B.G. - Chopper City in The Ghetto
On April 20, 1999, B.G. released Chopper City In The Ghetto
, his fourth solo LP and one of the finest installments in the Cash Money catalog. Just a year removed from putting out Juvenile's 400 Degreez
(1998), Chopper City In The Ghetto
would help transform a local record label with a budding following into the powerhouse it is now, featuring the likes of Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake on its roster. The album debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, garnered first week sales of over 140,000 copies, and was certified Platinum before the end of the year; with songs like "Cash Money Is An Army" and the colossal banger "Bling Bling" burning up the airwaves—"Bling Bling" became so ubiquitous that the phrase forced its way into the Oxford English Dictionary
less than five years later—the entirely Mannie Fresh-produced album was a landmark release for Cash Money owners Birdman and Slim. It was also the first major album released in the wake of Cash Money's distribution deal with Universal Records, a historic publishing and distribution contract which was estimated at the time to be worth $30 million and allowed the entrepreneurs to retain full ownership of their masters and publishing.
Fifteen years later, the album stands the test of time, though B.G. isn't free to enjoy it; the former Hot Boy was sentenced to 14 years in prison
in 2012 on gun possession and witness tampering charges. But the architect behind the sound of the album, legendary Cash Money producer and one-half of the Big Tymers, Mannie Fresh, is still grinding. XXL
spoke to Mannie Fresh this week to discuss Chopper City In The Ghetto,
its importance to the Cash Money empire and what, exactly, makes this album so timeless. —Emmanuel C.M.