Mannie Fresh Declares 'Back That Azz Up' the Greatest Love Song of All Time

Mannie Fresh performs onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo: Bennett Raglin (Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Picture it...Sicily. Or any place that has a nightclub, actually.

You’ve just walked to the bathroom after the DJ decides to play a bathroom break-worthy song. Whilst (hopefully) dousing your hands with water and soap after you’ve handled your business, you hear the beautiful violin strings of success start to harmonize in the background.

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Is that—”BACK THAT AZZ UP?!”

You exclaim, “Oh shit!” and rush out the bathroom without drying your hands because, look ma, wet hands never stopped no twerking show.

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As Mic’s Rajul Punjabi recalled after seeing Mannie Fresh live in New Orleans:

The old French Quarter floorboards pulsated under my feet as rivulets of sweat formed along my collarbone. About 20 feet in front of me, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was cutting up, and despite the lack of air conditioning in the venue — or maybe catalyzed by it — people were catching the spirit. In front of the band stood Mannie Fresh, ad-libbing over the infamous opening seconds of “Back That Azz Up,” a melodic call-to-action for nostalgic twerkers.

“Turn to someone you like...or love,” he said. “And tell ‘em, this is the greatest love song ever wrote.”

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“Back That Azz Up” actually celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, so this is the perfect year to declare such a thing. The song, recorded by Juvenile, features unforgettable verses by Mannie (who also produced the song) and Lil Wayne.

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Before you dub Mannie’s declaration “poppycock,” walk with me for a minute. Imagine Mannie Fresh’s verse, in particular, as your wedding vows:

I know you can’t stand it, dick bandit

Done landed, see your drawers handed

Freak to get it y’all, game spit at y’all

Put the bitch on the wall and I hit it y’all

Lookin’ kind of lonely, I’m feelin horny

Put the dick “in the Middle” like “Monie”

Big thick plumber chick, and a Hummer chick

Beat the dick like a motherfuckin’ drummer chick

See dat puddy-cat? Look at dat

I love a fuckin hoodie-rat, that’s a fact

You’se a motherfuckin’ get it girl, quit it girl

I’m the nigga, the nigga, nigga, that hit it girl

Yes, move over “for better or for worse,” and make room for “beat the dick like a motherfuckin’ drummer chick” (Speaking of which, this is the rare occasion where I prefer the “clean” version because I get to mimic Mannie’s drum sound. Try it, it’s fun.). Romance!

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Need a live band to play it as your first dance song or while you’re on your knee proposing to your boo? Not impossible!

Mannie Fresh Uses Violin To Recreate Juvenile Back That Azz Up Beat / All Urban Central (YouTube)

I love love. I also love shaking my ass. Sounds like a win to me.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.