Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, lil’ chirren, dogs and cats – few people on this planet have drum patterns that compare to those of Mannie Fresh.
Mannie’s distinctive sound is what fueled Cash Money’s hip-hop dominance at the turn of the century, giving us some of the most infectious production in rap history.
These days, Mannie keeps a lower profile so he’s often forgotten in discussions of great producers. So today, let’s bring the feeling back and revisit 25 of his best beats. Nobody started a party like Mannie.
Honorable mentions: Juvenile, “U Understand”; Lil Wayne, “Shine”; Birdman, “Get Your Shine On”
25. T.I. featuring Mannie Fresh, “The Greatest” (2004)
Mannie’s known for lacing his Cash Money brethren with heat, but T.I. has received quite a bit of love over the years too, including this block banger.
24. Mannie Fresh, “Real Big” (2004)
Mannie’s not gonna give ALL to good beats out to other artists. He kept this high-energy cut for himself, and it became his best-performing solo single.
23. Mack 10 featuring Ice Cube, Butch Cassidy and WC, “Connected For Life” (2001)
Mannie deviated a bit from his normal sound on this one, crafting a track with a distinct West Coast feel for this Westside Connection reunion.
22. B.G., “Cash Money is an Army” (1998)
Mannie’s infectious bounce was on full display here, fueling a track that would become one of Cash Money’s anthems.
21. Lil Wayne, “BM JR” (2004)
By 2004, Lil Wayne was beginning to hit his stride as an artist and this foreboding track (complete with chilling chime in the background) aided his ascent.
20. Pimp C, “Cheat on Yo Man” (2006)
This slinky cut was tailor made for the Players Ball, which is why it’s such a good fit for Sweet Jones himself.
19. Juvenile, “I Got That Fire” (1999)
THIS is the type of hyperactive track that made Mannie a superstar – whether it’s the radio, the club or the block, it grabs your ears and refuses to let them go.
18. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Cash Money Millionaires, “Hope You N****s Sleep” (1999)
One of the few standout cuts from Biggie’s problematic posthumous album, Mannie gathered the entire Cash Money Army to ride for Big Poppa.
17. Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (1999)
On the surface, this one isn’t much different than many other Mannie beats, but it’s the detail that seal the deal. That ever-present “do it” looped throughout the track adds another level of energy. You cannot remain still while hearing this.
16. Juvenile, “Set It Off” (2001)
Yep, there are going to be quite a few solo Juve tracks on this list, including this infectious head-nodder.
15. Big Tymers, “Get Your Roll On” (2000)
Once again, this is Mannie at his best. Bouncy production, call-and-response hook, random WHATs accenting the track – just turn off your brain and ride.
14. T.I., “Big Things Poppin” (2007)
Few can ride Mannie’s uptempo cuts like T.I., who turns this song into the ultimate motivation music. Your workout playlist thanks you.
13. Juvenile, “In My Life” (2003)
One of Mannie’s most underrated offerings, mainly because it deviates from his typical formula. The hand claps and gentle knock push those synths to new heights.
12. Cash Money Millionaires, “Project Chick” (2000)
Another day, another anthem. The horns, pulled straight from a HBCU marching band, make this an unforgettable offering.
11. T.I., “Top Back” (2006)
Another cut that’s a bit different from Mannie’s norm, the triumphant horns and heavy hand claps are fit for royalty.
10. Lil Wayne featuring B.G. and Juvenile, “Tha Block Is Hot” (1999)
Mannie was always able to capture the essence of the block and infuse it with the energy of the club – those are the elements that made this track resonate with listeners.
9. Juvenile, “Mamma Got A**” (2001)
Young or old, this was EVERY woman’s song back in 2001. Thank Mannie for this hilarious Mother’s Day tribute.
8. Young Jeezy featuring Mannie Fresh, “And Then What” (2005)
BOOM BOOM CLAP. BOOM BOOM CLAP. Mannie was the maestro behind what would become Jeezy’s first anthem.
7. Slim Thug featuring Young Jeezy, Killa and Slick Pulla, “Diamonds (Remix)” (2005)
Arguably this oft-forgotten remix is the most overlooked cut in Mannie’s deep catalog.
6. Juvenile, “Ha” (1998)
Juvenile’s big breakout hit was built on two things – his off-kilter flow and Mannie’s bounce. This one song transformed them both into stars.
5. Big Tymers, “Still Fly” (2002)
Borrowing a melody that sounds straight from Gilligan’s Island, Mannie created one of the goofiest, yet most endearing cuts of the past 20 years. Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous and that makes you love it even more.
4. Lil Wayne, “Go DJ” (2004)
When Wayne began to break out in the mid ’00s as rap’s next big star, many fans (including me) were a bit skeptical of the hype. Thank Mannie for his work on this track – it made me a believer.
3. Big Tymers featuring Lil Wayne and Juvenile, “#1 Stunna” (2000)
This beat best encapsulates the Cash Money sound – energetic, brazen and downright inescapable.
2. B.G. featuring Big Tymers and Hot Boyz, “Bling Bling” (1999)
It’s not often that a song becomes so iconic that its very title makes its way into Merriam-Webster. A lot of the credit for this anthem of excess goes to Mannie Fresh, whose beat literally blings as loudly as the B.G.’s verses.
1. Juvenile featuring Lil Wayne and Mannie Fresh, “Back That Thang Up” (1999)
Well, yes, obviously this is No. 1 and I dare say you don’t disagree. Those opening violin strings have become the universal signal to assemble on the dance floor. Then the beat drops and madness ensues. This is my generation’s Electric Slide, an immortal party-starter. Thank you, Mannie.
What are you favorite Mannie Fresh beats? Let us know below.