There's a lot you can learn from Mannie Fresh. The producer extraordinaire has been in the music business since the '80s, back when he was DJing local clubs in his native New Orleans just as bounce music was coming into fruition. But by the time Fresh had hooked up with Baby and Cash Money, bounce had quickly become saturated in the NOLA, so Cash Money turned into a rap label. Soon enough, Cash Money signed local buzzing rapper Juvenile, along with other rappers like B.G. and a teenaged Lil Wayne, signed a historic distribution deal with Universal Records, and was on its way to becoming one of the greatest rap labels ever.
From 1997 to 2004, Mannie Fresh went on one of the greatest runs of any rap producer. Armed with endless creativity, he produced hit after hit, platinum album after platinum album for Cash Money. He largely fell off the map from about 2006 to 2012, but it was mostly due to legal issues when he left Cash Money and business ventures gone awry (you can see him talk about what happened here). But when you talk to Mannie, one thing becomes abundantly clear: He's more than just a beatmaker.