I finally finished a mix that I’ve been working on little by little over the last year, exclusively after 2am. Blame the stupid working hours on the fun of becoming a dad – each night I was volunteering to stay up all night to look after my son’s night feeds and would spend my new nocturnal spare time answering questions like “I wonder how many gigabytes the entire No Limit discography will take up on my laptop” (the answer is 12.17). I became addicted to staying up late and delving deep into the back catalogues of my favourite artists, producers and record labels; my downloading marathons interrupted by the cries of a hungry baby, who would be fed with one as I spent way too much money on the eBay app with the other, bidding on old tapes and CDs with a recklessness not usually associated with new parents.
A mission I accepted early into my night rap crusade was to fill the gaps in my Cash Money discography. Cash Money has always been the label I’m quick to blurt out whenever someone asks what my favourite rap label is – but it’s always immediately followed by “until 2005!”. That’s the year Mannie Fresh left the label, the best rap producer of all time and the heart and soul of Cash Money during their best years. It was crazy to me how different the early Cash Money releases were to what they put out these days and I wanted to hear the progression of Mannie Fresh as a producer, of Cash Money as a label and of Cash Money’s influenceon the sound of New Orleans hip hop. I’d become fascinated with the history of New Orleans rap scene in the 90s (spending as much money on old No Limit albums and the odd overpriced bounce 12″ as I was on Cash Money releases) so I bought a few books documenting the bounce movement, most of which were useless and referenced the articles I was finding online anyway (Matt Miller’s Bounce is a great read though). For the purpose of this mix, the best article I found was this fantastic history of Cash Money’s independent years on the Amoeba Records blog, which the perfect introduction to the labels beginnings and the characters involved in their long story. (Sidenote: last year I found Lil Wayne’s 500 Degreez on vinyl at Amoeba Records in LA for $1 but I’d parked illegally in the Jack In A Box across the road. My car was towed and I had to pay $250 to get it released. Bargain!)
A weeks worth of Paypal transactions and illegal downloads of hard to find tape rips was all it took to complete my collection and soon my iTunes library contained every single record released on Cash Money from 1992 until 2004 (even the Teena Marie album). As my son slept, I immersed myself in the back catalogue, burning dozens of comps of my favourite tracks for the car and whittling it down to the essentials. I was immediately drawn to the bounce stuff as that’s where Mannie Fresh’s roots with Cash Money are. The beats on the first few releases are rawww (especially when heard as a low quality mp3 ripped from a cassette), with fairly primitive drum machine loops and recognisable samples. With each release Mannie builds on the bounce framework more and more, adding live instrumentation and relying less on loops, eventually removing the tell-tale bounce samples and producing his more hip hoppy (but still clearly bounce influenced) signature sound.
Originally this mix was gonna just collect the bounce tracks produced while Cash Money was an independent label (until 1998) but it made sense to include the last two proper bounce tracks Fresh produced, the mega hits ‘Back That Azz Up’ (from Juvenile’s 400 Degreez) and ‘I Need a Hot Girl’ (off the Hot Boys’ Guerilla Warfare) to show how he brought the sound of New Orleans bounce into the mainstream rap charts. Plus, they’re fucking awesome songs.
At some point I’ll make a mix of all of the more straight rap stuff Cash Money put out, from the Pimp C produced Kilo G tracks, to seriously half the songs on B.G.’s two part album It’s All On U. Even if I stuck to the independent years there’s enough gold to warrant another two mixes, showcasing one of the best labels and eras in the history of raps. Until then, here’s Cash Money Bounce.
LIL’ SLIM bounce slide ride
B-32 shake that ass like a salt shaker
MC HEAVY gangster walk
PIMP DADDY got 2 be real (remix)
PxMxWx mo bounce
U.N.L.V. get into it with a nigger
U.N.L.V. eddie bow
PxMxWx still smokin’
PxMxWx splift out
PIMP DADDY keep on kick it
B.G.’z true story
B-32 feat MS. TEE i need a bag of dope
U.N.L.V. 6th & baronne
PIMP DADDY god bless the dead (rip)
LIL’ SLIM feat PxMxWx blunt after blunt
LIL’ SLIM feat B-32 ho’s i used 2 sweat II
PxMxWx feat LIL’ SLIM big man got hoes
U.N.L.V. pussy c’mon to me!
MS. TEE let’s get high
U.N.L.V. jazzy bitch
MAGNOLIA SHORTY monkey on tha dick
JUVENILE feat BIG TYMERS & MAGNOLIA SHORTY 3rd ward soulja
MS. TEE i like it (MANNIE FRESH style)
JUVENILE feat LIL’ WAYNE & MANNIE FRESH back that azz up
HOT BOYS feat BIG TYMERS i need a hot girl
I’ll be playing a shitload of bounce hits this Saturday night in Sydney at Goodgod Small Club for Halfway Crooks. It’s Mardi Gras night and every year we do a New Orleans Mardi Gras Party which is always my favourite party of the year. Huge lineup, free beads and a solid three hours of triggaman samples. Come dance. RSVP here.
Artwork by Daniel McKinley.