Two legendary producers in the Rap scene battled it out on Instagram live last night, and it was an interesting one.
Producers need way more credit and this battle between heavyweights really showed that. The battle was initially supposed to be Scott Storch vs T-Pain but after T-Pain dropped out Mannie Fresh picked up the mantle and stepped in. Going into it the battle seemed like it would be relatively competitive as both have extensive catalogues with some of the biggest and most important names in music.
Once things got underway however things quickly unravelled and we saw that even amongst the legends there are very clear levels to what people have done. Mannie Fresh kicked things off strong but played one of his biggest hits, Lil Wayne‘s ‘Go DJ’, straight off the bat. Whilst it seemed like a good move, as things progressed it seemed like he’d let the track off too early. Storch, on the other hand, took the approach of building up towards his bigger hits starting with some of the more mellow tracks under his belt. But even saying that when it came to providing hit songs, which was what the two had agreed to compete with, Storch outclassed Fresh.
As producers, the two clearly took different approaches to their careers. Storch is called a super-producer for a reason, he’s produced across multiple genres for multiple artists and even across generations and managed to churn out hits. Fresh on the other hand nurtured a sound and became the figurehead of a distinctive wave that made big moves, but waves don’t usually last forever. So where Storch had diversified and made a lot of outside connections Fresh was pretty reliant on one pool of names for his selection. So whilst Fresh had some great tracks, some which were hugely important musically, they weren’t always hits.
One early instance of this was extremely apparent was when Mannie Fresh first drew for the Cash Money Millionaire collective. The collective combined the already existing collectives Big Tymer$ and the Hot Boy$ creating a line up of Fresh, Birdman, B.G, Juvenile, Turk, and Lil Wayne all collaborating together. In response, Storch began to show his hand and left the Rap field completely drawing on Beyoncé‘s collaboration with Sean Paul ‘Baby Boy’. Whilst seemingly just going for the win it needs to be noted how important that move is.
Scott Storch is not just some regular guy, he has really been out here as a producer for the biggest and the best for years. In the beat battle he could draw for multiple tracks from the likes of Beyoncé, Chris Brown, 50 Cent, and more. He had so much choice that when things played out he had maybe at most 2 songs out of 20 that weren’t certified hits. Mannie Fresh on the other hand just had a lot less to work with. He still had heavy hitters in his arsenal with TI, Jeezy, Juvenille, and Lil Wayne but it was mostly those names he could draw from.
So when it really became crunch time Fresh‘s catalogue and niche left him stuck. Storch on the other hand had so much to draw from he gave us tracks from The Roots all the way through to Roddy Rich. The lone criticism that could have been had of Storch is that he used some tracks which he co-produced on with big names like Timbaland and Dr Dre. But even if we were to discount those records he still won the battle his hit catalogue is just that deep. In reality, what had initially seemed like a contest really became a masterclass in Scott Storch productions, it wasn’t fair at all.
With that being said and the Instagram live drawing in over 200k viewers at its peak with fans and musicians alike tuned in, there is another battle that does need to be had. Timbaland and Pharell are both super producers who have worked across the decades and shaped our musical landscape, that is the true battle of the producers that we need. Just see the clip below to know exactly why.
You can listen to most of the tracks the producers played in their battle here.