Mannie Fresh, the prolific producer and original member of the Cash Money Millionaires crew, was in DC last night for NPR’s Microphone Check Live event. The show was hosted by Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), NPR Music editor Frannie Kelly, and DJ Cuzzin B.
Microphone Check is a broadcast featuring conversations with hip-hop legends and rising talents. NPR describes Microphone Check as “a voice for hip-hip that covers the music and the culture with knowledge, heart and experience.”
Mannie entertained the audience for over two hours with stories about his musical journey as a rapper and a DJ. He talked about his beat-making philosophy and even explained a little bit about his creative process. Mannie said technological advances in production software has changed the hip-hop industry for the better – and sometimes for the worse.
Mannie also revealed that he and Lil Wayne are currently working on Tha Carter 5, and that serious negotiations are underway for the much-anticipated Cash Money reunion with Baby, Juvenile and (possibly) Drake.
The true highlight of the evening came after the interview when Mannie treated his fans to an impromptu listening session. He played unreleased tracks straight from his iPad – including an unreleased song from his upcoming project with Mos Def. He also showed off his musical chops – blending his beloved New Orleans bounce music with such disparate sounds as Hall & Oates, Earth Wind & Fire, and DC's own Trouble Funk. And in true b-boy fashion, Mannie ended night right by commandeering the turntables and displaying his incredible skills.