whole albums for Cash Money, and at the end of the day I’m saying I wasn’t paid for albums so its like you’re doing 10 songs and somebody pays you for 1. What would that be equivalent to? I just said hey this is an example of what it would be equivalent to and its no secret that everybody know why I left Cash Money. We’re on speaking terms now but truth be told, yeah it was behind money, everybody know what it was. You say you guys are on speaking terms with Baby, Wayne and them? Like you think you may work with them again or you just keeping it moving? Mannie Fresh: In truth, I will work with them again based on this, if they cut the check. Its not going to be based on just some words but we done talked about that, we done been there and by the grace of God, we ain’t enemies, none of us hate each other but business is business and that was a hard lesson for me to learn. I was in love with doing music, I wasn’t paying attention to my business so I’m not even going to say that was all Cash Money’s fault that was my fault as well but I was a young dude that didn’t know any better. So now that I know better, I’m not going to plug in my scene with out doing business and I got my beats and my paper work right. how do you feel about the evolution of Cash Money with you and after you? Mannie Fresh: Hey, they know how to do it just like anybody else know how to do it but the thing of it is, they all have a label behind them. Its just like okay, if I get a deal everyday and somebody asking me to do the same thing I’m like ‘I cant do the same thing’ and they still had the label behind them that was still willing to say ‘we will spend some money with y’all if y’all go get new artist and y’all do y’all thing.’ but if I get signed to a label and they say, ‘we want you to make a carbon copy of that’ then I’m like ‘dude, I can’t do that’ yeah I feel you on that, and what about Wayne, not to get into a whole big Cash Money discussion but obviously with Wayne we’ve all seen him when he was very young to now and he’s actually incarcerated, do you have any thoughts on that? Mannie Fresh: I mean, I just seen the dude grind, he’s doing his thing, that’s all I can really say and the biggest compliment, not to pat myself on the back but you start from somewhere, you will see you grow into something and you graduated from this school and look at the results. That’s all I can say. But there are times even with him, and this is not a hater statement but I guess it was because of things that were going on, he tried to ex me out of it. You cant ex me out of it, I am apart of your history. Is there any chance we will get to see the Hot Boys get together? That has been age old discussion and I know you were in the Big Tymers but do you think a reunion is possible still? Mannie Fresh: Its possible, I can tell you this, Juvi can tell you this, I don’t know how Wayne feel but BG can tell you this, all that depends on them, cutting the check and that’s the last line of it. If I hire you for something, how do I motive you , if I cut the check, you are going to be ready to go to work, other than that I’m just talking and we can have these meetings every week and talk but if you really want me to come, cut the check. We done already talked about this, we already made amends, everybody is cool but the last thing of it is for real for real, do the business part of it. Bangladesh recently screamed on Wayne and them for not paying them for Lollipop I believe if I’m not mistaken, he recently aired him out quite heavily, it may be now that some things haven’t changed. I don’t know. Mannie Fresh: I would not wish that on nobody because time is going to tell. Either you are a different person or you are still the same person. Hopefully you learn a lesson from the past. If you have you are going to improve on that if not then it’s the same ol’ same with you. (laughs) yeah I was talking to Soul Fresh and they were telling me how you live in Houston now, is that the case man? Mannie Fresh: yeah, right between both but there’s no studios in New Orleans unfortunately we got to record in Houston yeah, obviously that’s all behind the flood and Katrina Mannie Fresh: up until this day they are still rebuilding New Orleans, its not the same but its getting there so for safety reasons I would rather record out there in Houston so that’s what it is. yeah, okay that’s dope. They say you are the ambassador and still the mayor of New Orleans Mannie Fresh: (laughs) are you still looking for talent out there? Mannie Fresh: oh yeah, most definitely I mean as we speaking right now I am in New Orleans and like I told you, right after the Jazz Fest I DJ’ed and what’s crazy is this city just embraces me and its so crazy because its like sometimes I don’t even know what I am doing because I don’t have no records out and I’m like ‘dude what do y’all want me there for’ and they’re like ‘come on man you’re Mannie, we don’t care what you do’ do you have anything coming up, I know you did some work with Jeezy and other artist more recently? Mannie Fresh: Rick Ross just left and I got some remixes I am about to do for Guns & Roses and I’ve been doing video games and music for Sony so you know I got a couple of rabbits in my hat you know, tricks up my sleeve. I’m not just going to lay down and not do nothing. okay well any final words that you want to put out there even your music? Mannie Fresh: I don’t have an album release date but I will definitely stay on top of it with you and let you know what’s going on with me every step of the way even if I reach out and tell you where I’m at but I’m planning on definitely dropping more songs dude even if its free songs even if its get away. I even got a Mixtape, Icon is the company that hooked me up with distribution but I have a mixtape called Free Music and I’m calling it Free Music because I used a bunch of samples on it so the only thing I can do is give it away. But the thing Is I used samples on there that people wouldn’t think to use like I got Darling Nikki on there, Prince songs crazy Cold Train songs. Nobody never thought we would get away with them.