REAL BIG: Celebrating Mannie Fresh’s Legacy With His Biggest Hits

REAL BIG: Celebrating Mannie Fresh’s Legacy With His Biggest Hits

Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty

When discussing the greatest producers of all-time and especially of this generation, Mannie Fresh is a name that must be mentioned. To celebrate his legacy, we put together a gallery that showcases some of his biggest hits.

Byron Otto Thomas was born and raised in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. Following in the footsteps of his father DJ Sabu, Thomas became a DJ for the New Orleans hip hop crew New York Incorporated in 1984 at just 15 years old. A few years later he began a partnership with New Orleans rapper MC Gregory D. The duo released three albums together from 1987 to 1993. After the last album, Thomas met Bryan “Baby” Williams. Baby gave him the opportunity to to become the in-house producer of his record label Cash Money Records. With Baby’s help, Mannie Fresh produced chart-topping albums for the Hot Boys (a group comprised of Lil Wayne, B.G., Juvenile and Turk). He also produced all of the tracks on the members’ solo works as well.

Mannie Fresh and Baby went on to form the Big Tymers, a group consisting of the two. Mannie and Baby (Baby eventually changed his stage name to Birdman after the group dissolved in 2005) released five successful albums together. In 2004, Mannie released his first solo album The Mind of Mannie Fresh. The 30-track album featured the single “Real Big”, which peaked at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. After splitting with Cash Money Records in 2005 for financial reasons, Mannie signed with Def Jam South. In 2009, he released his second solo album Return of the Ballin’. The album was produced entirely by Mannie Fresh and featured prominent artists Rick Ross and Lil Jon.

Over the years, Mannie Fresh has remained an important figure in hip-hop with an impact and legacy that can never be questioned. He was one of the first producers to take elements of bounce music and combine them with other genres of music, from classical to reggae. Comibine this with the intracacy of his drum patters, the use of live instrumentation in his beats and the influence of New Orleans brass bands in his production and its easy to understand why his sound is one of a kind. To celebrate that one of a kind sound and his amazing career, enjoy a gallery of some of Mannie Fresh’s biggest hits! Let us know which ones are your favorites and if we missed any!

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