As we count down the days till the Voodoo Experience this weekend, we're reliving last year's festival with some of the event's best set streams, starting with Mannie Fresh.
Mannie Fresh might be best known as the creative mind behind the '90s bounce explosion, but his roots date way back in New Orleans’ musical history. Back to the mid-'80s. Back to when an unassuming rap record from NYC, 'Drag Rap' by The Showboys, turned the whole city upside down and young Mannie started to make use of the turntables he was given as a Christmas gift by his father, a renowned street DJ from the Seventh Ward.
Inspired by local DJ groups like Jam Patrol and Rockers Revenge, Mannie obsessively honed his skills on the ones-and-twos, and was eventually invited by NYC expat Denny D to join his then-ruling street party squad, New York Incorporated.
Driven by his musical curiosity, he soon incorporated the Roland TR-808 drum machine into his live performance, making it a true trademark sound on the New Orleans club scene, and consequently started producing beats for one of the first local rap heroes, MC Gregory D. After three albums, the duo parted ways, and Mannie joined the then-emerging record label run by infamous street hustlers Bryan ‘Birdman’ and Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams, Cash Money.
In his 12 years with the label, Mannie laced countless hits for all artists on the roster, from U.N.L.V. to B.G. and Juvenile, to the supergroup Hot Boyz that also included an underage Lil Wayne. He formed the duo Big Tymers with Baby, and eventually went solo as a rapper, producer and all-round good vibes machine, scoring more hits with the likes of UGK, Gucci Mane, and Rick Ross. After a brief stint at Def Jam South, he started his own imprint, Chubby Boy Records, and is also back to what once got him started in the industry: DJ-ing.