Ca$his: Mouths to Feed

Five years ago, every artist carrying a Shady Records contract was a star. After the Anger Management Tour, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and D12 all achieved platinum status, not to mention their invincible leader Eminem. After 2004 however, despite adding acclaimed producer Alchemist to the mix, neither critics nor consumers have gravitated towards the upstart […]


years ago, every artist carrying a Shady Records contract was a star.

After the Anger Management Tour, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and D12 all

achieved platinum status, not to mention their invincible leader

Eminem. After 2004 however, despite adding acclaimed producer Alchemist

to the mix, neither critics nor consumers have gravitated towards the

upstart dynasty to the likes of its initial magnitude. In the

midst of developing Stat Quo and Bobby Creekwater, 2006 signee Ca$his

has not only grabbed the label’s spotlight, but he’s willing to accept

the pressures of success versus failure in today’s cutthroat climate in

rap. Chicago born and Orange County, California representing, Ca$his is

one of the newest additions to an arguably stagnant era of gangsta rap.

Despite current criticism from pivotal Black leaders, Ca$his does not

budge in his bandana-wrapped-gun brandishing attack on senseless party

rap. That was presented late last year in The Re-Up’s “You Don’t Know” single, and it’s painfully clear in the EP County Hound, dropping May 22.

A father to 10 children at the ripe age of 26, Ca$his’ home life may be

as pressuring as his career. As the artist has crafted a unique plan to

get his name buzzing, he’s also determined to create a future for his

children. Unknown a year ago, Ca$his tells about his

close friendship with Eminem, his defense of gangster rap, and the

little people that keep him faithfully on his grind, and more careful

in the streets. If you didn’t know, maybe now you ought to. In the early ‘90s, EPs were popular because of the vinyl

culture. Today, it’s hard enough to sell an LP at a discounted price;

why did you opt to release an EP?

Ca$his: Everyone was doing mixtapes. 50 [Cent] started the mixtape

game, and everybody’s flooded it. It ain’t nowhere without somebody

with a mixtape for sale. I still drop mixtapes; I’m dropping four – one

each week comin’ out. The EP was a way to put out a new release for the

Shady/Interscope label, for us to get out there again. It’s a limited

edition release; we’re early gonna print up so many. Truly, it’s a

set-up for the album. My LP is pretty much done; Em’s mixing that right

now. The EP was just us taking the first batch of songs that was gonna

be on the album and getting it out to people for six dollars. I want to emphasize limited edition. In terms of numbers and quantity, what does that really mean?

Ca$his: It’s a decent buzz, so they want to go high; I want to go low.

I’m thinking anywhere between 250,000 to 500,000. The goal is [for

fans] to go out and get it. It don’t have to do 300,000 the first week.

It could be 50,000 or 70,000, whatever, but it sells out. The EP only

[cost] $50,000 to make. I’ve got five beats from Em, two from Rikinatti

of Blocc Boys, and one from Ron Browz. At only $50,000, once I sell

10,000 [copies], I’m out the red. Anything else is just extra.

I want it to be like how people felt about [Nas’] Illmatic. That didn’t sell when it first came out, but it did over time. But when you heard it, you wanted more Nas. So when [It Was Written] came out, my mans did almost 3,000,000 [units]. That’s how we’re trying to set it up.

We’re taking it back to the grassroots of Hip-Hop with this. Who else

can get Eminem on five joints? We’re doing a video too. The [Re-Up]

project did 1,200,000 [units sold] without radio play. We went

multi-platinum overseas [too]. From that, the fans determined [that I]

should come out [next]. They’ve been calling, they’ve been asking for

me, and I’m gonna deliver what they’ve been expecting. You’ve got a record on there called “Just Like Me.” What’s the inspiration behind that?

Ca$his: I’m talking to my kids. I made that song last year, [when] I

only had seven kids, now I’ve got 10. Three of their names got left

out, but I’m talking to my kids. Like, through everything that I’ve

went through, I just wanted them not

to be like me, but I see that they’re just like me. My kids live in the

good part of Orange County, [California]. My kids act like they’re from

Chicago, where I grew up – but they’re more cultured than I was.

The only reason I ain’t killed myself…I had a death wish, I’ve always

been trying to get somebody to kill me or do something to do me. The

only reason that I didn’t physically kill myself, which I planned on

doing, was that I was scared that they were going to grow up and be

like me. “Damn, my daddy did that. He was a weak n***a, so I’m gonna do

the same.” I didn’t want them to do the same. That song is a real song

to me. You know how Will Smith had that [“Just The Two of Us”] joint?

That was cool, but that wasn’t a hood perspective; that was some cool

s**t. I respected it, but I’m bringing it – my song is still gangsta.

I had my first kid at 16 [years old]. So how can I be mad when the

teacher calls me and says, “Your son and daughter just jumped some kid

and beat the s**t out of him.” How can I be mad, when I was doing the

same s**t? They want to emulate my life. In a way, it’s a wakeup call.

Even if you’re out there sellin’ dope and hustlin’, believe me, I

understand. Even though I’m on Shady, I ain’t rich, fam; I’m still

gettin’ my money right now. Till the rest of these checks come through,

I’m still out in these streets. Understand, you can still be a father

and take care of your kids, whether you’re with the mama or not. My

kids are the reason I’m pushin’ this rappin’. I could easily sit back

and become a Nino Brown, and get money and stash up for my kids and get

whacked and go on to the next level in life – wherever that it is.

[Instead], I’m doing this music.

I didn’t know that I was gonna end up meeting and becoming best friends

with Eminem. We talk everyday. We don’t [speak] like Ca$his and Em,

it’s like “What up Marshall?”, “What up Ramone?” We talk about more

than music, and we’ve got 30-40 songs together. He told me that I

inspire him to get back into the studio. He’s always been an

inspiration to me, ‘cause I’m a fan for so long. I rap to make sure

that 10 years from now, my kids is straight. I also rap to hear the

excitement in Em’s voice. As a young man in your twenties, how hard is it to get

to know each of your 10 children individually? One-on-one time must be


Ca$his: Man…it’s definitely difficult. I just had my son born February

6, but I was a daddy took my kids to daycare, took ‘em to school,

picked ‘em up, brought ‘em back, go buy dinner. Their mama helps ‘em

with their homework, I’m out the door – I’m going to rap. My kids know

me. They know me. Now, it’s hard for them and it’s hard for me, it’s

hard for us both. Now, I’m in the studio all the time. I’m in Detroit

most of the time, or I’m doing a show. It’s taking a lot for me and

them to adjust. I’m used to them, and they’re used to me. I call ‘em

all the time. But I don’t want to interfere with their lives, because I

want them to grow up and be as normal as they can. They’re proud of me,

they get to see me on TV all the time; they’re like the cool kids in

school. “I’m Ca$his’ daughter!” They like that.

I’m putting in this work right now so I can bring them on the road with

me in places that’s not dangerous. At the same time, I am affiliated

with gang culture. I’m not gonna put my kids in jeopardy, that’s why I

don’t live in Chicago [anymore]. I got me a little tip-off in Chicago,

but my kids can’t…I don’t keep my kids around. As a man, I’m a fresh 26

[years old], I’m trying to do the right thing. I didn’t think I’d get

this far. Somebody can still come and do something to me for something

in the past. I want to kids away from that. Everybody is talking about the state of gangster rap.

People like Reverend Al Sharpton and Oprah Winfrey are making cases

against it in the mainstream, but as someone with a song like “Pistol

Poppin’” as your single, do you feel there will always be an outlet?

Cashis: Yeah, I think there will be. I’ll show them. That’s not

conceitedness, that’s just confidence. If you a ho, you a ho. I don’t

even pay attention to Oprah and all that funny s**t. It’s retarded. No

one says, “Why you been with [Stedman Graham] all these years, and you

ain’t never married him? You’re just promiscuously f**king. People need

to think about that. In some peoples’ eyes, Oprah could be a ho. I’m

not sayin’ Oprah’s a ho, what I’m saying is…anybody that’s got

something bad to say about Hip-Hop, I’ve got something bad to say about


It’s freedom of speech. None of these people get p##### off and call

somebody a b***h? I know preachers that say, “B***h, what you doing?”

You can’t tell me you’re perfect. But everybody wants to blame Hip-Hop,

when this is an outlet for young Black men, young Latinos, and young

White people to change their lives, save their lives, and build futures

for other people. Why would you want to destroy that? Maya Angelou can

write whatever she wants [when] she wants to write a book. People write

crazy, demonic s**t, but you want to say something about rap music? Big

ups to illseed too for putting exactly what I said in [’s]

Rumors section. You’ve got kids, a career, a street life. When the rare

moments happen, what do you do with your proverbial Joe Budden “10

Minutes” alone?

Cashis: [Laughing] When I get free time, G, I’m just thinkin’ about my

next move. I’m thinking on what next show to do, what next endorsement

to take, my next song to do, what’s the freshest s**t for me to buy my

kids – another way that I can show them that I love them. I’m always on

the hustler’s mentality. I’m trying to push Shady Records as hard as I

can; I jumped into this s**t like a gang. I’m trying to connect the

six-point star with the five-point star; I’m a six-point star

representer, it’s tatted on me, next to the Shady tat on me. I’m trying

to show people…I’m trying to bridge the gap between a gang culture or

an organization that’s nationwide, at the same time, I’m trying to shed

light on the city of Chicago, like, “This is how we really get down!”

Bump J is doin’ it, but I’m at a bigger plateau. Twista is doing it.

He’s doing it for the Westside of the city, I’m doing it for the

Southside, for the Eastside. I’m also showing people that everybody in

Orange County ain’t p***ies. During my free time…I never have free