Super producer Mannie Fresh dropped some serious gems in part one of HipHopDX’s exclusive interview last week; revealing his plans for a Cash Money/Ruff Ryders reunion tour, speaking about his hopes to help bring Baby and Lil Wayne back together again and opening up about the circumstances in his personal life that led him to veer away from the public eye. In the second and final part the CMB sound architect speaks on his fateful meeting with Dr. Dre, his current relationship with Jay Z, who once tried to sign before Universal squashed the deal, the perceived rivalry with No Limit when both New Orleans-based labels were vying for the crown and much more.
On working with Dr. Dre:
“Dre had somebody come find me one night. And this dude was like ‘Get in the car. Dr. Dre wants you to come to his house,’ and I’m like ‘Nah, I ain’t doin’ that.’ So he put Dre on the phone,” recalled Mannie. He continued, “I ain’t even gonna lie I’m a fan – I’m losing it at this point. I’m like ‘This is Dr. Dre. This shit is nuts.’ I’m like ‘This really Dre,’ so we get to talkin’ about music and he’s like ‘Dude, what did you use when you did them songs?’ and I found out we had a whole lot in comparison. Like me growing up on the SB 1200, him growing up on the SB 1200. The SB 1200 is an old school drum machine sampler that probably had like 10 minutes of sample time, but it was phenomenal to how Hip Hop evolved into what’s going on right now,” he added.
On the Mos Def album:
“A lotta people know, with the Mos Def project that I’m working on, he has some things that was going on with the United States Vs. Mos Def. Like, you know what I’m saying, now he’s back or whatever so we can finish it,” said Mannie, who then explained the holdup. “It wasn’t that we stopped doing it or whatever it was just something that he was going through or whatever and I guess when he figures out what his life thing is or whatever is going on we’ll go back to that project because it’s highly anticipated.”
On his relationship with Jay Z:
Anytime I see Jay we in good talks you know what I’m saying so it was never him it was just that move that was better for him and obviously it was better for him cause look where he at right now, but I just was kinda in the middle of ‘Okay, you’re leaving Def Jam and Mannie is required to stay here because he just did a contract,’ noted Mannie. “It was never bad blood, never ever one day with Jay…. Anytime I see dude anything that he can help me with he’s like ‘Hey bro I got something for you. Do this, do that,’ so I will always say he’s big homie, big brother,” he added.
On convincing Juvenile to release “Slow Motion” as a single:
“[Juvenile] had a song that I didn’t produce but I was like ‘That’s still the single,’ and I think he might have felt like ‘Okay [Mannie] is gonna go with a song that he did,’” remembered Mannie. “I was like ‘Nah, this is the better song.’ It was the ‘Slow Motion’ song you know what I’m saying and at that time that was him coming back to Cash Money and it was definitely bent on we gonna keep it Mannie Fresh and I was like ‘Nah, [‘Slow Motion’] is the better song. Let’s go with the better song,’ and you know, I still got my ears to the streets so I’m like ‘People are feeling this song.’ It surprised him when I went to bat for that song and said like, ‘Hey, this is the song that we gon’ push.’
On the perceived No Limit/Cash Money rivalry:
“It wasn’t really like that dude, you know what I’m saying because everybody that was working there was working with Cash Money. We all grew up together. KLC and me DJ’ed in clubs before there was ever a No Limit or Cash Money we was pretty much like brothers and still that way,” said Mannie. He continued, “KLC was at the helm of No Limit and I was doing Cash Money but we really DJ’ed at spots before we ever got to the producer status so it was never like that it was more like this picture that was painted that way. Now any other beef that was anybody outside of artists I can’t really say but as far as Mia [X], as far as Mac and everybody like that, at one point in they life we all did songs together.”
Peep the full interview above. Follow him on Twitter @manniefresh.