Mannie Fresh Comments On The Lack Of Diversity In Hip Hop, Talks "Cruel Summer"

Mannie Fresh says the Southern sound in music needs to evolve, speaks on the recording process for "Cruel Summer."

While Mannie Fresh became well-known as a producer thanks to his authentically Southern sound, the New Orleans native isn’t too pleased with the way in which his sound seems to be recycled over and over again by other artists.

During his interview with Soul Culture UK, Mannie revealed that while he’s not completely fed up with the heavy use of the Southern sound in music he would like for it to evolve a bit.

“Hell to the yeah. I wish they’d stop,” said the producer when asked if people are overusing the Southern sound. “Nah, I’m playing but I mean this is what’s going on right now. Southern music is kinda stuck to me, it’s one way. It’s just 808’s, snare rolls, and hi-hats. I get it, I love that all of these cats grew up on Mannie Fresh sound but I’m looking for a little bit of growth though. I want something to change. I think we been in that same spot for long enough…You got New York rappers that sound like they from the South. East Coast rappers that sound like they from the South and I’m not saying nothing is wrong with that, but what happened to the East Coast sound? What happened to the West Coast sound?”

Mannie continued his commentary on Hip Hop by bringing up past acts including N.W.A. and Public Enemy as he spoke on the lack of diversity in rap music and the current demand for club tunes.

“At one point rap had Public Enemy. Public Enemy was our pro-black. We had Slick Rick, Slick Rick was our storyteller. We had N.W.A., N.W.A. was our gangster rap. You know what I’m saying? And you had Cash Money and that was your bling-bling,” Mannie explained. “That’s four different genres of rap. You don’t have that right now. Now it’s just based on the club. What can I do to make you shake your ass and dance?”

The producer also spoke on his work with Kanye West on the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation, Cruel Summer (to be released on September 18). He went on to commend Kanye for creating a musical environment that generates a sort of musical “gumbo.”

“I’m used to working with people hands on cause that’s the era that I came up with,” said Mannie. “So we gon’ work til we figure out something and I think that’s what everybody appreciate about the G.O.O.D. Music project because it’s a factory. You can go work with whoever you wanna work with til you get that magical song…I think it’s a nuts idea. It ain’t been done in the last 10-15 years [to] say I’mma put a bunch of talented people in a room and let’s cook up some gumbo.”

RELATED: Mannie Fresh Talks Def Jam, Collaborations With Dr. Dre & Kanye West



  • STRIK9

    Fresh is so right with that.Him and Beats by the pound created the shit everybody is runnin with.At least they had basslines with their shit in addition to those 808 hits.These dumb muthafuckas now just use bass hits and sum weak ass snares and thats it.Luger the only one doin anything and his shit showin its limitations now.Check those No Limit albums if you think I'm bullshittin.

  • Trae

    1st of all anybody that is a youngster speaking on Mannie Fresh's comments needs to go back an check their history 1st an for most before making a comment about anything. Mannie Fresh created that Cash Money sound from the beginning to the point that when they started to blowup other artists wanted to get beats from him but behind his back Baby kept telling them all know NO!!! Mannie didn't find that out til after he left plus he wasn't get paid right as well as Juvenile and B.G. wasn't either, its just that Juvenile left 1st, then B.G. When Mannie would try to talk to Baby and Slim about his checks their answer to him was he put out an album. To make matters worse after him and Baby came out as the BigTymers they was getting 60 grand apiece for shoes but Baby was only paying Mannie 30 grand until a promoter actually called Mannie to book them for a show an told him they was gettin paid 60 grand apiece. So when he talk to Baby and Slim about it, they told him to leave, he no longer apart of CashMoney and whatever he tried to do to establish himself on his own, they would act like they was cool with it, then they would turn around and block the deal(s). So before u speak understand the situation. Plus if you understand the music industry, the 1st people to get paid is the label, then producers, and the last to be paid is the artist.

  • BOY

    Juvenile = Flop/Career Done B.G = Incarcerated for being a niggr/ Career Done Turk = Incarcerated/ About to come out but no one will give a single fuck Mannie Fresh = Irrelevant as fuck and his sound is old as fuck. Clams Casino is better. Lil Wayne = Only nigga that was loyal and is now KIGN of Hip Hop and mythological lyrical LEGEND! YMCMB!

    • willy

      For real doh @BOY: You good on that one ! cash money survivor LIL WAYNE AND BIRDMAN . Mannie Fresh ^ rest should take a rest .

  • KLC

    Alot of southern producers copy Beats BY The Pound's style.

    • STRIK9

      Beats were the real deal on those classic albums.So many tight beats,its sick.That shit holds up just as well today in my opinion.Shit,muthafuckas are still using the same hats and snares and orchestra shit.They just aint as talented as Beats were.

  • Anonymous

    Mannie Fresh made beats, he didn't rhymes for any of The Hot Boys, so stop trying to give him 100% credit. If he was so good, why did Cash Money survive without him?

    • Anonymous

      One of the truest comment I've ever read on this site. Now that's some real talk, man. For me, Wayne doesn't even try to make something dope. Just throwing around rhyming words without meaningful content. And its enough for the mass, bravo. On the other hand, I think Drake has its own place in music. And if you're judging him from that viewpoint, he is fantastic. You can feel the coherent artistical vision and creative solutions on his music if thinking out of box and pay attention. But his biggest problem is he is trying to be something else what he really is. You just mobbing like that, right? Fuck outta here, son ... Overall, since Mannie left Cash Money has no sound and recognizable style, its all about the well-being of Baby, Slim and Weezy. Maybe they give a slice of the pie to Nicki and Drake, but that's all. Others are just soon-to-be-unpaid-and-shelved artist for waiting for their desire.

    • TrollOnYou

      Because when he left, Slim Jim and Baby Emu Man found producers that sounded like him (aka were influenced by and to this day) at that time, and as commercial "crap" music progressed so did the audience with more exposure from different outlets. I, myself, grew up listening to original Cash Money and the Mannie Fresh sound...if it wasn't Mannie Fresh produced back then (97-01 for me), I didn't want to hear it. Funny thing is, I'm from NY bitches, and the ONLY reason I started listening to that label back then was because of Juvenile (and no Ha and Back That Azz up were not the tracks that got me in to him-try Flossin' Season). I have a very diverse library of hip-hop/rap music, and I have to say over the last 3 years YM has gone from OK to straight trash. Wayne and Drake try so hard to be lyrical I think they gonna have a fucking aneurysm. I do like Kane as a producer and a few others, but they youngsters too, brought up on that Mannie shit.

  • BOY

    This bitch ass ninja turtle-looking nigga is IRRELEVANT! Your opinion doesnt matter a single shit Mannie, RETIRE! YMCMB has got the rap game on lock and we did it without your disloyal bitch ass. LOYALTY OVER ERRTHANG! WEEZY BABY IS KIGN! YMCMB!

    • RealRapFan

      Wayne only stayed because he is in love with Birdman and because he wasn't able to handle his business on his own. And by the way: all these Young Money dick riders that are trolling on HHDX recently should go suck Wayne's dick or something instead than acting like 12 year olds that have never listened to real Hip Hop (which has nothing to do with Young Money btw, maybe the old Cash Money, but YMCMB is GAY as FUCK!!). Even though Mannie has been irrelevant since he left Cash Money, neither Wayne nor any other Young Money faggot would have a career or something, so shut the fuck up if you don't know anything about real Hip Hop and go kiss Baby like Wayne does...

    • TrollOnYou

      apparently you must be talking about yourself calling people "dumbfucks" because Wayne did not build that sound you fucking moron, nor establish the Southern sound on his own (See: Outkast and the Dungeon Family, UGK,etc), and without Juvenile and Mannie there would be no national exposure. They all left because Cash Money, has problems paying their artists and producers and raping them for their work. Wayne stayed because he's "stuntin like his daddy" (and kissing him too) while cashing everyone elses checks you fuckin clown. How you think he got so tongue tied, and lyrical over the years....

    • lol

      "We"??? lololol fuck off u peasant includin urself with ym

    • BOY

      No Young Money without Mannie Fresh? First off, Wayne made Young Money..dumbfuck. And Second, All them bitch ass niggas left Cash Money leaving only Wayne there. He re-built the whole thing to what it is now and he is now a LEGEND! YMCMB is an Empire! and learn how to spell bitch ass niggas! WEEZY F. BABY IS KIGN of HIP HOP! YMCMB!

    • TrollOnYou

      How old are you? Just wondering....cuz there would be no Young Money without Mannie Fresh my son. Do your research if you a youngster, and if not, you're an ignorant YM dong slapper. Mannie Fresh made the Cash Money sound back in the mid to late 90s. #educatetheignorant

    • Anonymous

      yo dumb do you even think YMCMB EXIST? they built that shit off of Mannie freshes back....HE WAS THE MUSIC AND SOUND OF CASH MONEY....fuck out of here!

  • J0

    Keep in mind to blow up these days you need a buzz, to get a buzz you need to a trap pack.. The system does not favor you, sticking to your style.

  • Jo

    There is more diversity than there has ever been, check your local city blogs... which I believe will be the new local radio soon.They are just not on clear channel or have the opportunity to be. As for the trap packs... its quite true. But I was at a show this weekend, the guys who were performing different styles werent getting love from the crowd.. soon as a trap beat with drum rolls and horns came on, the whole place started mvoing and shaking... It is what it is, its todays sound.. every era had their music styles, so you cant buck the trend... you can only ride the wave. But there is much diversity in hip hop than there's ever been.. those guys dont get support as much as those trappin.

    • ETL

      True, that's why people soon will be clowning people doing trap beats, just like g funk, new jack swing, bass and further back. But there's plenty of diversity for the free thinkers but we're outnumbered.

  • ETL

    People are scared to try something different, a lot of producers have different styles of beats but artists just want to jump on the club joints like that's the only lane. After seing the current sales climate these rapper might as well spit over different beats they might find something that works for them, I know we want to see chicks twerkin when your song comes on (love it) but they will shake their ass for whatever case and point "Huzzah" by Muthafuckin Xquire have you seen that video? That's an old ass Necro beat "scumbags" but all I can remember from it is ass. So why not think outside the box.

    • Jo

      I dont think people are scared to try something different, as matter of fact, its easier to make something different to an extent, you dont have to make it fit a formula...

  • Anonymous

    awesome interviewee, awesome interview...mannie fresh is the man!

  • What

    Man i respect this dude, just listen how dude conduct his interview, and what he is saying is right, everybody know there is a lack of Diversity in Hip Hip why do you think it getting some boring now everybody sound the same after a while it become boring, wack and stupid.

  • Anonymous

    agreed. Few producers will bring a different sound to their beats. The trap sound is the cash cow at the moment

  • Greg

    Geez... Even many knows whats up... Too much Dirty South = Boring & Wack..

  • X drop BOMBS like Nagasaki

    Only thang dude eva done dat waz str8, waz dat beat for "Connected for life" now he on some Kangay chit...on da fa rilla, i thought dude would have boycotted thiz Hoe...I guezz in da end, money ova realness...WEST SIIIIIDE!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Totally agree with him

    • Anonymous

      Man dude is right on what he is saying there is a lack of Diversity in hip hop Period

    • Anonymous

      He's got a point.....not much diversity in rap music these days. The dudes that are getting the airplay all sound the same. I have nothing against 2 Chains, Big Sean, Drake, Weezy or any other cat, but there isn't much separating their content..

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