Recently, whenever the title “Cash Money Records” comes up its because so and so owes so and so money over whatever reason. These controversies have been keeping the name of one of the most prolific labels in rap history alive for all of the wrong reasons. While it is necessary to be aware of the politics, it’s always good to take a step back and reminisce on exactly why we might have liked something and remember everything it pro-created.
The New Orleans rap scene from the 80’s is something I truly wish I was alive to experience with the earlier honchos including the both late Tim Smooth and Warren Mayes cultivating the new style. However, in the early 90’s we had “Baby” (Bryan Williams) and “Suga Slim” (Ronald Williams) to latch on to the quickly growing “bounce” sound that derived from the New Orleans Rap scene (originally ignited by TT Tucker and DJ Irv‘s famous “red tape” ‘Where Dey At’ – Amobea.com). Independent record labels noticed the rise and growth for this sound and–like any other situation (i.e. House to “EDM” or Chicago Club to Jersey Club)–plotted ways on bringing this sound to the forefront of music. Cash Money Records was the main independent label to quickly pickup and flip the unique sound. Eventually, an understudy to famed innovative house music DJ/producer Steve “Silk” Hurley became Cash Money’s in-house producer–later to be globally known as Mannie Fresh–ultimately helping them sell over 20 million records and dominate a good chunk of the rap scene, even in a musically ego-centric place such as New York City.
New Orleans Bounce was not only prolific, but very significant and important for rap and hip hop. An entire genre was created solely off of low quality cassettes, fairly primitive drum machine loops and recognizable samples like Triggaman’s “The Showboys”. Mannie Fresh, like any good artist, spent an enormous amount of time and dedication to perfecting his craft and building on the bounce framework with each release. Eventually, the additional live instrumentation and reduced loops lead to a more hip-hoppy Mannie Fresh production without losing sight of that “it factor”: bounce.
Although many of the main late 90’s/early 00’s Bounce rappers/taste makers soon followed the commercial lime light including Juvenile, Lil Wayne, and Master P, that empty hole provided more room for the gay rappers (aka “Sissy Rappers”) to showcase their talents. Although “twerking” wasn’t the glorified term back then, Bounce also had a hand in creating environments that encouraged and even craved it; and artists like Sissy Nobby and the late Nicky Da B knew exactly how to lace a track and work the crowd. Bounce has made its way in and out of mainstream throughout the past decades from tracks like T.I. and Lil Wayne’s “Ball” (2013) to Nicky Da B’s track with Diplo “Express Yourself”, proving Bounce is an everlasting sound engraved into the game.
Halfway Crooks’ DJ Levins gives us something that easily showcases the history of bounce. He spent countless of restless nights, money, and illegal downloading time in order to find tape rips and copies of Cash Money tracks that have never been digitally released. Levins’ current iTunes library contains every single record released on Cash Money Records from 1992 until 2004 (even the Teena Marie album), and he’s given us a little over an hour mix highlighting some of the greatest tracks of that era. It’s the epitome of what bounce is, where it came from, and how it got to where it currently is. While bounce is no news by any means, this mix is definitely one of a kind and an ode to a fascinating part of music history. You’ve got to know where you came from in order to know where you’re going…right?
Read more about the mix, Levins and Cash Money: http://yolevins.com/new-mix-cash-money-bounce/