May 28, 2016

Juvenile - 400 Degreez (1998)


With some strong competition from Tha Carter, 400 Degreez is easily the most known Cash Money album (I'm talking back in the Mannie Fresh golden era, of course). After its initial independent success in the south, Universal handed Cash Money a very nice distribution deal and reissued the album with minor changes to the tracklist along with How U Luv That. 400 Degreez is what many people consider the apex of Mannie Fresh's career. Everybody's favorite gecko-looking producer started off as a dope bounce DJ that mashed all kinds of stanky basslines with the triggaman beat, but after the first lineup of Cash Money artists faded away, he changed up his style on the Mr. Ivan and Kilo G albums before winding up as perhaps the most unique sounding (and looking) producers ever. Juvenile is awesome, he has a great voice for a genuine representation of the New Orleans interactive street raps. With that respect given, most listeners, including myself, consider 400 Degreez a Mannie Fresh album first and foremost. Fresh directs a live band for a relaxed, funky feeling. These beats are direct and thumping like No Limit's and lavish like Houston instrumentals, but there is really no way to completely describe the sounds coming out of the studio. The Hot Boys features are fantastic as well. Each song is very memorable and 400 Degreez is even cooler because it seems like every person has their own favorite off the album. I still like the late 90s B.G. and Hot Boys albums a little more, simply because that's my style, but I'm not denying that this is one of the most iconic hip hop albums ever made. In conclusion I digress: the part on Rich Niggaz when Mannie Fresh turns the hi-hat way up and pushes it through the first half of Papa Reu's verse is simply the greatest moment in all of rap music.

Sample

400 Degreez [O.G. Tracklist] <-------> 400 Degreez Reissue [w/ Jay-Z Ha remix]

An Interview With The Greatest Man In The World