Written by Brit Engram
When it comes to the South, especially Dallas, there are some certainties–hospitality, head-nods, heavily seasoned fries from Oak Cliff’s Rudy’s Chicken, and swagger filled deep harmonious sounds from it’s artists. Dallas is a definitely a hidden gem of Southern music, from its Blues, Country, Punk scene, and new kid on the block Hip Hop. With an ever changing sound over a generation, Texas’ Hip Hop sound is traditionally described in one word–TRILL.
On a chilly Saturday night in Deep Ellum, the streets are lively and inside the Liquid Lounge it’s only about to get a bit more live. As we entered, we noticed the man of the hour, E-Mannie was posted back at a merch table near the bar with two young ladies. He’s purposely early for his album release to give those the opportunity who wants to kick it with him to do so. He was more than willing to chop it up with us for a little bit.
A native of Oak Cliff, E-Mannie grew up listening to a variety of music, transcending genres but remaining true to his first love hip hop. With a sure look of determination and passion in his eyes, he began talking to us about his label Tight Right, which he doesn’t refer to as label rather as his family. There was a sure anticipation to the subsequent months and years proceeding this album release. With a early start to rapping he then began to do production for tracks. All of this artistic work reached it’s climax when he decided to leave his nine to five in the furniture industry to pursue his music wholeheartedly.
For an idea this audacious, E-Mannie enlisted the help of the only people that would treat his dream with the respect he knew it deserved–his family. Armed with his cousin, Nelson Ramirez, he began knucking down and laying out a body of work that would become, “Return of the Trill”. As both the producer and rapper, E-Mannie takes you inside his worlds of club bangers and instant classics–bottling spiritual and familial beliefs and truths. Without spoiling the album the emotional rollercoaster is similar to the yesteryear performers UGK with the same rawness and realness of a young Pimp C.
The highlight of the conversation with E-Mannie being his grateful for the opportunity to come out “Rain and all, to perform at Too Fresh’s ‘Fresh Rhymes'” in October. He also stated, “I’m always on the scene. I try go to everything to support everyone. I’m not selfish. I like seeing everybody coming up.”
With the night still young after our conversation, DJ Fatboy got the party jumping with hits. The live performances included openings by Neto Gonzales and Barz Sace. It is undeniable that E-Mannie has a way with words but can also rock the crowd. In addition, the night was topped by a guitar solo by E-Mannie performing “Return of the Trill” finale song.
Video Credit: Nelson Ramirez
The only question at this point is where E-Mannie and his family will go next with the heart of true skills and unity to back it up.
Like the sky, The South is the limit.
Photo Credits: Jessica Martinez and Donnie Williams