Album: 400 Degreez
Mannie Fresh: “A lot of people don’t know, the Universal Cash Money deal was really based off of Big Tymers sales. It wasn’t based off of Juvenile because Juvenile wasn’t even there yet. I was just like, 'It’s only so much we could do, but if we put Juvenile at the front of this, that’s ya’ll rapper.' We were just creative game spitters, we can talk shit, but we got somebody that can go toe to toe. So I was like, 'Get this dude and let’s do his album.' That’s why 400 Degreez had to be that album and the songs had to be incredible.
At the time, the only flaw that Juvenile had was he didn’t know how to count bars.
“I had like a cheesy vocoder, and I was just trying to figure out, 'What can I do? I want to do something with the vocoder, something.' '400 Degrees' started out with me just doing that, 'You don’t want to fuck with me, hot boy, hot hot...' and it was originally a Hot Boys song. I was playing around in the studio, and Juvenile was like, 'I got the song ‘400 Degreez.’' He was like, 'It would be crazy if you could do that,' and I was like, 'OK, let’s do that.'
“Now even if you pay attention to 400 Degreez, some of his bars are crazy, and we kind of gotta meet where he’s at. We just would run the drum machine first and then go back and do the keyboard parts while he’s rapping in the other room. That’s why a lot of the songs off 400 Degreez got crazy count points to them, like it’s 14 bars and the hook comes in. At the time, the only flaw that Juvenile had was he didn’t know how to count bars. He was just, 'I RAP.' Some of the verses would be 14 bars, some would be eight, and I’m like, ‘We’ll just work around you.’”