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Posted by: Javonni Brustow Category: Music Comments: 0 Post Date: February 25, 2019

Juvenile’s ‘Back that Azz Up’ Just Turned 20 Years Old


Photo Credit: Juvenile/Youtube

With only a little bit of time left we just remembered that today, February 24th marks the 20th anniversary of Juvenile’s Back That Azz Up. If ever there was a song that everyone who has ever listened to hip hop knows when it comes on with half of the room looking around to see if they’re among shake-appropriate company first, this would be it. The song from his second album 400 Degreez is arguably his biggest hit, certainly the label Cash Money’s biggest commercial hit and other than Beyonce’s Crazy In Love, we can’t think of another overplayed song.

Mannie Fresh did an interview with Genius.com this month talking about making this song 20+ years ago and the impact Juvenile and Cash Money has had on rap and the industry at large. “Twenty years ago, ‘Back That Azz Up’ coming out, that was the introduction to Bounce music to the world. A lot of people don’t know it was met with, ‘Nah, maybe the world not ready for it.’ Like, ‘We get it. It’s New Orleans. We get it.’ Fast forward 20 years later, it stood the test of time. I don’t see it going nowhere.” After all, a little over a year ago, Big K.R.I.T. tapped Mannie to pay homage to the record with video single “1999,” featuring Lloyd.

He went on to talk about his personal influence on the track saying “I would say the way I produce is definitely from a club DJ’s perspective because I like it when people dance. I like it when they move. I notice certain sounds, the way certain drops happen in songs, and the way [DJs] format it made a difference on the dance floor.”

Mannie says he met Juvenile through his father who was a dj at the time. Boy are we happy that parental relationship worked out. “Before I met Juvy’, Juvy’ used to actually rap at some of my dad’s DJ things. Meeting him brung out the best in me. His wordplay was so unorthodox, something you had never heard where you’re just like, ‘How does the beat catch up with this dude? How do you figure this out?’ But basically, he was doing it off of breakbeats. And I was like, ‘What if we really put some music to this? And put some structure to this?’”

“When I started ‘Back That Azz Up,’ you know, most people know the intro. That’s an awesome feeling man, like, to have a song that’s still 20 years later and the intro to the song says ‘From the 99 to the 2000 and it don’t bother nobody,’ and when that comes on, people wake up. It starts off with a string line… I’m thinking orchestra. I’m like, let’s find a whole bunch of keyboards with orchestra sounds and let’s make ’em hood, make the baseline something that the hood would rock to.”

And as for them most important ingredient in the production of the song, he says “When I started ‘Back That Azz Up,’ you know, most people know the intro. That’s an awesome feeling man, like, to have a song that’s still 20 years later and the intro to the song says ‘From the 99 to the 2000 and it don’t bother nobody,’ and when that comes on, people wake up. It starts off with a string line… I’m thinking orchestra. I’m like, let’s find a whole bunch of keyboards with orchestra sounds and let’s make ’em hood, make the baseline something that the hood would rock to.”

And rock to the hood has been doing for years, err, decades now. This post is to celebrate two decades of backing up and many more stories to tell our children about what you’re supposed to do when you’re getting ready for the “99 and the 2000.”

Mannie Fresh’s Genius.com Interview on the Making of ‘Back That Azz Up’

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