Mani Coolin’ is one of LA’s rapidly rising rappers. The South Central emcee has been on a roll dropping nearly 30 tracks and two quality projects in just a years time. In that time he’s been featured on major blogs such as DJBooth, 2DopeBoyz, Uproxx, DailyLoud and RosecransAve (shameless plug). Mani has created a movement with his real life raps inspiring the youth to dig deeper, showing them LA isn’t just “fun and b*tches”, like ‘Pac said.
Hope4theYouth was a relatively against the grain project if you’re used to listening to the ratchet brand of LA hip-hop made famous by YG, Problem, Tyga. Mani’s latest project provided exactly what the title said it would, hope that the youth won’t grow up wanting only to mimic the lyrics said over catchy DJ Mustard beats and not listen to anything with more substance. If you paid attention to Mani’s message, you know exactly what I’m talking about, if not maybe you can better understand after this.
DISCLAIMER: I paraphrased this conversation a bit so ya’ll can understand it in a better context.
Vic Stunts: So Hope 4 The Youth dropped 3 months ago. Did it accomplish what you wanted to accomplish?
Mani Coolin: Yeah, It accomplished more than what I was trying to do actually.
Vic Stunts: Do you think your message got across?
Mani Coolin: To the people who listened to it yeah. But to the people who didn’t listen to it (all the way through) no. But there’s still alotta time for the project to grow. And the people who listened to it all the way through definitely got something out of it. Because to get the whole message you have to listen to it all the way through.
Vic Stunts: What really got you into rapping and recording music?
Mani Coolin: looking at the rappers on TV, I liked the lifestyle. That’s when I was young tho, like 8 or 9 years old. You know, everyone wants to be a rapper. I didn’t really get serious with it until about 17, but when I got older I looked at it like trying to get my message out and expressing myself.
Vic Stunts: I first heard about you by listening to Chip Gnarly. What is your relationship with him now?
Mani Coolin: I haven’t really talked to him in a while, but that’s the homie though, that’s the lil’ homie.
Vic Stunts: Was he one of the first artists you worked with that had a a buzz locally?
Mani Coolin: He wasn’t the first but he definitely was working (had a buzz) when we working.
Vic Stunts: I’ve noticed you’ve been working with brand new artists like League, Two Time and Hardaway Smith. Are they a part of your camp?
Mani Coolin: Yeah, League and Two are definitely a part of my camp but they’re hungry, and they’re their own artists. It’s a lot of talent in LA that doesn’t get heard and these are guys making good music, I just want to play my part.
Hardaway Smith has been doing his thing for a while now.
Vic Stunts: Is there a name for your camp?
Mani Coolin: Nah, no name, they’re just my homies, we kick it on the daily, but they definitely doing their thing, they got a lot of stuff coming.
Vic Stunts: Yeah you’ve been collabing (with them) a lot and it’s all been heat.
Mani Coolin: Appreciate that, yeah we’ve been working. Plus we work at the same studio.
Vic Stunts: What was it like recording with Cozz? Did you two get in the lab?
Mani Coolin: He came through to the studio, He came thru with Meez, that’s his producer and my producer (Jay) Kurzweil was already at the studio. They made the beat on the spot, while they made the beat, me and Cozz wrote.
Vic Stunts: You could definitely tell the vibe (was right) because you two sound really in tune.
Mani Coolin: Yea there were definitely vibes, we did the whole beat and song in about an hour.
Vic Stunts: Do you two have anymore records coming?
Mani Coolin: Nah, but I seen him yesterday at the mall (lol).
Vic Stunts: How did you get that feature with Big Gipp? He’s a legend.
Mani Coolin: Crazy story, I was at A3C Festival in 2013 (in Atlanta) and I was staying at the W Hotel, because I had a show. I was going downstairs to go hop in my Uber and on the way down Big Gipp hopped in the elevator, he was staying a floor below me. I thought he was Trinidad James at first. I asked him If he had a show tonight and he said, “nah do you?” I said yeah I have a show tonight. Then he said, “Yeah you from LA huh? I be seeing you” and I was like nah man foreals? He said yeah I stay out out in LA and he said to holla at him. He (Gipp) gave me his contact email and followed me on Twitter and he would tell me to come to the studio and we just vibe’d but never recorded anything. He would listen to my songs and we always talked about recording something. So when I was making Hope 4 The Youth, I made Earning + Spending early and I thought it was a track he would sound nice on. So I called him and he came through to my studio and recorded it.
Vic Stunts: That’s Crazy. That’s really dope he knew about you.
Mani Coolin: To this day I still don’t really know if he knew (who I was) or he was just being friendly, I got to ask him.
Vic Stunts: That’s dope though, coming from a legend like him.
Mani Coolin: Yeah, that’s the big homie forreal. He just had a show in LA and I came out with him. It was cool.
Vic Stunts: That’s dope. On your track “Hope” you talk about a lot of true shit, is it really true shit from your life, or is it other people’s stories too that you incorporated into it too?
Mani Coolin: Nah that’s definitely all my story. All that was prior to making Hope 4 The Youth. That was me in early 2014, well really that’s me now (laughs), but yeah that’s my story.
Vic Stunts: Are there any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Mani Coolin: Nah, no project, but some crazy shit’s gon’ happen. Keep looking out. The unexpected, expect the most unexpected.
Vic Stunts: Alright man thanks for talking with us. Appreciate that.
Mani Coolin: No doubt man, shouts to RosecransAve.
DISCLAIMER #2: The audio is a bit rough.
Here is the much heralded Hope4TheYouth.