"I get stupid and dumb like Just Ice and Mantronix," E-40 spits on the "Tell Me When To Go" remix. It's hard not to like that line, but it's also hard not to feel that that line is just for me, the over-30 hip-hopper. Does the younger generation even know about Just Ice and Mantronix? Have they ever even heard the names? If they haven't, they should–and they should be up on Mantronix in particular, as his sound was groundbreaking more than 20 years ago and remains cutting-edge even today, as it has clearly influenced the beatmaking of the real force behind Cash Money records and Mannie Fresh, as well as the uptempo, bass-heavy sounds of the hyphy movement. With that in mind, the first edition of the Friday Five brings you...
Top Five Mantronix Beats
1. Mantronix "King of the Beats"
One of the greatest cut-and-paste records of all time. The sirens, constantly shifting grooves, sustained intensity, and crushing drums sound like the intersection between the Bomb Squad and Rick Rock.
2. Mantronix "Needle to the Groove"
Drum machines, vocoders, and MC Tee all come together to make this hardcore, electro-infused classic.
3. T La Rock "Bass Machine"
This ode to the exalted Roland TR-808 drum machine is very heavy on the low-end (duh), and it connects nicely with the Mannie Fresh tracks that put Cash Money Records on top a few years ago. Throw in some great verses from the rhyming dictionary T La Rock and the "sound machine" Greg Nice, and you've got a serious winner.
4. Just Ice "Cold Getting Dumb"
40 didn't just reference this song because its title has the word "dumb" in it, he referenced it because it's a classic track–so classic, in fact, that Redman stabbed it up for his single "It's Like That (My Big Brother)." The frenetic energy is as hyphy as it gets, and Just calling out, "Yo, change the bass!" is a moment of sheer beauty.
5. T La Rock "This Beat Kicks"
808 is de rigueur for club tracks these days, and few cuts bring as much 808 as this T La Rock pounder that could fit very comfortably into a hyphy set, provided it doesn't completely destroy your subwoofer.