The music industry now boasts a rabid dog-eat-rabid dog mentality and with every passing day, new artists emerge on the road to riches like commuters in rush hour traffic. What’s an artist to do to set himself apart from the rest? If you’re Cassidy, you could make people take notice by eating an already repped and made MC alive, or you could just thank Hov himself mid-bar for blessing you with a hot line to make one hell of a hot song, or you could just sit down with AllHipHop.com and bless the masses with the truth to surviving in a game where the only rules are the ones you make yourself. Cassidy picked option D) all of the above.
The first MC of significance to take the mic and run on Swizz Beats’ Full Surface label has gotten much attention for being among many things, a battle rapper – a mixtape prince who’s still brushing the dirt off his shoulders from singles gone wild. Now as he attempts to put his street creditability back on solid foundation, while ducking the blows of his current opponent "the sophomore jinx." Still as cocky as ever, creative control in hand with the mind and grind of a true hustler, Cassidy spits new meaning to by any means necessary.
AllHipHop.com: What is an actual hustler to you?
Cassidy: Anybody that can come up with a plan and execute it. To get at a dollar, make some money, or not even money just to generate, some type of profit. Like if somebody’s hustle is to pickpocket people and you’re walking down the street, and they pickpocket you, you might not approve of it. But if you hungry and you starving, and somebody teach you the same trick, you might go and pickpocket somebody else. So whether you approve of it or not, it just depends on the situation.
AllHipHop.com: So what about somebody’s whose hustle is bootlegging your CD’s?
Cassidy: Um, that’s an honest hustle. There’s nothing wrong wit’ that.
AllHipHop.com: But you’re an artist, and that’s money you’re not seeing, and you’re a hustler.
Cassidy: I think the artist got the beef with the wrong people. The people that the artist should have the beef with, it’s the people that distribute they music – you know, that put it in the places that it’s suppose to be, those is the people that is responsible for the music getting lost. The bootleggers is just you know grinding just trying to get at a dollar, if there’s an opportunity on making some money off bringing the music to the streets first, that’s what they going to do. That’s just like common sense. You can’t really knock them for that. The same way it could hurt you, it could help you too. You know, you might see a fake Polo shirt or a fake Gucci shirt that may not be authentic. You can really tell a bootleg. It might sound almost the same in the CD player, but you can really tell that it’s a bootleg so the quality different. You get what you pay for. Some people like to buy the bootleg and hear what they hear at first and then they might go buy the real album. Sometimes a person could buy the bootleg and play it for a whole lot of people and promote your album and make people go buy the real thing. Before I had a album out, I was on mixtapes and on underground CD’s and that’s how I got my name known. If it wasn’t for the mixtapes and the bootleggers, I would have never had a name from the beginning.
AllHipHop.com: Let’s move into the album. You caught a lot of flack for the last one, Split Personality.
Cassidy: I want to say that I’m spitting a more conscious message. ‘Cause like, if you got to make people understand you, then you got to make people get into the mood. You want them to be into the first album. I drop “Hotel,” and then "It Didn’t Get No Better." See, I didn’t want my first album being a girl-dedicated type of album. That’s what it was ‘cause that’s the way you presented it to the world – like you drop two songs dedicated to the girls, and that’s your single so n***as are going to automatically think you that type of artist. I didn’t want to hit them with to many conscious songs you know ‘cause they then they might think that you just a conscious rapper, and get it mixed up. I feel you should bring out a balance out some type of way shouldn’t be lopsided.
AllHipHop.com: Is that why we’re seeing Nas and Quan on the new one instead of R. Kelly and Snoop?
Cassidy: That song came out, it wasn’t a planned out thing. Nas and them came to the studio and we wasn’t expecting to do a song. I was just playing some music off my album, and they was feeling it. Nas, I did a song with him before but you know what I’m saying, like Nas is one of the best ever so, you know if you get in there and do something with him it’s gonna be crazy. And then Quan being the new n***a that he trying to bring out, it just basically was just like a good situation.
AllHipHip.com: What about the rest of Personality Change?
Cassidy: My album is crack. I mean all the way through – 12 songs, one bonus, I’m saying all singles all of them could me singles. I got another sexy joint that the ladies, even the young crowd, is going to feel it. I definitely wanted to put Raekwon on the album, ‘cause I wanted a classic cats. Like Nas came out with classics so I put him on my album, and Mary J. Blige she came out with a classic so I put her on the album. I got a song called “Six Minutes” where its just spitting no hook, no chorus, just n***as spitting 40 [or] 50 bar verses with me, Fabolous, Lil’ Wayne. It just depends on which way you want go with it, got a song called “C Bionics” where I event my own language. It’s like, even though you don’t know the language, it’s easy to understand. It’s like flipping the word Snoop might say “for shizzle my nizzle” and you might know they talking about.
AllHipHop.com: Give us a quick example.
Cassidy: You say like I hoped out the cribdot / The hard tididop / I got the chain the ranges and the wididioch / Hurt n##### eye from the size of my rididiox / By the bar blow jars of the pidot / And I’m with my dog so we all take shidiots
AllHipHop.com: Why’d you do this?
Cassidy: I don’t want n***as running with my flow before the album drop that’s there none of them words is, that’s just like just an example of how you can flip it. I did three different styles of that, I did three different ways of flipping the language up on each verse and I called it “C Bionics” instead of Ebonics. I called it c bionics because my name begins with a C, and I did the thing Nas and Quan. That’s like a deep thinking joint vibe out you know on the highway just in the zone joint.
AllHipHop.com: People have away confused you of talking highly of your self with you being a cocky arrogant.
Cassidy: Yeah, there’s a thin line between being cocky, arrogant, and being confident. The reason I like [Allen Iverson] is ‘cause he like the underdog, he so little – he so small didn’t have the start of a lot of these other basketball cats had but it always seem like he go out there and drop like thirty forty points, and it’s like he letting you know he’s going to do it. He’s so cocky and confident. You definitely got to be the most confident in your s**t, like if you don’t believe in it then nobody else is going to believe in it. When I was signed to Ruff Ryders, I used to do little s**t for Eve, like ya know what I saying everybody that was around, I ain’t one of them brother’s that tried to get credit off that neither. And that’s all apart of growing and stepping so I don’t really want to think like battling n***as like besides Freeway.
AllHipHop.com: You didn’t want people to know about the Freeway situation?
Cassidy: Not saying that I want them to, but I ain’t want to stop n***as from making they money , and stop n***as from eating because of that.
AllHipHop.com: But battling is apart of the game though…
Cassidy: True but, you need to stick and stand behind whatever you promote yourself to be. Anybody I battle, I’m not going to feel – like a boxer, once you get in the ring you going to try and knock a n***a the f**k out. But what if a n***a was making millions and millions of dollars a fight, and you knock a n***a out so crazy that he can’t even get no money to fight no more? You might just feel bad like damn this n***a used to be popping, and now he can’t even get no money from this s**t just because he wanted to battle me.
AllHipHop.com: Die hard fans say that you declined a battle with Murda Mook. Is there any particular reason why?
Cassidy: I never declined a battle with Murda Mook. I just never got involved with that kid because he’s a nobody to me. He might have fans on the street and be on the verge of doing his thing but I already did my thing. I already battle thousands of cats in the street. He’s taking the same path I took years ago. For me to battle him wouldn’t benefit me. No one even knows who Murder Mook is. Maybe a couple of hood people who watch the DVDs and things like that but the majority of people in the world don’t know who that kid is. For me to stoop down and get involved and go back and forth with him and lose focus on what I should really be focused on isn’t even worth it.
AllHipHop.com: He once recorded a song called "F**k Cassidy." Have you even addressed him at all?
Cassidy: I did address the kid on the SMACK DVD. I let him and the streets know what it was so if you were a loyal fan and you saw the SMACK DVD, I answered the questions to all of that. I don’t feel right doing it on my album or the radio that’s going to make someone else more popular. I’d rather do it for a DVD that’s made for the streets anyway. Ever since then, the kid’s been pretty quiet so I guess that he realized that there’s a better route to become successful than to try and come through me.
AllHipHop.com: Do you believe that you’re capable of ending somebody’s reign?
Cassidy: Oh, all day. Like, I already ended a career, when n***as find out the battles that I was in. Them n***a’s careers is already ended. There are n***as that will ever get signed because I done already made a [mockery] of them.
AllHipHop.com: And we don’t get to know who?
Cassidy: But see, Certain people know. And when it’s the right time, it’ll come out.