Mannie Fresh and The Cool Kids are working together on a new album, forming an unlikely bridge between the bling era and blog era.
Sir Michael Rocks — one-half of the Midwest duo alongside rapper/producer Chuck Inglish — made the announcement on his Instagram Stories over the weekend. “In here workin on this Mannie fresh x Cool kids album [eyes emoji],” he captioned a short video of himself in the studio.
The news picked up more steam when Andrew Barber, founder of the Chicago rap blog Fake Shore Drive, enthusiastically shared the news on Twitter. Both Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish reposted his tweet across their social media pages.
Breaking News: Mannie Fresh & The Cool Kids are doing an album together.
I can’t imagine what it’s gonna sound like, but I’m ready. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/2XWfHtMrej
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) July 24, 2022
DJ A-Trak added more fuel to the fire by hinting the project will come out on Fool’s Gold Records, the indie label he co-founded with Nick Catchdubs in 2007. “©️ @FoolsGoldRecs [handshake emoji],” he wrote in response to Barber’s tweet.
©️ @FoolsGoldRecs ?
— Nappin 4Tay (@atrak) July 24, 2022
The Cool Kids previously released the 88/I Rock EP — featuring select tracks from their 2008 breakout mixtape The Bake Sale, as well as a handful of new songs — on Fool’s Gold in 2009. The duo reportedly declined an offer to sign with the label permanently, though.
“When your boss is on tour with Kanye West, it’s easy to have timelines missed,” Inglish said in a 2009 interview with Exclaim!, referencing A-Trak’s role as Kanye’s tour DJ at the time.
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While further details remain scarce, the album will mark the first collaboration between the legendary Cash Money producer and influential duo who emerged during the late 2000s MySpace/blog era. Mikey and Chuck did, however, work with Mannie’s old friend Lil Wayne on the 2007 DJ Benzi song “Gettin’ It.”
Mannie Fresh’s last album, Return of the Ballin, arrived in 2009, although he’s remained busy in recent years producing for the likes of Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, battling fellow hitmaker Scott Storch on Instagram Live and continuing to rock parties around the world as a DJ.
Most recently, Mannie helped Amber Rose launch her solo rap career by producing her debut single “Get Your Hoe On,” a sexually-charged revamp of Big Tymers’ 2000 hit “Get Your Roll On.” Full length-collaborations with Lil Wayne and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) have also been teased, although updates on those projects are few and far between.
The Cool Kids, meanwhile, dropped their fourth studio album Before Shit Got Weird in March. The project was followed by solo projects from Sir Michael Rocks (Baby Oil Staircase) and Chuck Inglish (Chillout), with Chance The Rapper, Boldy James, JID, Pac Div, Larry June and more making appearances across the triple-disc series.
“I wanted to give an album a little bit more of an experience than just, you know, a Thursday night, 16 songs, nothing else comes with it … that doesn’t catch my attention,” Inglish explained during a virtual performance on the Kid Cudi-backed Encore app in February. “It’s like Stankonia and then Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. I’m not saying that’s how we came, I’m just talking about the packaging, you know?”