Philly’s own, Cassidy, drops by the SLAM Dome.
SLAM: I see you got the Foams on today, what’s your kick game like?
Cassidy: I got a few kicks, I’ve been collecting kicks for a few years. Foams are one of my favorites though, they feel good, they’re comfortable and it’s hard to mess ‘em up. You get a pair of Air Force 1s and after one wear, you gotta throw them away. But with Foams, you can wear them a bunch of times and they’ll continue to look the same. I’ve got pairs of Foams that I’ve had for three to four years and they still look the same. I feel as if you spend that much money for a pair of sneaks, the least they can do is make them last.
SLAM: Did you ball at all when you were growing up?
Cassidy: For fun. Started off playing crate ball in Philly—that’s when you cut a hole in the bottom of a crate and nail it to the pole—started off like that then moved up, but it was always for fun. I’m not really a baller like that, when it comes to real dudes who ball, I’m not a factor.
SLAM: Musically, you as far as a rapper, you’re still out here spitting hardcore rhymes. Have you ever felt the pressure to switch your style up being that the game has changed so much over the last half decade or so, or do you think you can remain relevant?
Cassidy: I think I can stay relevant with the way I rap. I mean, I go in a lot of different directions with my music, my first single was “Hotel” with R. Kelly, my second single was “Get No Better” with Myshonda. My single off B.A.R.S was “Drink and My 2 Step” so I switch it up and go a lot of different directions. I’m not just a one dimensional rapper, I still bring the hard bars to the table because it’s a large amount of people that still love that.
A bunch of people in the world is followers so whatever they think is hot right now and is poppin’, they just go in that direction even if they don’t necessarily like it. They don’t necessarily know what they like, people just go with the trend right now but there is still a large amount of people in the world that love the music that I’m bringing to the table. The people that were fans of mine when I first came out are still around and remember what it’s like and they want to reminisce and feel that feeling again. Today, kids are coming up to me—10, 11 years old—who weren’t even alive when I first came out but they still the type of lyrics I bring to the table so I do it for those people.
Eventually, the game goes 360. There was a time when dudes were rapping like, “Bum-skimitty-bum-skimitty-bum-bum” and “Doo-wah-dipitty” and a lot of songs that weren’t considered to be lyrical but it was fun music. People were going through a lot so they wanted to have fun and enjoy that music. Then gangster music came along and you had guys like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and then came guys like N.W.A. and Lord Finesse who were lyrical and talking that talk. Then it moved to where that was the hottest thing out because people wanted to hear lyrics. It’s 360, there’s a time when people want to have fun and hear that type of music where dudes aren’t very lyrical and are passing along a message that’s not hard to understand. Eventually, people are going to get frustrated with that and they’re going to want to hear a message and a point again, lyrics again and I’m still going to be here to bring it to the table.
SLAM: And I think we’re starting to see that shift where people are looking for lyrics…
Cassidy: You see the last Nas album (Life Is Good) that came out, people definitely appreciated the message. My Mayhem Music mixtape just dropped, you go on Datpiff.com and you look at some of those other dude’s mixtapes who are doing that watered down music and then you look at my listens and downloads and you see the difference because there are a lot of people in the world thirsty for some real music.
But you know the people that make music don’t control the music that’s coming out, you know? But nowadays with the internet and with the way the game is going, the artist is gaining more control and can bring the right type of music to the table so you’re about to see a gradual change.
SLAM: The record label is almost obsolete at this point….
Cassidy: Without a shadow of a doubt.
SLAM: If you hustle and push yourself, you can make it. As long as you have the product, you know what I’m saying?
Cassidy: Especially if you are a household name like myself, people are already familiar with you and it makes it a lot easier. When you’re a new artist and you’re trying to get known to the public and you don’t really have a backing it might be harder. But when you’re a dude like me and people already know what you’re capable of and with the outlets we have right now it makes it easier.
SLAM: I think that’s why the co-sign has become more looked at than the music itself. I remember when you were coming up, I watched your career from day one, you were out there just rapping. You weren’t worried about what other people were saying about you and I think people now are forgetting that it’s about the music, it’s not about what everyone else is saying…
Cassidy: And that’s how you build a core fan base. A lot of the rap groups don’t care about what other people are saying when rap first started. N.W.A. didn’t really care when everyone else was saying, “You’re going to lose, you can’t curse like that and talk crazy like that. It’s never going to sell and you’re never going to get radio play.” And they said, “Well, fuck the radio. Fuck what everyone else is saying, this is the direction we’re going in.” And they turned out to be one of the biggest groups of all time.
Even with Run-DMC, the way they were wearing their clothes and dressing the way hustlers on the street were dressing as opposed to wearing costumes, people said, “That’ll never work, you’ll never win like that.” And they said, “Well fuck it then,” and they turned out to be one of the biggest groups of all time. Look at Eminem. With him being a white boy and the way he was rapping and the people he had around him and people said that wouldn’t work and he’s like the biggest rapper of all time as far as record sales go.
People love it when you go against the grain and you be yourself and be real, that’s how you build real fans so if it’s up, down, good or bad they’re going to stick with you. Look at these dudes that are winning right now, they got fans who are going with the wave. If it seems like you are winning right now, your fans are probably thinking, “I like this but the next month I’ll like the next thing that’s hot and the next month I’ll like the next thing that’s hot, I’m not really a fan of the artist.” The only way you’re going to get real fans of your brand and who you are is to be real with yourself.
SLAM: So you’re saying it’s more about consistency than anything else?
Cassidy: Without question. Consistency and not being a made up rapper. Being real with yours. 2 Live Crew, they were supposed to be banned from America because of the music they were doing but they believed in it and they weren’t trying to follow the trend and follow what everyone else was doing. They was doing what they wanted to do regardless if they were the most lyrical or not they was real with what they were trying and that’s why they were able to win.
SLAM: Are you working on an album now?
Cassidy: Yeah, I’m working on an album. I just dropped Mayhem Music the mixtape, I dropped a couple records after that and I’ll drop more records soon and just keep putting out music. I’m working on an album as we speak. I’m trying to have a single out by September, have another single by the holidays, then drop the album in the first quarter of next year.
For more on Cassidy, follow him on Twitter @CASSIDY_LARSINY.