You can't mention the late '90s and early aughts without acknowledging the machine that is Cash Money Records.
After years of making their bones on the underground and independent circuit in their home base of Louisiana and throughout the South, the crew hit pay dirt when they inked a distribution deal with Universal Music to the tune of $30 million dollars.
Not long after, the label began to unleash a barrage of albums by their roster of artists -- all of which would go on to be regarded as classics -- and quickly proved why Universal broke the bank to get in business with the label.
But the plot twist of it all was that in addition to multiple solo artists and a supergroup under their umbrella, Cash Money also had a stuntastic duo called the Big Tymers, which included label head Bryan "Baby" Williams and Byron "Mannie Fresh" Thomas. They were musically dope in their own right.
Forming in 1996, the Big Tymers released their debut album, How U Luv That, independently in 1997, and moved over 100,000 units without a massive promotional roll-out or video and radio airplay. This ultimately played a big part in their transition to the big leagues.
They released a revamped version of their debut, How You Luv That Vol. 2, in 1998, after the Universal signing. Then the Big Tymers got back in the studio and recorded their third studio album, I Got That Work. Released on May 16, 2000, the album was a success and continued Cash Money's streak of platinum albums, selling over a million copies by September of 2000. While lacking in lyrical dexterity, the Big Tymers were as flamboyant as any rap group at the time, whit numerous mentions of fancy cars, jewelry, attractive women and all the trappings life as a stunner has to offer.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of this album, we decided to select the five songs that stand out as the best.
With plenty of money to blow due to their onslaught of platinum selling releases, the Big Tymers revel in the spoils of their success on "Stuntastic." Featuring an appearance by B.G., who tackles the opening verse and the song's hook, the track is dominated by 808 drums and rising keys. The Big Tymers get flashy with lyrics like, "I ride top-notch s---, n----, all the hot s--- / On a Sunday I pull out all my drop-top s--- / I be stunting, step in the club and buy the bar / I know them hoes be lookin', that's why I play this game raw," and get their g-mack on.
The Big Tymers take time out to keep their harem of women in check on the I Got That Work selection, "Rocky," which features a festive, uptempo beat and Juvenile lending his vocals to the hook. Baby gets his pimping on from the offset with talk of taking down the ladies. "Boy, don't make me smile cause I'll blind a bitch / Hoes shout when I pass, that's a Tymer, bitch / Don't pop up at the house, you might find your bitch / On my video tape, man, rewind that s---," he raps, showing little to no remorse about the ordeal. While the content of this song may not be as well-received as it was 15 years ago with the increased awareness of domestic violence that has emerged in the country over the past year, musically, "Rocky" remains a guilty pleasure.
"Big Tymers"Featuring B.G., Lac & Stone
I Got That Work hits a high point with the standout number "Big Tymers," which finds the heavyweight duo hitting on all cylinders. Birdman opens the track and delivers what may be his best lyrics on the album. "Back where I started on my set in black /
Hopped out the passenger side of my 'lac / Under my nuts was two ounces of crack /
My lil' n---- Geezy, say he needed a stack." He makes the listener feel his heartlessness when he says, "My momma's dead (what) my daddy's dead (What?) /
My brother's a dope fiend, I'm duckin' the Feds," with the conviction of a hardened criminal.
B.G. shines on the hook with his slithered vocals as well, spitting, "Big Tymers they Gs, too, them n----s'll creep, too / They'll slang iron where your family sleep, too / Big Tymers they thug, too, them n----s sell drugs, too / They don't just stunt, Baby and Fresh'll bust, too," and sounds completely believable.
Mannie Fresh comes ready as well. "They wanna be with a n---- when your money come right / When s--- get bad, them hoes clean outta sight / B.G. downed the broad and he passed her to Juvie / Baby got the bitch, and he put her in a movie," he delivers, talking down on gold diggers and loose women. The singles from the album may get all of the shine, but pound-for-pound, "Big Tymers" is as vicious a cut as there is from the LP.
"Get Your Roll On," the first single released from I Got That Work, is a raucous club banger that exemplifies all that the Big Tymers are about.
Mannie Fresh voices his disregard for the groupies and lusty women, rapping, "I f--- these hoes / Af-ter our shows / Big d---s we slang / Freak bitch do ya thang (do ya thang)," and flexing on the competition with mentions of luxury vehicles and truck jewelry. Baby provides his braggadocious brand of slick-talk, rhyming, "Be-atrice, bitch please / You know who I be / Nothing else, none other, the number one stunner," before the chorus commanding, everyone to "get their roll on."
Aside from being the song that introduced the Big Tymers to a large chunk of the hip-hop populus, "Get Your Roll On" still packs enough punch to get the most prude party-goers to throw some 'bows.
"#1 Stunna"Featuring Lil Wayne and Juvenile
The Big Tymers work well as a duo, but they're usually at their best when paired up with their Cash Money brethren. "#1 Stunna," the second single from the LP, is a testament to that statement and serves as a symbol of how they officially planted their flag as the hottest record label in rap at that time. The song features verses from Juvenile and Lil Wayne, as well as an appearance by Turk on the hook, and appeared in The Original Kings of Comedy movie, marking their first foray into the world of film. They ultimately released their own gangster flick, Baller Blockin', in 2000. Running down their list of valuables and giving props for stunters of yesteryear like Jackie Chan and McGyver, the Big Tymers shine with "#1 Stunna."