Manny Phesto
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Manny Phesto

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Hip Hop Soul

Calendar

Music

Press


"‘80s overindulgence, marijuantrepreneurs, and LSD head trips in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos"

Manny Phesto – “100 Grams”

Sleep has been evasive for Manny Phesto. The Minneapolis MC has been out west working on new hits, and it’s been an all-consuming task. In the video for “100 Grams,” we see the fruits of that labor, as Phesto turns a kicked back TZ1 beat into a song of blind determination. Endlissvisiion directs the video, which shows how Phesto is not only hustling to rhyme but also trying to break into the CBD industry in California. If his weed grind is as strong as his rap grind, Phesto is setting himself up for big success in San Diego. “100 Grams” is the first release from Phesto and TZ1’s forthcoming project Over South. - City Pages


"LOCAL RAPPER MANNY PHESTO'S GLOBAL GRIND INCLUDES CUBA, MEXICO"

Ask Manny Phesto how he got on the lineup at any given festival. He'll give you a charismatic smile and tell you the first step was to ask.

"One of the big things I learned this year is closed mouths don't get fed," says the rapper whose 2015 tour itinerary included shows in Cuba, Mexico, and Hawaii in 2015. "And I was a lot more conscious about asking for things that I want, and then following up with 'em too."

The young emcee from Minneapolis' Southside estimates that he applied for roughly 15 festivals in 2015. He got into about five. That's impressive enough for any upstart act, but even more for an artist who just dropped his first album, 2014's Southside Looking In, and still even more yet for a guy who's doing it all independently.

In a short time, Manny Phesto has assembled a complex one-man publicity machine. He began work on it before his first album dropped, making lists of venues to play and watching others' tour schedules, making notes about festivals where he thought he might be able get in. A year and a half later, his list spans multiple cities, states, and countries.

He realized early that press savvy is a game changer, noting that a lot of music writers just aren't that hungry; a lot of press just isn't trying that hard to seek out new music. "Nobody's gonna go to see some random kids on a bill that they've never heard," he says, "unless you tell them that you're worthy of their attention."

On his own and with friends, Phesto played Denver's Munchie Cup, brought the house down at Soundset, performed in Iowa once for Summerset, and again a few months later at a festival headlined by Aretha Franklin. Add too many block parties to count, four islands of Hawaii, Havana, and a festival on the edge of a volcano near Mexico City. There's barely a corner of the continent the up-and-coming rapper from South High School left untouched.

He went to Havana in November through the U.S. Cuba Artist Exchange, a local nonprofit. For 10 days, he networked, recorded, played, and explored the city.

"I didn't know what to expect because I didn't see any posters or flyers, and nobody really has internet out there for the most part," he says. That is until he got to the show at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. "It was a wall-to-wall packed house. I think it's just the place to be," he says of the converted cooking oil factory, now owned by the Ministry of Art and Culture, "so young people just go out there and kick it on the weekends."

Phesto is quick to acknowledge his out-of-town success, but he's aware his sound won't win over fans at every stop.

"There are some places that really fuck with me," he says. "But some places, you know, I'm not really their flavor. In Hawaii, most of what they listen to is island-infused music, like reggae, and that's pretty far from what I make. Even their hip-hop out there has very little resemblance to what I make, but the reception was pretty good."


While hibernating back at home, Phesto is also working on new music with an array of producers, including longtime partner Mike the Martyr and first-time collaborator Andre Mariette.

He's also lining up the next season's worth of festivals, waiting on confirmation from Cuba again, looking toward SXSW, and hoping to organize an extended tour of Mexico. "You can tour 30 dates without driving more than an hour a day because Mexico City is so big," he notes.

Phesto will leave the house just a couple of times in January, opening for Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Triple Rock on January 16, and judging "The Best Damn Beat Battle" at Honey on January 19.

He knows he won't get in everywhere he wants, but that's not going to stop him from trying. Getting declined is a part of the game.

"It's either I get no response, or it's politely declining. I can't be mad." - City Pages


"Artists to follow"

Manny Phesto es un artista de Hip Hop de origen puertorriqueño pero con base en Minneapolis, Minnesota. Desde el lanzamiento de su disco debut, Southside Looking In, el año pasado ha participado en varios festivales como el Summerset Music and Camping Festival, Saturday in the Park, La Fábrica de Arte Cubano y el Festival Ajusco.

Su álbum ha ganado buenas reseñas por parte de Pitchfork, NPR y XXL. El sonido recuerda al primer De La Soul con los beats de DJ Shadow y la fluidez del Kanye West de Late Registration, pero con un sello muy particular que lo hace estar parado en lugar muy aparte. - Me Hace Ruido


"Manny Phesto Continues On His Mission in “Whatever Works”"

After spending much of 2015 touring the state and the globe, Minneapolis MC Manny Phesto returned to the booth to release his latest single “Whatever Works.”

Produced by Andre Mariette, the Southside sage skillfully revels at the worth of his work over dreamy keys and heavenly samples. From filling up the blank pages in his passport to changing his worst habits, “Whatever Works” serves as a mission statement for attaining his future goals while standing as a source of inspiration for all those willing to chase their dreams.

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Before premiering it on GO95.3 FM GO Local segment with Mr. Peter Parker, Manny Phesto took to his email to allow his dedicated fans to have the first listen before chatting it up on the airwaves and allowing his song to be transmitted through the Twin Cities. “Whatever Works” is also the first single off of his upcoming album with the Mariette, which has no official date set. - BreaksxLakes


""Manny Phesto has been doing BIG things lately with a slew of national & international tour dates beginning way back in spring. ""

Manny Phesto has been doing BIG things lately with a slew of national & international tour dates beginning way back in spring. After hitting Denver’s Munchie Cup, the Summer Set Music Festival, Cuba and most recently performing at Festival Ajusco in Mexico City; Manny’s coming back home for an upcoming show at 7th Street. The above video documents Manny Phesto & Tufawon’s trip down to Cuba where they perform at Fábrica de Arte Cubano, record at Guampara Studios and explore some of the Cuban cities. Check out their trip for yourself and make sure to keep an eye out for more info regarding Manny Phesto’s upcoming events. - MADE


"Southside Looking In"

"This is a deeply personal album that doesn't drown in melodrama or angst, as well as a deeply political album that never once feels like what we think of when we think of "political hip hop." For lack of a better term, this is REAL. No gimmicks, no trend-chasing-- just a young MC who actually has something to say being bold, honest and vulnerable."

Full Article -

Especially in 2014, and double-especially in Minnesota, there's something super mega refreshing about hearing rap music for people who actually like rap music. Don't get me wrong, I love hip hop that pushes boundaries and even my own work tends toward left-field, but in a scene where it's not inaccurate to say that the majority of the hip hop getting attention is kind of weird in one way or another, "Southside Looking In" is a breath of fresh air. Soul samples, crisp drums, multi-syllable raps, down-to-earth subject matter; this is the kind of hip hop I fell in love with as a teenager.

And when I say that the album has a classic feel to it, I don't mean that it's simple, or that it's just retreading what other people have done a million times before. Manny Phesto uses his mastery of craft (the air-tight sixteens, internal rhymes, confident flow, etc.) not as an end in-and-of itself, but as a foundation for digging deeper into his content. This is a deeply personal album that doesn't drown in melodrama or angst, as well as a deeply political album that never once feels like what we think of when we think of "political hip hop." For lack of a better term, this is REAL. No gimmicks, no trend-chasing-- just a young MC who actually has something to say being bold, honest and vulnerable.

Add to that some banging production from Mike the Martyr, who is one of the most consistent producers in this or any scene, guest spots from Greg Grease, Metasota and more, as well as some gorgeous album art courtesy of Ricardo Levins Morales, and you have a classic TC hip hop album that's pay-what-you-want but definitely more-than-worth the $10 if you can spare it. - MN Daily Planet


"Best MN Hip-Hop Releases"

"..Manny Phesto’s reverent "Cedar Ave"" - Pitchfork


"The Best Minnesota Rap Albums"

"Manny's slickly understated and socially aware bars are among the best offerings the local scene has seen yet."

Full Article -

Atmosphere drew some national attention to south Minneapolis's regional rap scene by titling their album Southsiders, but it was Manny Phesto who crafted the record most representative of the sound this year. It's immersed in the vibe of the local neighborhood, drawing inspiration from the people, the scenery, the political outlook, and the sonic styles, effortlessly representing the surroundings with a stoned drawl and a laid-back attitude. Mike the Martyr scores another win with the album's consistent sample-centric soul production, and Manny sinks into the beats with a smooth feel that complements the head-nodding tone. Manny's slickly understated and socially aware bars are among the best offerings the local scene has seen yet. - City Pages


"Best Local (Minnesota) Hip Hop Albums"

"#3 Best Local (Minnesota) Hip Hop Albums of 2014" - Reviler


"Minneapolis Rapper Gets Action Bronson and Ghostface Killah To Agree on One Thing"

That’s exactly what Manny Phesto did this weekend at the Summer Set Festival in Somerset, Wisconsin. The young rapper was playing on Sunday, but he made the trek early to catch the two before their Friday sets. (Bronson was playing solo, while Ghost had teamed with BADBADNOTGOOD to play songs from their Sour Soul collaboration.) Phesto had each MC pose with the mock election signs that he’s been using to promote himself and his website. Even if they aren’t in the frame together, Bronson and Ghost united for the greater good is what the country needs in these uncertain times. Manny is best known for his local hit, “Cedar Ave.” - XXL


"Tuesdays with Lazerbeak"

Manny Phesto has been back at it dropping single after single lately, and this “Whatever Works” track is a serious highlight. Make sure to check it out below and keep an eye on him as he continues to crank out new music. - Doomtree


"Album of the Year"

Selected as "Album of the Year" on The Current's 'Critic's Pick' episode - The Current


"Album Of The Week: August 18th-24th, 2014"

"Let me tell you, this one only gets better with more spins. Manny Phesto's rhymes & Mike The Martyr's beats make Southside Looking In a perfect, laid back summer album..."

Full Article -

Truth be told I'm actually a week late naming Southside Looking In my AOTW. I actually spent the entirety of last week with it. Fortunately, writing this post after spending a week with an album as opposed to while I'm spending time with it has given me a bit more time to digest the record.

Let me tell you, this one only gets better with more spins. Manny Phesto's rhymes & Mike The Martyr's beats make Southside Looking In a perfect, laid back summer album.

A lot of recent albums from the Twin Cities hip-hop scene have stuck to sparse, downbeat production while rappers vent either anger, confusion, or a sense of surprised contentedness. While those sort of practical emotions are undeniably Midwestern in nature, Manny Phesto & Mike The Martyr seem to have decided it's time for a bit of a celebration. Mike The Martyr brings a sturdy set of beats that sound like they've been influenced equally by RZA & Kanye's early "chipmunk soul" sound. In fact, the only real break in the beats are the interludes, otherwise Martyr continues to do his thing throughout without throwing in the token "slow song" or "banger." It's just consistently excellent, good time beats.

Manny Phesto matches that energy with a collection of verses that stick to the positives of life. He spends a majority of the record enjoying his hometown and his friends. Now, this being an album from a Minnesotan, it couldn't be all party time raps. However, when Manny Phesto does take a break from the positivity, he still manages to crib his concerns in a mostly positive outlook. His problems are weighing on him, but he seems confident that they'll be solved before they become overwhelming.

With Southside Looking In, it seems that Manny Phesto & Mike The Martyr have taken up the torch from local legends Kanser. It's mostly positivity here, and even when the clouds turn grey, the focus is on the silver lining rather than the rain.

Southside Looking In is available as a "Name Your Price" download over on Manny Phesto's Bandcamp page. I highly suggest you pick it up and give it a spin. Especially if you have a car. Or enjoy BBQ's. Or just need a dose of positivity. - Flatbasset


"Nuestras 11 recomendaciones del Festival Ajusco 2015"

El buen hip hop se hace presente con este proyecto, el cual no sólo presume de tener un nombre genial, sino también de canciones muy originales y gozosas para la gente amante del género. - NoMute.MX


"Best Local (Minnesota) Songs of 2014"

#2 Manny Phesto - "Rabbit Hole" (ft. Greg Grease) - Reviler


"Top 10 Must See Music Videos This Week 6/26"

"The track is lifted off of Manny Phesto's potent and positive new album, Southside Looking In, which has started to make major waves in the local hip-hop scene since its release...Expect some big things from this young breakout MC"

Full Article -

Southside Minneapolis MC Manny Phesto is back with another fresh video, this time out for his vibrant jam with Greg Grease, "Rabbit Hole." The track was produced by Mike the Martyr, while the retro, psychedelic-drenched video was directed by Alan De Leon Taverna. The track is lifted off of Manny Phesto's potent and positive new album, Southside Looking In, which has started to make major waves in the local hip-hop scene since its release back in April. And for good reason too, as the production is top notch and the rhymes are inventive and entirely on point throughout the record. Expect some big things from this young breakout MC, as well as some big show announcements in the very near future. - City Pages/Gimmie Noise


"Top 15 albums of 2014"

One of the most active members of the Twin Cities Hip Hop scene dropped his long awaited debut album “Southside Looking In.” With the fantastic soulful production from Mike the Martyr, Manny Phesto hits the people with soul filled ‘Reality Checks’ and flows with the steady and highly relatable streams of consciousness. Plus with fantastic features Metasota, Greg Grease, Akrite & Axel Foley; this is sure to welcome the world into the Southside State of Mind. - BreaksXLakes


"Top 10 Must See Music Videos this Week 5/29"

"This track has a classic hip-hop feel to it, with Manny Phesto's heartfelt rhymes injecting the track with a personal, passionate edge."

Full Article -

Minneapolis MC Manny Phesto recently released first full-length album, Southside Looking In, and this is a video for one of the standout tracks on that collection, "Cedar Ave." The video features a simple but effective concept, with Manny riding his bike through his old neighborhood, all while delivering his spirited flow (while also taking time out to say hi to his friends). The clip was shot by Morningside Films, while the track (and the entire album) was produced by Mike the Martyr. This track has a classic hip-hop feel to it, with Manny Phesto's heartfelt rhymes injecting the track with a personal, passionate edge. - City Pages/Gimmie Noise


"Flatbasset Radio's 50 Most Played Albums: 2014"

Manny Phesto - Southside Looking In (93 plays): A thoughtful, soulful, throwback of an album. Both Manny Phesto & Mike The Martyr make their case as players in the future of TC hip-hop. - Flatbasset Radio


"Soundset 2015 at Canterbury Park"

"In the Fifth Element tent, Minneapolis rapper Manny Phesto proved that soulful samples can rock a crowd too" - TC Daily Planet


"Manny Phesto: "Southside Looking In" Review"

"Manny Phesto narrates a proper and accurate description of his neighborhood, much like Nas plays Picasso with the 41st Side of Queens"

Full Article -

Leading up to the release of Southside Looking In, the album from Manny Phesto, there were a whole slew of one-off tunes leading up to the album. There was the star-studded “Boondock Saints” featuring Muja Messiah and Maria Isa, and there was also a collaboration between him and Tall Paul on the amazingly soulful and smooth “Ambrosia.” If anything, they built quite the anticipation for the fact that Southside Looking In is the 2nd project this year entirely produced by Long Doe affiliate and beatsmith Mike The Martyr, which begs the question as to not only how this album stacks up, but is Mike the Martyr planning to pull a hat trick this year?

All signs point to yes, as Mike The Martyr provides nothing but the meat & potatoes, mid-90s golden age, soulful production for Manny to get his flow on over. Such as the epic violins and heavenly guitar strings on the lead off single “Eternity In The Cities,” or the dramatic vocal coos on “Cedar Ave.” Elsewhere, Mike also gives a great guest appearance on “The Account” as horns ring triumphantly, while pianos provide a head-nod worthy jam on “Standards,” with Metasota riding shotgun, while violins and chipmunk-soul vocals provide the proper climaxes on “HI LAKE.” Mike the Martyr, no matter the weather gives Manny a proper southside soundtrack for him to weave intricate tales.

Manny Phesto narrates a proper and accurate description of his neighborhood. Much like Nas plays Picasso with the 41st Side of Queens, Manny does justice with documenting the southside, especially on “Full Scope” with a guest verse from Akrite of TUSS fame, while “Cedar Ave” allows Manny to weave a world that you can touch, while the same can be said for “Eternity In The Cities,” which provides a rooftop skyline view of the city from sunrise to sunset. It’s very hard to knock a project like Southside Looking In, which allows for both Mike The Martyr and Manny Phesto to deliver a project that hits on all cylinders, even with the cameos and interludes presented, because it manages to keep Southside Minneapolis as its focal point and place, and given that we’re in the thick of summer, who could deny such a beautifully painted portrait of the Southside?
— Ali Elabbady (Background Noise Crew) - Reviler


"Manny Phesto - "Eternity in the Cities/Cedar Avenue (Live on Radio K)""

"South Minneapolis MC Manny Phesto released one of our favorite local albums of the year in 2014, Southside Looking In... Catch Manny Phesto live if you can, he's one of the brightest young talents in the Twin Cities hip-hop scene." - City Pages


"Tuesdays with Lazerbeak"

It’s election day today so you know I had to mention the homie Manny Phesto, who has come up with quite the creative campaign in the process of releasing some great music this year. These “Manny Phesto For Minnesota” signs have been popping up all over the Southside as of late, and they’re a great reminder to get out and vote today. Check out Manny’s video for “Cedar Ave” below, which is coincidentally the same street I drove down this morning on my way to the polls. As always, shouts to Mike the Martyr on the beat. - Doomtree.net


"Manny Phesto for Minnesota: MC’s Launch into Politics"

As voters are flocking to the polls, many are still contemplating who they want as their representatives. One candidate that won’t be found on the ballots is Minneapolis MC Manny Phesto as he continues on his grassroots campaign into politics as a write-in candidate for any seat voters believe he would be best suited for.

“I’m running for Minnesota,” said Manny Phesto. “I love this state, the people and the culture that comes with living here. But what I love most is the power (that) we as a community have and can create when we work together toward a common goal. I am running to raise awareness of that strength and potential, and will take any position which allows me to do so. Campaigning as a write-in will allow our community to place me where they feel we will have the greatest impact.”

While skeptics are quick to write off his write-in candidacy, Manny Phesto took up this ambitious endeavor through his disenchantment with contemporary politics of more attack ads instead of displaying plausible ideas.

“Most politicians seem more concerned with winning or maintaining office than they are with solving the problems that affect our communities. Also, candidates try to make ‘the other guy’ look bad instead of trying to make themselves look good. I think an effective politician lets his actions, and the voices of his constituents, speak for him. By gaining the trust and faith of the people, a candidate would never need to ‘run’ for office again, the people would bring him to it. Also I believe our representatives should be accountable to us, and not to the board of directors at the companies that funded their campaigns.”
With a background as a socially conscious MC and organizer for such community minded events such as Hip Hop Harambee, Manny Phesto has a lot of issues to address his venture into civil services. Among his talking points, he continues to stress the problem of police accountability that has constantly shaken the moral standings of this nation.

“I think we need to stop spending millions of dollars a year on brutality settlements for the actions of our historically corrupt, violent police forces. One way to reduce use of excessive force is the use of body cameras on all officers. Another is personal liability insurance for all officers, making them an unjustifiable cost with too many infractions on their record.”

Along with reform within our local police departments, Manny Phesto wants to raise awareness of problems within our communities that other politicians have failed to attend to.

“I think we seriously lack in the areas of mental health care, drug treatment vs. incarceration and mass incarceration of our youth, especially from low income and communities of color for non-violent drug crimes.”

While some consider his candidacy a joke at modern disillusionment of the democratic process, Manny Phesto is serious about getting out the vote. And as a candidate whose name is forgotten from every ballot, he wants to encourage many apathetic voters to make their way to their local polling areas.

“Without voting, we have no accurate representation in our government. Besides electing people we feel represent our positions, we can also add things to the ballot have a referendum, and vote it into law. If we don’t send someone to the table, we simply won’t eat.”
If elected, fans may worry that the Southside spitter won’t have the necessary time to commit to his craft. To which Manny Phesto reassures will not be an issue.

“I am a man of many hats. Being involved with music scenes keeps me in tune with the struggles of our communities, I am perfectly poised to help create policy as well as continue to practice my art.”

For anyone questioning his sincerity or current positions, he also offers anyone the opportunity to contact him directly at www.mannyphesto.com to discuss his policies and political standpoints. Polls are currently open until 8 pm this evening and questions regarding where to vote can be found here. - BreaksXLakes


"Manny Phesto Interview"

"I randomly stumbled upon this guy on twitter...
Manny Phesto is the next great thing coming from the city of Minneapolis!"

Interview -

APM: Who are you and what city do you represent?

M: I'm Manny Phesto, hailing from Minneapolis Minnesota.


APM: What is the music scene like in Minneapolis?

M: It's dope. Lots of talented artists in the community here. The hip hop scene in particular is home to some of the nicest out in my opinion. Fertile ground for creating. People come out and support at shows too. Lots of love.


APM: Which albums received heavy rotations when you were younger?

M: Camron's Purple Haze, B.I.G. - Ready to Die, Nas - Illmatic, AZ - Doe or Die, The L.O.X. - We Are the Streets, 2pac - All Eyez on Me, Bone Thugs n Harmony - The Art of War, Twista - Kamikaze. A whole bunch of Bob and the Wailers. This isn't a complete list, but some that definitely got play.


APM: How have people responded to your music?





M: The response has been mind blowing, I'm incredibly grateful. A lot of people are connecting with the project, giving lots of support. It's awesome hearing how different folks relate to the music and can interpret it differently.


APM: You recently opened for Curren$y on the Drive In Theatre Tour. What was the experience like for you?



M: I did, it was fun. My guy Mike the Martyr and I did a joint set for the first time, so it was kind of experimental. It was good, I think our audiences intersect in a couple places. It was fun to get in front of some new young stoner faces and get down. They were receptive. Curren$y killed it, I got kicked out though before he finished his set.

APM: Describe south side life.

M: That's tough. There are a lot of them, this city is a melting pot. I'd say some typical south side life things include the May Day parade, bending corners down River Road, dope hip hop, White Sands Beach, that spot on the railroad tracks where cats have been throwing graf up forever. Lakes. Rooftops. Good Weed. Good vibes.




APM: What did you hope to achieve by releasing South Side Looking In?



M: Really just to get my music out there, get my name on the tip of peoples tongues. Get some good gigs, and just start to lay the groundwork to squeeze a living out of this music thing. I've been around the scene with my block party and in other capacities but had never dropped an actual solid body of work.


APM: Can you describe your relationship with Mike The Martyr and how you guys met?



M: Me and Martyr met at an I Self Devine recording session a few years back. I Self used to record every Friday at this lab over south with Benzilla, he'd reached out to both of us the same day to come through. We'd done a couple joints since then. I stopped by his lab to lay a verse for some song he had sent months before, knocked it out and we had time so we wrote and recorded another joint, 'The Account' which we ended up using for the project. Think I left with ten beats or something that day. Martyr is that guy.


APM: What is your opinion on modern day radio?



M: Mixed. I think there is strength in radio, when in the right hands. I think community based radio is an awesome tool. I think the Clear Channel type stations are a detriment to the culture.

APM: How important is flow?


M: Important. You gotta have flow, and find your own flavor or you'll be a stale boring ass artist who sounds like they're reading a math textbook.


APM: What is hip hop to you?




M: It's a culture, an ever morphing one that the majority of the people I know are a part of. It's the voice of a couple generations. The voice of the struggle. Therapy. Life.



APM: Opinion on battle rapping? Who are some of your favorite battle rappers?



M: Battle rapping involves a whole other set of skills than writing, or even free styling. I'm purely a spectator. in the twin cities, my guy Bobby Raps is a beast, Metasota as well. Hollow is dope, that Budden battle recently was painfully hilarious to watch. Swave Sevah had me cracking up the other day. Lots of dope battlers out right now.




APM: Lastly who do you want to give a shout out to? Is there anyone who is killing the rap game right now but doesn't get enough appreciation?




M: Hmm, lots of dope cats out. S/o my guy Knox, he's a super ill writer who makes that spine tingle music. Shout out Freez, another top tier bar spitter who's been putting it down. Production wise Woolley is a beast, he's a super humble dude, so he plays the background but homie is super dope. - All Pure Music


"Manny Phesto Interview"

https://www.mixcloud.com/roger-kimbeni-jr/the-manny-phesto-episode-recorded-at-the-soundset-festival/ - Mechanical Dummy/101.5FM Winnipeg, Canada


"LOCAL RAPPER MANNY PHESTO'S GLOBAL GRIND INCLUDES CUBA, MEXICO"

Ask Manny Phesto how he got on the lineup at any given festival. He'll give you a charismatic smile and tell you the first step was to ask.

"One of the big things I learned this year is closed mouths don't get fed," says the rapper whose 2015 tour itinerary included shows in Cuba, Mexico, and Hawaii in 2015. "And I was a lot more conscious about asking for things that I want, and then following up with 'em too."

The young emcee from Minneapolis' Southside estimates that he applied for roughly 15 festivals in 2015. He got into about five. That's impressive enough for any upstart act, but even more for an artist who just dropped his first album, 2014's Southside Looking In, and still even more yet for a guy who's doing it all independently.

In a short time, Manny Phesto has assembled a complex one-man publicity machine. He began work on it before his first album dropped, making lists of venues to play and watching others' tour schedules, making notes about festivals where he thought he might be able get in. A year and a half later, his list spans multiple cities, states, and countries.

He realized early that press savvy is a game changer, noting that a lot of music writers just aren't that hungry; a lot of press just isn't trying that hard to seek out new music. "Nobody's gonna go to see some random kids on a bill that they've never heard," he says, "unless you tell them that you're worthy of their attention."

Already in with the local music scene — he helped organize Twin Cities hip-hop festivals in 2012 and 2013 — Manny Phesto kept sharing, bringing fellow artists out on tour whenever he could. In 2015 he travelled and played with Frank Castle, Axel Foley, Mike the Martyr, Baby Shel, and Chance

On his own and with friends, Phesto played Denver's Munchie Cup, brought the house down at Soundset, performed in Iowa once for Summerset, and again a few months later at a festival headlined by Aretha Franklin. Add too many block parties to count, four islands of Hawaii, Havana, and a festival on the edge of a volcano near Mexico City. There's barely a corner of the continent the up-and-coming rapper from South High School left untouched.

He went to Havana in November through the U.S. Cuba Artist Exchange, a local nonprofit. For 10 days, he networked, recorded, played and explored the city.

"I didn't know what to expect because I didn't see any posters or flyers, and nobody really has internet out there for the most part," he says. That is until he got to the show at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. "It was a wall-to-wall packed house. I think it's just the place to be," he says of the converted cooking oil factory, now owned by the Ministry of Art and Culture, "so young people just go out there and kick it on the weekends."

Phesto is quick to acknowledge his out-of-town success, but he's aware his sound won't win over fans at every stop.

"There are some places that really fuck with me," he says. "But some places, you know, I'm not really their flavor. In Hawaii, most of what they listen to is island-infused music, like reggae, and that's pretty far from what I make. Even their hip-hop out there has very little resemblance to what I make, but the reception was pretty good."
While hibernating back at home, Phesto also working on new music with an array of producers, including long time partner Mike the Martyr and first time collaborator Andre Mariette.

He's also lining up the next season's worth of festivals, waiting on confirmation from Cuba again, looking toward SXSW, and hoping to organize an extended tour of Mexico. "You can tour 30 dates without driving more than an hour a day because Mexico City is so big," he notes.

Phesto will leave the house just a couple of times in January, opening for Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Triple Rock on January 16, and judging "The Best Damn Beat Battle" at Honey on January 19.

He knows he won't get in everywhere he wants, but that's not going to stop him from trying. Getting declined is a part of the game.

"It's either I get no response, or it's politely declining. I can't be mad." - City Pages


"One artist who’s turning more and more heads throughout the Twin Cities hip-hop scene is Minneapolis’ cleverly named Manny Phesto"

One artist who’s turning more and more heads throughout the Twin Cities hip-hop scene is Minneapolis’ cleverly named Manny Phesto, who’s collaborated with the likes of Toki Wright, Greg Grease, and Mike the Martyr. His latest track is “Nowadays,” featuring Reeves Junya and produced by Andre Mariette. Premiered on the Local Current this week, you can check it out below via SoundCloud. - MotivationtoHustle.com


"Friday Five (NPR's The Current)"

Southside spitter Manny Phesto deals with his “Young Bro” in this Mercies May-directed video. - (NPR's The Current)


"Top 5 MN music videos"

Director Mercies May cast actor Darrin Barber in the role Barbershop, the rapper protagonist in Manny Phesto’s latest video for “Young Bro.” Over the course of the song, Barbershop lets his ambition overtake his senses, and he ends up betraying his friend in his destructive pursuit of success. The video also stars Eric Parker, Shahd Elkheir, and Hardy Coleman, and Tz1 provides the beat. Manny Phesto is currently putting finishing touches on a new album due out later this year. - City Pages


"Weed money, backyard hockey, and sexual leather in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos"

As we’ve seen here before in Local Frames, Minneapolis rapper Manny Phesto has absconded to San Diego to try and get his CBD business off the ground, but he’s back with another dispatch from the West Coast. On “Desire,” Phesto proves that ambition knows no bounds. If you want something bad enough, you gotta go get it, probation and 9 to 5s be damned. Endlessvisiion shoots the video from inside Phesto’s apartment, showing viewers that success can look a lot like a Saturday afternoon on the couch. “Desire” will not be on Phestos’s upcoming LP Over South. - City Pages


"Re-elect Manny Phesto: The Minneapolis rapper proves, once again, he’s the people’s champion"

“Manny Phesto: For the People.” - City Pages


Discography

Over South 2019

Southside Looking In  2014

Social Capital EP 2012


Photos

Bio

"Best MN Releases" - Pitchfork

"Album of the Year" - NPR's The Current

"Minneapolis Rapper Gets Action Bronson and Ghostface Killah To Agree on One Thing" - XXL Magazine

Manny Phesto, a hip hop artist of Puerto Rican descent based in Minneapolis, MN and Southern California has been busy in the last couple years. He's been featured on the bill at Soundset Music Festival (now the worlds largest all Hip-Hop festival), toured throughout the islands of Hawaii on the Intra island Music Tour twice. He played Summerset Music and Camping Festival in Somerset WI, Saturday In The Park 4th in Sioux City, co-headlined the 5 state 14 date HiGH MiNDS Tour as well as the 20 date Back in Session Tour. He's played a festivals in Havana, Cuba and Mexico City. He's started a legal cannabis business in California all while collaborating and preparing to release new music. Manny has performed on Sway Calloway's Sway in The Morning show, and interviewed or appeared in pieces with Pitchfork Media, XXL, B Real TV, SKEE TV, Hip Hop DX, and more.

As both a believer and practitioner of social capital and hard work paying off, Manny is no stranger to paying his dues. Focus, dedication and talent have allowed him to grow and develop his fan base, reputation and career.  From basement parties and ciphers, to headlining events, playing international festivals and touring, Manny has matured into one of the most highly regarded artists from the state.  Manny has had the privilege of performing at the best venues throughout the Twin Cities, including the legendary First Avenue.  He's been on bills with talents such as: J Cole Atmosphere, Ice Cube, Big Sean, Big Krit, Curren$y, Action Bronson, Ghostface Killah, Big Gigantic, Talib Kweli, Yelawolf, Ludacris, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Devin the Dude, P.O.S and many more.

Manny writes with an honest, relatable and unfiltered perspective, enabling him to reach fans and critics alike. His music explores life's ups and downs and the motivations that drive people through them. Manny's views are shaped in part by his upbringing in a working class family of artists and organizers. Manny's music recently has been focusesing on the struggles of spending so much time away from his loved ones in another state with the goals of forwarding his career. The personal, professional, financial and mental sacrifices he's made.

Manny's latest album Over South is available at www.mannyphesto.com for streaming and download. You can Catch Manny on the Breaking Even Tour starting 5/28/29!

Contact - info@MannyPhesto.com

Band Members