View Full Version : SOHH Focused: Cassidy

04-19-2006, 03:49 AM
Tuesday - April 18, 2006

Most would give their right arm to be in Cassidy's shoes... sort of. After battling on Philadelphia radio (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#), the self-proclaimed "Problem" generated a buzz strong enough to draw Ruff Ryders (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#)' attention. Cass' group, Larceny eventually signed with the label when he was only 16. He later landed a solo deal on Swizz Beatz's Full Surface imprint through J Records.
Fortunate, right? Well, things have yet to pan out for Cassidy. Despite scoring a smash hit with the R. Kelly-assisted "Hotel," 2004's Split Personality fell short of expectations. Then, a year later, fanfare sparked by the hit single "I'm A Hustla," off his sophomore set Personality Change, was rudely interrupted when Cass got locked up on murder charges (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/7216). The mess was later cleared and the Philly rapper escaped with an eight-month involuntary manslaughter (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8221) bid. Now free, Cass plans on taking full advantage of his second chance. His third album is soon to be in the works and may hit shelves during the fourth quarter. Emcees take heed. Cass is "SOHH Focused." [Watch the video!] (http://podcast.sohh.com/promo-cassidy.html)
SOHH: What is the first thing you did once you got home?
Cassidy: I went home and had a home cooked meal. My mom did it big for me. Eating all the chi chi's and all that nasty shit when you're in jail, it's good to get something to eat.
SOHH: What is the thing you've missed the most while being locked up?
Cassidy: I would say it would have to be my family and food. Outside food you take for granted when you on the streets. That's important when you can't have it. Being around my family, my son, my moms, Po, T.D, people that make me laugh, people that's important in my life. Not being able to see them, but only on a visit... It was kinda tough to deal with, so I missed that the most.
SOHH: What were people's reactions when they first saw you in prison?
Cassidy: When I first got locked up, it was a crazy reaction when people first seen me. They already knew from the radio and the TV (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#) what was going on and that I was locked up or that I was gonna be locked up. So they pretty much knew, but when they see you inside the jail, it's crazy like, "Damn, I knew he was locked up but I ain't know he was gon be right here with me." It was a mixed reaction. Some people don't know what to say, so they might say something a little off beat [or] a little ignorant. A lot of people was showing love, showing their support. A lot of people be in the law library so they can try and help you out with your case and let you know what the outcome is gon be. Everybody got different personalities so a lot of cats rap and wanted me to get together with them on the music (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#) side of things. It was mostly respect. Most of the dudes in there just respect what I was going through and respect how I was handling myself. I was handling myself better than the cats that ain't have nothing going for them out there on the streets. So, for me to be dealing with it like I was, there's a lot of respect.
SOHH: In the beginning, things were looking dim for you. They even refused to let you post bail. Is there a point where you gave up and realized you may stay locked up for a very long time?
Cassidy: I never gave up cause I had faith in God. And I always knew that whatever happened, it's his will. Whatever happens, it was supposed to happen. As long as you put it in his hands, he gon give you the best outcome. So, I knew eventually I'd be alright. But there was time when I had to take it into consideration. They say "wish for the worst and hope for the best." I always had to take the worst into consideration. I'm in a situation where if I win, I can go home as soon as I win or if I lose I could be here forever. So you definitely gonna think about that and take it into consideration. But I had so much faith in God, so much faith in my team, my family, the people that was supporting me, that I knew I was gonna be alright in the end.
SOHH: There was a big buzz on "I'm A Hustla" but you got locked up before the album Split Personality came out. How successful do you think the album would have fared if you were free when it was released?
Cassidy: That's just a wild guess. It ain't no telling. But I definitely feel as though the album would have been successful because it was anticipated. I had a big buzz. Before the album dropped it was a big buzz from the "I'm A Hustla," from the "B Boy Stance" song, so I definitely feel as though it would have been successful if I was able to promote it. I couldn't even go on a promotional tour. I couldn't do more videos. That's what makes an album, promoting it. You can have the hottest album in the world, but if you ain't promoting it right, nobody ain't gon know. Then you can have the worst album in the world but if you got a lot of promotion, then it'll be successful. That's a big part of it, and I wasn't able to be part of the promotion and I'm the artist. So it definitely hindered the album a little bit, but it's all good cause I got another chance. I'm about to come out with the third album. It's a blessing man. I'm happy to get another chance to do it again.
SOHH: Prior to being locked up, a feud appeared to be bubbling between you and 50 Cent (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#). After trading warning shots via interviews, you poked fun at him in your "B-Boy Stance" video (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#). He later responded by mocking you in his "Piggy Bank" clip. Is there still beef.
Cassidy: It ain't no conflict. It ain't no beef. It's Hip-Hop. We were just having fun. It's just fun, just comedy (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770#). I know what real beef is in the streets. We don't even see each other. When we do stuff like that, it's just for fun on my side. I don't got no problems with 50. He got a successful career and I wish him and his whole team the best. He do him and I'mma continue to do me. It ain't no love lost. It ain't no problems between me and him.

04-19-2006, 03:50 AM
SOHH: You surely heard about the Busta shooting while incarcerated. The reports said the shooting was sparked by an argument in which Tony Yayo badmouthed you to Swizz. What's your take on that?
Cassidy: Well, I wasn't there, so I don't know what it is. I've seen Yayo before and it was all love. We shook hands and it was what it was. I wasn't there at the video (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770/2#) shoot, so I can't comment on that. Like I said, I know what beef is and it ain't no real beef between us. It's just music (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770/2#). It's just like I'm a competitive artist and I'm sure they're competitive and that's where it went bad at. But it ain't no real problems, like if we see each other it's [not] gonna be on site... at least on my side of things. I got other things to focus on besides beefing with any artist in the industry. It ain't no real reason to be beefing with anybody, not even just them but anybody. Now if it was a real reason to, then it would be something else. But over a video or something somebody said in a rap (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770/2#), ain't no real reason to go shoot nobody, kill nobody or beat nobody up or none of that. I know the difference between the industry and real life in the streets... [He pauses]
Too much violence, too many people dying, too many people getting hurt. Dudes in our positions that's successful...it's dudes out there going to war everyday, fighting to try to get to the level that we on and now that we're on this level we gon be doing the same thing. It's pointless. We need to just focus on continuing to be successful and getting this money, leave all that stuff behind you. Cause I know what it's like to sit in that jail for a murder charge or something serious and knowing you can't come home and I know how deep it get when you going through these situations. You be regretting or wishing that you made different decisions. I'm trying to stay as humble as possible and avoid all confrontation with everybody.
SOHH: Part of the buzz on "I'm A Hustla" was that you were coming real hard. It was a departure from "Hotel." Do you plan on toning down your lyrics after what you've been through?
Cassidy: I'm still me. I'ma talk [about] what's real to me. Whatever I feel like saying, I never had a problem saying it. I never bite my tongue. I'ma talk the way I need to be talking right now in my life. Right now, I'ma talk about what I'm living and what I'm going through. I'm definitely not gonna water down my lyrics cause of what I've been through. If anything, my lyrics gon be even harder than ever. Cause I got a lot to get off my chest. I got a lot to talk about. I'm doing these interviews to let people know I'm bout to get it popping again, but I really wanna address all the things that my fans wanna hear, on my music. So they can look forward to grabbing this third album and know I got something for them. All the questions that's going through people's heads I'm definitely gonna address in my music. And I feel as though that's the best way to do it.
SOHH: Talk about the album you're working on?
Cassidy: I ain't start working on it yet. I'ma start working on it in the next week or two. It should take me about two months. So I should have a single this summer [and] have an album out fourth quarter some time. It ain't no date set yet. I'm trying to get it done fast. I'm trying to bang this album out, not rush it, but get it out fast cause I know the anticipation is at an all time high. I'm just trying to get my fans, even the people that's not fans yet, some quality music. Not taking nothing away from anybody else that got out music right now. I'm just talking from my perspective. I'm just trying to make history, do it bigger than I ever did it. I'm more mature than I ever was. I got more information and more knowledge than I ever had, so I know I'ma come up with crazier music than I ever did.
SOHH: People say you and Beanie Sigel (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770/2#) catching cases is an indication that the D.A. in Philly is out to get young blacks, do you think that is accurate?
Cassidy: The D.A. in Philly and the whole judicial system in Philly is crazy. Before [famed attorney] Johnny Cochran passed he said that he would never fight a case in Philly because they so crooked. They definitely wanna get high-profile cases cause it benefits them by making high-profile arrests. They out to get anybody that they can get. It's a business; they're trying to make money. By you paying the bail, by them putting you on probation or parole or you having to pay to get off or by you being in jail, everyday they get money. It's a business so they gotta fill them jails up. That's why they keep building more. Now if everybody stop getting locked up and nobody ain't filling them jails up, then a lot of billionaires would be going bankrupt and they can't have that. So, they gotta keep coming up with laws and figuring out ways to locking people up. So they can keep generating that paper. It's modern day slavery, but at the same time you gotta put yourself in some type of situation for them to hold you. If you stay away from trouble and try to avoid everything that you know would get you in trouble, then you'll be alright. Cause there's certain people that's never been locked up before and they're minorities. They've been in the hood they whole life, never been locked up before. Then you got dudes that get locked up every couple of days. It just depends on your lifestyle, what you're involved in. But the D.A. in Philly is definitely vicious. That's why you gotta have a vicious legal team to support you and get you out them situations.
SOHH: People are still confused about the shooting. Some reports say the victim was your friend, while others say he was a rival, can you clarify this?
Cassidy: When I was coming out [of jail] they gave a statement that said we was friends (http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/8770/2#) because we was friends before that. But it wasn't like he was with me and he got shot. I don't really wanna talk about the situation, but it's not like it was my man that was with me and got shot, but we had a friendship previous to the situation. That's why I referred to him as him being my friend before. That's why in a rap, on my second album... I wrote this before being incarcerated. I said, "Keep your friends at a distance and your enemies close/the folks you call friends tend to envy you the most." I was saying lines like that and prophesizing on the second album, and it all came true. But I don't really wanna talk about the situation. I'm trying to move forward.
SOHH: A lot happened while you were away, what is the thing you heard of that affected you the most?
Cassidy: Hurricane Katrina. That was like a major situation and I was booked when that happened. Stuff they said was gonna happen in the bible. It was a lot of natural disasters and it just seemed like it's the end of times. By hitting the ghetto down in New Orleans, by hitting that type of community and how they could have prevented it and didn't, it just make you think about a lot of things and ask a lot of questions. It also lets you know that tomorrow ain't promise at any given time, anything can happen. That's devastating. That was one of the main things that stuck out to me when I was in jail as far as news and current events and stuff.
SOHH: What is the biggest change you've made since being released?
Cassidy: I've developed a lot of patience. And that's the reason I matured a lot, by being patient...able to sit in one place, able to think. I ain't smoke in ten months and I ain't even been drinking like I used to or partying or messing with a lot of chicks like I used to, so I was able to clear my mind and to focus. The second most important thing was developing a relationship with my family again, cause sometimes you just think that it's family and they just gon be there but it's important to have an ongoing relationship with your immediate family and your friends and my relationship with God. That's the most important thing. I always knew God, but now my relationship with him is at an all-time high. I've seen him work in my life first hand. So that's the most important thing that I've learned and changed from before when I was out in the streets till now.