While some artists get into the game as a means of escaping the trap or the street, for 22 year old University of Delaware Junior Dexter “Ca$hFlow” Walker; the trials and tribulations of a struggling college student, coupled with the stress of financially assisting his family is the driving force behind his music. After creating “Blowing College Funds,” his own version of “BMF” tailored specifically to a collegiate audience; the buzz that ensued quickly made him a rising star on the college circuit. In 2010 he won BET’s annual Black College Tour Freestyle Friday competition when it landed on his campus. He has since been featured as an opener at Delaware State’s 2011 Homecoming, opening for a list of notable mainstream artists.
As I sat down with him, we spoke of how he accomplished so much in so little of time, as well as the release of his first mixtape, all without the benefit of a manager, promotion, or marketing team.
AllHipHop.com: What’s good Ca$h? First off I have to ask, at 22 you already have an impressive list of artists that you’ve opened for. How exactly did you get your start?
Ca$hFlow: I was born in Brooklyn, New York, but I attended high school and now college in Delaware. It wasn’t until college that I considered music seriously. My version of “BMF” titled “Blowing College Funds” actually started off as a joke. I wrote it in 2010 in relation to what I was going through, like “I think its FASFA, Sallie Mae. Scamming students, by the day,” and it just spread like a wildfire.
AllHipHop.com: You could have easily allowed it to die down and pass as a fad. How did you capitalize on the track and decide to pursue an actual career?
Ca$hFlow: I’ve been a music addict since I was a kid. It’s what made me who I am in every aspect of life. I started writing young, and then later I found out that I was actually good at it. I gained attention off “BCF” and followed up with a remix of Nicki Minaj’s “Roman Revenge” with my own version titled “Rappers Revenge.” This actually gave me credibility and solidified me as one of the best HBCU rappers out.
AllHipHop.com: Is this what prompted you to enter the freestyle competition when the BET Black College Tour stopped on your campus?
Ca$hFlow: Other people believed that I was good enough to do it, so I had to believe in myself and see if I was….and I won the competition; this opened up doors to additional competitions and personal invites to appear on showcases. Eventually I was chosen to for our Homecoming; opening for Big Sean, Meek Mill, Travis Porter, Marsha Ambrosius, Jeremih, TCB, and Ace Hood. I was blessed with incredible opportunities, and I’ve been grinding hard ever since.
AllHipHop.com: How have things changed for you on campus?
Ca$hFlow: It’s been crazy! I’ve had chicks ask me to sign things, even had one with my song as her ringtone. That blew my mind; I don’t know how she got it, but she had MY song as her ringtone. S###’s crazy.
AllHipHop.com: As a Junior you still have a small amount of schooling left. Have you decided to actively pursue your musical ambitions full-time, or are you looking to still obtain your degree as a back-up plan of sorts?
Ca$shFlow: I can do both. I don’t look at getting my degree as necessarily having a “back-up plan.” Music is my life, but my degree can be used to explore the business aspect of the industry and opens up additional opportunities for me in the future.
AllHipHop.com: Being that you are currently still a student; how have you managed to juggle the role of student/artist, and how does your family feel about the path that you have chosen to take?
Ca$hFlow: I’m Trinidadian and Venezuelan, the first generation here in America, and I’m not your average college student. The majority of my family is still overseas and the part that is here, lives in a 2 bedroom apartment split amongst the 6 of us. I’m not your average college student; I pay for school myself. I rap, I work, and I help take care of my family.
To be real my parents didn’t even want me to go to college right now because they need help caring for the family; so I’m trying to do it all. I’m grinding the hardest that I can to get signed to a major deal. All I need is a chance to be heard.
AllHipHop.com: And that’s real. What’s your next step, your next move?
Ca$hFlow: I recently debuted my first mixtape titled “The Withdrawal of Ca$hFlow” on datpiff.com and earned almost 8k views and 900 streams strictly based off word of mouth alone. I was featured on the “Today’s Top 8” ranking directly next to Kendrick Lamar. I’m hustling. I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a promotions team, I don’t have the funds for a marketing team; I do this on my own. Needless to say, I need this money by any means necessary; and I’m willing to do anything for my family. I’m not looking for a handout, just an opportunity. This is more than a mixtape, it’s my future.
You can find him both on datpiff.com as well as on twitter @Cash2theFlow