Music, especially hip-hop, is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear NPR. Well NPR’s Microphone Check is trying to change that by making the hip-hop interview show a live event. “A Conversation With Mannie Fresh” was the first installment and was conducted by co-host Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Call Quest).
Dj Cuzzin B started the event with a hit filled Mannie Fresh set that mixed everything from Hot Boys to Young Jeezy.
Frannie starts the interview off asking Mannie “What is the quintessential Mannie Fresh song?” Mannie replies that he hasn’t made it yet but feels he was closest with Juvenile’s 400 Degrees album.
Ali asked most of the questions and Mannie was very open and candid unlike a lot of interview where people are afraid to offend others. When asked about his thoughts on today’s hip-hop, he said “it all sounds the same.” When asked about today’s R&B, he said “we don’t know if any of them can really sing without help from a machine.”
Filled with interesting moments including; confirming he’s working with Lil Wayne on The Carter V, the difference between beaing a beat maker and a producer and feeling like some people just bring him in the studio to take pics or see his style so they can copy it.
Highlight of the night came when Mannie was asked about the upcoming project he has with Mos Def. After describing the hilarious process Mos Def goes through in the studio, he played a never before heard song called Lets Go. This is going to be a jam when it drops; Mos is rapping with a crazy flow and the beat is amazing. Everybody in the place was rocking to it. Might be the first time in years we hear a Mos Def song on the radio.
To wrap up the event Mannie treated the audience to an impromptu mix of songs that he usually saves for his Dj sets. And in true fashion he put a New Orleans bounce behind almost any and every song no matter the genre. From the Apollo theme song to Hall and Oates, Mannie just showed off for the crowd.
Great event that gave me more than I was expecting. Good luck to NPR topping that interview with future installments.