Producer Mannie Fresh recently revealed a past business relationship he had with rap mogul Jay-Z during his run as Def Jam president and said ex-label Cash Money ultimately hurt their ties.
According to Mannie Fresh, Cash Money would not clear a Lil Wayne record he had for Def Jam.
“I got this deal with Def Jam through Jay-Z,” Fresh said during the Red Bull Music Academy 2011 in Madrid. “Jay-Z reached out, he was like, ‘I’ll do a deal with you. You come to Def Jam and you do your thing. And I’m over there and I talk to Lil Wayne. I’m like, ‘Hey dude, I got a deal with Def Jam and they pretty much are going to give me my situation, do what I want to do.’ They were like, ‘Just deliver a big song.’ So I go to Lil Wayne, he does the song with me and soon as I get ready to put it out, Cash Money shuts it down. They were just like, ‘Nah, you didn’t get permission from us to do that.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, it’s really that serious? That’s kinda ugly of y’all to do that.’ And I’m like, ‘Wayne agreed to do the song.’ And they were like, ‘Well, Wayne can’t speak for Wayne. We speak for Wayne.’ … So that was a learning lesson for me and it kind of gave Def Jam a salty taste too because they was just like, ‘Every time we do something, if it’s going to get shutdown, we really don’t want to do this with you.'” (Red Bull Music Academy)
Fresh said things got worse upon Jay’s departure as Def Jam president in 2008.
“And in the mix of that, Jay-Z left Def Jam,” Mannied added. “He got an offer from somewhere for something nuts. So I was Jay-Z’s guy at the time and I’m just over there with everybody that hate Jay-Z for leaving. [laughs] So they’re just looking at me like, ‘Well, we hate you too.’ You should have left with him.” (Red Bull Music Academy)
Last year, Mannie detailed his issues with Cash Money boss Birdman.
“This is why Mannie Fresh don’t f*ck with [Cash Money] because he never got any royalty money,” he said in an interview. “That’s why Baby can go around flaunting this cash, because that’s everyone else’s money… It’s not even Wayne’s fault. Wayne is not getting money. He is given money, he’s not getting money. If Baby gets a million dollars he’ll buy Wayne a Phantom, but that’s in Cash Money’s name. That 14-bedroom mansion isn’t Wayne sh*t. That’s why he have his own company, because he was trying to leave Cash Money and the only thing that would keep him there was [if they] gave him his own thing. But Baby still controls that. All those Young Money artists don’t even know that they not getting royalty money.” (VIBE)
Fresh spent over ten years working with the Cash Money family.
Mannie Fresh is currently an artist and hip-hop producer who records for Def Jam South. He is probably most famous for his time producing tracks for Cash Money Records from 1993 to 2005, and one half of the hip-hop duo, the Big Tymers with Birdman. In 2005, he split from Cash Money for financial reasons, and later joined Def Jam South, to which he is currently signed. (The New York Times)
Check out Mannie Fresh’s interview below: