Mannie Fresh: Step Up Front Can you speak on your new album? Mannie: The title if it is The Mind of Manny Fresh. That means the situation and things that have been happening in my life. If I had to describe it, I would say it is fun an escape from reality, an escape from the norm. In […] Can

you speak on your new album?

Mannie: The title

if it is The Mind of Manny Fresh. That means the situation and things

that have been happening in my life. If I had to describe it, I would say it

is fun an escape from reality, an escape from the norm.

In your videos, you have a lot of humor, what made you take that approach?

Mannie: That is

just me. People want fun instead of the usual serious. Somebody needed to come

along with that.

Do you think this approach will affect your street credibility?

Mannie: I am not

a street dude. It is one thing to have a dress code the way you want, to make

a long story short I am neither a killer, nor a gangsta or street dude – I am

a business man. I am not trying to be something I am not, and I am not trying

to bring harm to anyone.

You rarely reflect on your personal life. Why?

Mannie: My story

is pretty much like everybody else’s. I never even knew I was from the

hood, or poor, and when you got that, you don’t pay attention to your

environment. Later on in your life, you might go back to the old neighborhood

and say, ‘This is what I grew up around.’ I grew up with both of

my parents, so I don’t have a bad story to tell like daddy wasn’t

there; so I am not going to pretend to be something I am not. I have been blessed

to have two parents that are still living and all my siblings. So it something

that I can’t write about or don’t even want to experience; in life

you go through things and like I said I have been blessed.

The topic of the father not being around, a tough life is becoming cliché.

Mannie: Yeah, I

think so. I always look at it like there is always two sided to a story. A lot

of people like to hear tragedy. But for the most part, there is some genuine

people that have grew up rough and got their break to do it. But then there

are some people who tell that story because that is what it is.

I know, irrelevant gully question, but have you ever been shot at or stabbed?

Mannie: No, but

I have been around that all my life, but I never paid attention to it. My worst

moment in life is when my young friends were dying. But when that is always

around you, you get immune to it; you shut your feelings down. Now that I am

older I think about it all the time; what I grew up around. But once you get

immune to something you think it is the norm.

So how does it feel to go from that to having so much money?

Mannie: Well, the

bottom line is, you have to be real with yourself because it really does not

matter what you have. The thing is being Black, that just don’t solve

anything. On one hand, it is good because if anything happens you can always

pay for it. But on the other hand, I have problems like everybody else. I might

be cool financially, but mentally, I still have my own things going on.

What things?

Mannie: Drama with

my baby momma, people start looking at you like money. People you never thought

like the people you grew up with, you thought was solid you become money to

them. So you never know who to trust and what is real.

Are you able to maintain a relationship with your friends and family? Could

you go to the family reunion and chill?

Mannie: Yeah, I

can go to the family reunion and chill. But there will always be somebody that

I don’t want to talk to. There is always going to be someone asking me

to lend me some money, even though it is not the proper time.

Musically, what is your background?

Mannie: I don’t

read music, I play by ear.

AllHipHop How did

you develop your style? What inspires you?

Mannie: I would

have to say it is inspired by the club I was a DJ, before I started doing this.

When I am writing a single, I think something that makes people move. Something

you don’t have to hear four times to get it, like right off the back –

you get it.

How do you feel about Cash Money?

Mannie: Cash Money

is at its best when it is in the dark. When people count us out, we dig ourselves

out of that hole. That is us. We have always been that way is why the music

industry can’t do nothing but respect us.

Juvenile signed a one-album deal and moved on, was their any beef?

Mannie: No, there

wasn’t any beef. I actually did songs on the album he is putting out on

Atlantic. It is business and most importantly growth; Juvenile has been with

Cash Money for a while and he just wanted to do his own thing. You can’t

get mad with a man that wants to do that. That is how I feel right now; I am

not the same person I use to be with a white shirt and Dickies on.

Do you have any business label aspirations?

Mannie: Right now,

I am in a bidding war as far as who wants to sign me for a production deal.

From there, my plan is in the next five years to be a president of a major company.

I think I have a good ear for music and a lot of stuff gets passed on. So that

is my plan.

Who is on the album production, features, etc?

Mannie: The only

people that I have on a track are, David banner, Bun B from UGK, Baby did a

verse. I really wanted the album to be me not a compilation of artist.

Before, you guys said that Big Tymers are not considered Hip-Hop artists, do

you still feel that way?

Mannie: To me,

Hip-Hop is a variety of things. I am Hip-Hop. Just do the homework, my first

record on wax was [in] ’87. You got cats talking about what is Hip-Hop,

I be like, ‘I was doing Hip-Hop when you were in pampers’.

What are your thoughts about the Rap game getting old, like everyone doing it

big is in the their late 20’s or 30’s?

Mannie: People

are starving for good music, and that is the only ones who can give it to you

is the veterans. I hate to say it about young artists but there hasn’t

been someone who has grabbed us in the last five years…like that is the next

phenomenon or that dude is bad, so we kind of stuck with that is the only one

we can get good music from so we might as well keep ‘em. I’ll give

you a great example like… if we were to go to an old school concert, it

would be packed because people are starving for good music. People miss good

music, and right now is the best time for any old R&B artist, like Cash

Money and Tina Maria and it jumped off and nobody ever knew. It is the same

faces that is around Take Jay-Z for instance is 30 something, the rappers and

same companies have been around and when we try to sign new artist it is not

successful. You take Roc-A-Fella. They got a whole new roster, but it is not

making that buzz that Jay made. Same thing with Cash Money, we tried new artist

but they don’t have that buzz that Lil’ Wayne would make.

Lil’ Wayne has recently been making remarks about other artist, what do

you believe is the motive behind that?

Mannie: I think

he is a young fire-cracker. I am too old for that. You can’t really tell

Wayne is 21, me and him have nothing in common except for being in the studio

doing music. Me personally, I don’t get into beefs and all of that kind

of stuff, and I wish he wouldn’t, but he is his own man.