Rapper Cassidy Talks About New Deal, Why He’s Not Working With Swizz And Explains Why He Doesn’t Battle Anymore
Following a three-year hiatus from the game, Philadelphia heavy spitter Cassidy has the hunger for more. After following up his 2004 certified gold debut Split Personality with the platinum ringtone yielding I’m A Hustler, Cassidy’s life and career were in jeopardy when a manslaughter charge got him six months in prison and a car accident after his release almost cost him his life.
After recovering in 2007, Cass dropped B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story, which contained the club anthem “Drink and My Two-Step” before stepping out of the limelight. Other than a couple of scathing viral freestyles released via the net, Cass was keeping it low key. Not anymore.
Now back with a new EP Face 2 Face, a new LP C.A.S.H, and a new business partnership with basketball superstar Carmelo Anthony, Cassidy is ready to take his seat at the table once again. This time he plans to eat his fill.
Hip-Hop Wired sat down with the freestyle king (no Lil Flip) and he revealed info on his new album, his business partnership with Melo and why you will never catch him dougieing.
Hip-Hop Wired: You been quiet for a little minute as far as dropping studio LPs. Now you are back in a new label situation. Tell me how you linked up with Melo?
Cassidy: Well, when I got free from my old situation I wanted to become an independent artist, put together my own production company and executive produce my own projects. But I knew going independent, I wasn’t going to have the same budgets that I’m used to. So I needed an investor. Someone to invest in my project that believed in my project. So I started reaching out to people that I knew that had money and Melo was one of them.
He believed in my album ideas. I started executing short-term goals to show him that it was going to really be affective and that’s how I made him an investor. So, I’m not signed to Carmelo’s production company, Kross Over Entertainment. I’m not signed to Carmelo. Carmelo and me just have a partnership inside of my production company with E One Distribution.
Hip-Hop Wired: Does he have any input in your music? Do you guys talk or is it strictly a business relationship?
Cassidy: Oh yeah, we talk. We definitely communicate. We go out together. We’re seen together. We got footage together. And we have a lot of other things that we put together aside of music too. But at the end of the day, I really do this music and he really ball. That’s like me getting on the court and trying to tell him how to shoot a jump shot or something like that. He don’t really do this music. So for the main part, I do most of the idea making.
Hip-Hop Wired: You were in Iraq at the beginning of the year, or late last year performing for the troops?
Cassidy: Yes sir, I was in Iraq and I was in Kuwait. I did five different military bases for the soldiers. It was a beautiful experience. I actually was the first rapper to go out there and do something like that. I’m happy I did it cause I got to learn a lot. I got to see a lot. I got to experience a lot. It was a good experience. I got a lot of video footage.
A lot of photos and things like that I’m about to get my editors to edit up. I’m going to get my publicist to go hard with it online real so people can see more. We did bring a little bit of the footage up but we about to bring more where I can narrate it and let you know what was going on while I was out there.
Cassidy Performing For The Troops In Iraq
Hip-Hop Wired: That “Face 2 Face” joint off the EP you recently released is an interesting cut. How did you come up with the concept for that track?
Cassidy: I knew I was missing in action for a minute so I wanted to make in impact with this next project. I feel as though the game aint the same. I feel as though people aint as hungry as they used to be and trying to be original as they used to be. And I feel as though not really even battling, freestyinig. I’m not seeing ciphers anymore.
I come from that. That’s where I started and that what I love. So I wanna see it going back to that. Nine times out of 10, we will never see none of those battles but I think it will make the artist that I named want to step it up and got harder, being to the fact that I’m comparing them to artists that are in the same lane, doing the same type of things they are doing.
So they might not actually battle but they gonna battle as far as trying to step it up and put out the best music and give the game what they need. Because I feel as though the game is missing a lot.
Hip- Hop Wired: Are you really on your boxing sh^t, or was that just for the video?
Cassidy: I was boxing from when I was like six or seven years old to when I was like 13. When I became a teenager, I stopped boxing and got involved into a lot of other things, especially when I fell in love with music. So I still love boxing, that’s still my favorite sport. But that was just a part of the video. I’m not training now. I’m not back in the gym or nothing like that. I don’t really have time to do those types of things. But I am a fan of boxing though. And I can hold my hands if I need to.
Hip-Hop Wired: This new album, I see you executive produced it. What was it like working with that added responsibility?
Cassidy: Its beautiful. It’s a responsibility I always wanted and it’s a responsibility that I can handle. I wouldn’t advise any artist to do that because nine times out of 10 they are not gonna be successful because they are not gonna be able to put together the right type of music. But through the grace of God, I am able to put together legendary music with what I am doing. I’m able to handle the responsibility. It is difficult but I love it.
Hip-Hop Wired: You’ve done a little production here and there on your other albums. Will you be putting in more work behind the boards on this one?
Cassidy: I have a production company that is so mean. I’m actually with one of my producers right now. His name is, Stupid On The Beats. He retarded with it. But at the end of the day, I’m not able to go in as much as these producers or my production team because I have a lot of other things on the table. On my last album, I produced one track.
That was the first track I ever produced and put out. I did one record. And on my new record that is about to come out I co-produced certain tracks. Maybe did the hi-hats over. Maybe played the snares over and things like that. But I did a track all to myself, a track called “Music In My Blood.” So I’m producing like one or two tracks an album now.
But eventually in the future I might step it up, get more familiar and have more time to go in master my style. And then you might hear more tracks from me. But right now, I’m just at the one track an album type level.
Hip-Hop Wired: Will you be rocking with Swizz heavy on this one?
Cassidy: Not at all. That’s one thing I wanted to do was separate myself from Swizz and that sound that people were familiar with. I been working with all Swizz for three albums. I wanted to, not go away from the style that people used to from me. I give them music that they can relate to from me but its just not that conventional Swizz style, Swizz adlibs with Swizz on the hooks. It’s just like a different vibe that I brought to the table this time.
I got records with Swizz. I got a song on my five record EP. Its out right now on iTunes and things like that. Its called Face 2 Face. But on there is a song called “Henny and Bacardi” with Swizz on the hook. He didn’t produce the record but he is on the chorus. Then I got another record that Swizz produced floating around called “Searching” with John Legend. So I’m still working with Swizz.
I was actually with him last night for his father’s birthday party. So we communicate, we still have a relationship. But I’m just branching out doing my own thing. Just proving to the world that I can make a hit on my own.
Hip-Hop Wired: You’ve been quoted as saying this album is a classic. You know you gotta elaborate on that, what makes this album a classic?
Cassidy: I feel as though it’s a classic because it’s some of the best music you have heard in a long time. During this day and time, you are not getting artists who are focusing on whole albums. Albums that you can blaze from beginning to end. But going in different directions. Not the same type of music. They might got party songs. The might got conscious songs. They might got dance songs. They might got lyrical songs.
They might got, different types of songs going in different directions. Different flow, different verse lengths. Like all they verses aren’t 12 bars, hook, 12 bars, hook. Or 12, 12, 8; 16, 16, 8. Its like you switch up the way you rhyme and the pattern. Songs come on and a person might ask, ‘how many bars is that?’ You know what I’m saying. Questions like that is coming back to the table on my album.
I’m doing things that you are not supposed to do but making it hot. I’m going against the grain in some directions. But that is what makes it a classic. I’m not trying to fall in the guidelines that you are supposed to fall into to get a good record. I’m being original and I’m putting together what I really wanted to put together. That’s why I feel as though it’s a classic.
Hip-Hop Wired: You mentioned in your single “Drumma Bass” that you wouldn’t mind taking it back to the House Party days with dancing. That sounds kinda funny coming from a rapper like you who is such a strong lyricists.
Cassidy: Its was actually a lot of lyrics in House Party. You know when they picked up the mic they started battling each other. That’s what rap was all about. They was real Hip-Hop. Kid N Play was doing what real Hip-Hop was. Picking up the mic, battling each other and spitting to prove who was the best and who was the nicest. So I respected that. And they were having fun in the party. They was dancing with girls trying to pop girls. That’s what it’s all about.
That’s how we used to have fun back in the day. I think it needs to go back to that. And even the three dudes who were trying to beat them up and cause violence, they wasn’t allowed in the party. They was like, ‘yall cant come in here with this nonsense.’ Like it aint no fighting over here we are just chilling. At the end of the day, I respect that and that’s what I want to see it go back to. I don’t feel as though that takes away from me being a spitter.
I just hate when I go to clubs now and people are just standing around. They might even be feeling the music but they are not letting their body show it. They just playing this role because that is the way it is now and I don’t like that. I want it to go back to when cats was having fun and doing their thing again and that’s why I mentioned that.
Hip-Hop Wired: I was getting ready to say, don’t tell me you be in the studio working on your Dougie or nothing like that.
Cassidy: Oh no, no, no, no. I’ll never go in that direction. I do dance just to have fun. I aint a dude that don’t dance. I aint a dancer. I aint one of them Chris Brown type boys. But I come up with little dances that look like I’m halfway jigging. And I have fun, and all that. So that’s what I bring to the table.
I’m not trying to come up with no dance routines like that but its nothing wrong with that. What they do is what they do. My son loves that “Dougie” song and he learned the dance and he learned how to do the dance every step and he brake it down and all that. So its for the kids. I don’t see nothing wrong with it, what they do. I just do a more mature style of that on certain songs.
That’s just one record which I want people to be dancing and having fun with. But I got other records that go in completely different directions that them dudes who do them types of “Dougie” songs will never be able to go in.
Hip-Hop Wired: Do you think that a sign of your growth as an artists? Being able to be one of the hardest lyricists out and being able to put out some of the best party music also and take it in different directions?
Cassidy: Yeah, that’s beautiful. That’s why I named my first album, Split Personality to let the world know that I was gonna be going in a bunch of different directions. I’m not a one-personality type of dude and I’m not just trying to stay in one lane. That’s just too easy to do. I just wanna attack a lot of different directions, come up with a lot of different songs and make hits a lot of different ways. That what makes a legendary artist. It might take longer for people to realize that, recognize what I am doing and for me to get my respect. But once they do realize what I did
Hip-Hop Wired: In the song Face 2 Face, you bring up a lot of hypothetical rap battles. I’m going to name some of the battles you brought up and in your personal opinion I want you to tell me how you think the battle would go and who you think would win?
Cassidy: I don’t want to do that. That’s why I wrote the song like how I did it. I didn’t lean in any direction and let the people know who I felt as though would win those battles. I just mentioned that I would like to see those battles. I really did battle. We might have only caught footage of a few of my battles but I’ve been in thousands of battles realistically.
At the end of the day, this is what I do and I know how it goes. I know at any given time if you don’t show up and the other person is more prepared, anything can happen where it can throw you off. Its just like with boxing, man. You just gotta come out there ready to fight. And if you not prepared and you don’t train and you sleep on somebody, anybody can get beat. Anybody can get hit with a wild knockout punch.
So at the end of the day I don’t want to predict who I feel as though would win any of those battles. It was such a good comparison that anybody that come out tonight coulda won any of those battles.
“Face 2 Face Video”
Hip-Hop Wired: You didn’t mention yourself. Who do you wanna see yourself battle?
Cassidy: I don’t think there is anybody on my level that is ready to battle an artists like myself. So at the end of the day, that’s why I always battle myself on the intros to my albums. But I even put an end to that. I’m even tired of battling myself. I’m giving these other people too much to live with. I’ve battled myself enough. I just put an end to that. I don’t feel its nobody out there that is worth me battling. All the dudes that I respect that battle, that I feel as though are hot aint on my level.
They probably don’t got albums out. They probably don’t have single outs. So I feel as though I will be going backwards if I battled those artists even though they are hot. And the dudes that put albums out and got fans and got people behind them is intimidated and scared to battle me and never do it. So I don’t ever feel as though it would be the right type of battle that could be set up for me that would be worth my while to do at this particular point in my life.