Although he produced only a handful of tracks of renown and disappeared into obscurity almost as quickly as he had emerged from it, Manny ( Man ) Parrish is nonetheless one of the most important and influential figures in American electronic dance music. Helping to lay the foundation of electro, hip-hop, freestyle, and techno, as well as the dozens of subgenres to splinter off from those, Parrish introduced the aesthetic of European electronic pop to the American club scene by combining the plugged-in disco-funk of Giorgio Moroder and the man-machine music of Kraftwerk with the beefed-up rhythms and cut'n'mix approach of nascent hip-hop. As a result, tracks like "Hip-Hop Be Bop (Don't Stop)" and "Boogie Down Bronx" were period-defining works that provided the basic genetic material for everyone from Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys to Autechre and Andrea Parker -- and they remain undisputed classics of early hip-hop and electro to this day. A native New Yorker, Parrish was a member of the extended family of glam-chasers and freakazoids that converged nightly on Andy Warhol's Studio 54 club. His nickname, Man, first appeared in Warhol's Interview magazine, and his early live shows at Bronx hip-hop clubs were spectacles of lights, glitter, and pyrotechnics that drew as much from the Warhol mystique as from the Cold Crush Brothers.
Influenced by the electronic experiments of his good friend and co - writer Klaus Nomi and Brian Eno as well as by Kraftwerk, Parrish together with "Cool" Raul Rodriguez recorded their best-known work in a tiny studio sometimes shared with Afrika Baambaata, whose own sessions with Arthur Baker and John Robie produced a number of classics equal to Parrish's own, including "Wildstyle, " "Looking for the Perfect Beat, " and the infamous "Planet Rock." What distinguished "Hip-Hop Be Bop, " however, was its lack of vocals and the extremely wide spectrum of popularity it gained in the club scene, from ghetto breakdance halls to uptown clubs like Danceteria and the Funhouse. After he discovered a pirated copy of his music being played by a local DJ at theinfamous "Anvil" club ( NYC ), Parrish found his way to the offices of the Importe label (a subsidiary of popular dance imprint Sugarscoop and Disconet DJ mixing service), which whom he inked his first deal. He released his self-titled LP shortly after, and the album went on to sell over 2 million copies worldwide. He was signed to Electra Records and managed by David Bowie's notorious manager Tony De Fries and the infamous Main Man Ltd management team. Tony De Fries had managed careers of David Bowie, New York Dolls, Mott the Hoople, Mick Ronson and Dana Gillespie to name a few.
Following a period of burn-out that followed, Parrish recorded and remixed tracks for Michael Jackson, Boy George, Gloria Gaynor, and Hi-NRG group Man2Man, among others, and served as manager for the Village People and Crystal Water to name a few. While Parrish's subsequent material has achieved nowhere near the success or creative pitch of his earlier work, he continues to record from his brooklyn studio and is a frequent DJ at New York's eclectic night spots and SM clubs. His Sunday Underground Party "Sperm" at the "Cock Bar" on New Yorks lower east side, is notorious, to say the least ! He is main DJ and co founder for a circut party called "Hustlerball" which has parties in many cities worldwide. He also has several adult websites and online businesses which keep him busy as a webmaster, and "jack of all trades". His second LP, DreamTime, appeared on Strictly Rhythm in 1997.
- Sean Cooper, All Music Guide