Over the past few years Interscope has been cleaning house. With the recession and all of the cutbacks that major labels had to make in order to stay a float, many artists formerly signed to majors were left with no home and were forced to go independent. But while many were cut, others strategically remained in place in hopes that they would be able to realize the full potential they were initially expected to meet. Ca$his is one of those artists.
Originally from Chicago, and signed to Shady Records, Ca$his is one of the few remaining artists left on Shady Records, a lineup that only now only includes Eminem, D-12 and 50 Cent. But why did they decide to keep Ca$his? What was it that Em saw in this troubled rapper that could make him worthy of staying at Shady Records?
Beefs with Royce da 5’9”, Freddie Gibbs, Chamillionaire, Game and the G-Unot camp, jail, drugs, having 11 kids and just wilding out in general, nearly put Ca$his’ career at a standstill. But he is emerging out of the clouds of smoke with a new state of clarity, which is clean and focused.
Ca$his is ready to hit the game with some of the best music of his career. Coming out with music for 8 weeks in a row now, a new video and with his manager/long time friend and producer Rikinati by his side, Ca$his is ready hold of his career and the game. Take a look at AllHipHop.com’s up close and personal sit down with one of the game’s most intriguing spitters.
AllHipHop.com: So pretty much you are one of the few artists still signed to Shady Records?
Ca$his: This is 100% correct.
AllHipHop.com: Can you talk to me a little bit about what that is like and how you feel about your experience at Shady Records thus far?
Ca$his: It’s a real good feeling man. Being signed to Shady is a real good feeling. It feels good to me to have been here when things were going down and now still when things are going up, just I think for the loyalty that it shows. Because you know a lot of people counted us out and during that time we only got better. And I don’t mean by anyone leaving the label that we improved. Like Obie and Stat, I still consider them part of the team like to me they never left. You know I don’t handle anyone else’s business but from the friend and camaraderie side, nothing has changed and we all are part of the same squad still.
To me its good I can reach out from the personal and from the music side how to really deal with music and life a little bit and its made me mature being on Shady Records man. It’s real good on Shady man. I think it’s a blessing and that’s why I’m still here. Never leaving, never planned on it, never was even close to that.
AllHipHop.com: That’s what’s up man, its been a rough couple years in the music industry. There were a lot of rumors circulating Interscope and the state of the label. Can you talk about what it was like during that time and how that affected you?
Ca$his: Yea I mean I was affected by random people asking me questions that had nothing to do with me and my name being out there in a place it wasn’t. It made me want to go in on my music and just show it wasn’t true what I can do, and I have contact with my label and I know what’s going on and I am glad I got a chance to put something out there.
AllHipHop.com: Yea in this industry not many people, even the artists sometimes understand that labels have a budget and that it’s a business.
Ca$his: You can get X’d off a label, not because you are wack but just for budget reasons. Thankfully and luckily that didn’t happen for me because I keep us relevant with a buzz on the internet and on mixtapes and that’s what I do and my job. When Em comes out he makes a big splash. That’s a blessing and that’s what my job has been. To do whatever it takes to keep us visible, until it’s my time to come out. I knew as long as I did my part we were cool.
People think this is an emotional business and its really not. Me that’s what I thought and I used to act impulsively and on emotion and not act on strategy. But now it makes it more fun and more complex also. I know a lot of artists that are free agents that are cool artists, and its not because they aren’t talented. Its just because labels aren’t offering those big deals and people think its going to be a Bump J or 50 Cent type deal or some million dollar record deal. That was at a time when more people in the general society were spending more money and making more money. So you have to do what you can to keep yourself at a low cost to your label and to remain highly effective. People miss the real hip hop, but if you Hollywood with it and you think you gonna be sitting on 10, 15, 20k a month with Ferraris and you aren’t selling Ferrari numbers then you forever gonna be on that street corner, and life is short on that street corner.
AllHipHop.com: So you are originally from Chicago huh? Bulls fan, White Sox, Y’all just got Manny Ramirez.
Ca$his: (Laughs) Oh yea 79th Street, South Side, Southeast Side. Definitely White Sox, Bulls and BlackHawks, everything man.
AllHipHop.com: Talk to me about how Chicago shaped your style and how you’ve taken it to the West coast.
Ca$his: Well like Chicago inspired me as a person, that makes me who I am, is Chicago. I grew up listening to Phsyco Drama, and Twista, Crucial Conflict, Young Buk from Psychodrama, Common Sense and I kind of learned how to formulate my rhymes like that. Its more melodic with your voice but also like witty with your words. Its like that soul feeling and that zone where I can just mash out on a track or whatever.
AllHipHop.com: So you said that you pretty much have been wildin out in the music. Can you elaborate on what you meant by that?
Ca$his: I was wilding out, and you can hear it in the music, you can see it in my face. And, I’m a big influence on a lot of people. A lot of times (pauses)… I believe that’s why I smoke weed, to maintain my sanity. Cause I’m always going through ups and downs, a lot. It’s crazy. So, that depression and that inner anger, that feeling of uncertainty, because when I feel that uncertainty, and fear, I just get angry. I just don’t act out like a little kid. Or get nervous. You would never tell that, and you would have to know me, to understand that. Because that’s when I become completely irrational, and do some of the things that I may rap about. From that, I was a negative influence on my kids , my older and younger homeboy’s; my relatives. On everything. It was a part of me, and its in my blood, and musically, I had to change that, because that’s what came out.
Then it came to omitting the word ni**er. Not just from my normal vocabulary, because that is kind of hard for us to do, but as far as my lyrical content. Just musically, I won’t say it because I feel that I don’t need to say it. You know the crowds that opens up? The doors that opens up? Because, you know, I’m from Chicago man, and ain’t no way anybody black can roll down my hood singing, “ Imma lay that ni**a out”. Cause its gonna be a problem. And not I'm saying that it should be a problem. I’m just saying that it could be a problem because that is just how people are.
AllHipHop.com: What, if any, is the projected release date on the album that your working on? Or are you just focusing on building up the buzz right now?
Ca$his: The album is 75% done. This is my plan. I about to unveil my grand plan, just for ya’ll baby [ in his Midwest accent]. My plan is just to go super hard. I went in super, crazy hard on this 12 song project that we putting out through Shady/Aftermath. This is all original material, and I gave my all on each record. From the production, to the A&R, I mean, everything lined up perfectly. And I honestly feel, that this is gonna destroy a lot of stuff. Honestly, I think, that if its tight enough, and the people want it, and they feel about it the way that I feel about it, I could just give them the top 5 songs off the CD, and package it up, and that can be a CD. I’m telling you! It’s real, and the music that I have been recording right now is just real.
AllHipHop.com: That’s what its all about. I think that even that way with my writing and stuff. I think that once I lose that love for what I do, its not the same. Its not what you originally started doing it for.
Ca$his: Exactly. I started doing this for money. When I first started doing this, I was doing it for nothing. [sarcastically] And with that, I gotta bring a quarter pound of weed with me, 12 guns, 3 vest, and mob dudes giving out neckties, and I thought to myself…..wait a minute, wait a minute, I ain’t getting none of this money. Man, hell nah. That’s when my music started becoming better, and my music started becoming better. And, I started remembering this is what its about. Now that im starting to do better again, I still just focus on the music. When you take away the hype of it, and the publicity stunts, its just about the music.
AllHipHop.com: With that being said, what kind of stuff are you listening to?
Ca$his: Man, I listen to…(pause), Honestly dog, I don’t listen to nobody. I listen to the stuff that I do. I mean, I do music so fast, and so much, that I don’t even have time to listen to my s***. I’ll record something, and for like 3 days, ill be rocking with it, and then it will be another studio session, and that’s old to me now, and I don’t care about it. If we in the car, and we may be going on a ride or something, I definitely bring that Twista, I listen to a lot of R. Kelly, cause he from my home. I bump a lot of Chicago s***, like Crucial Conflict, their second album, stays on repeat. A lot of Scarface. But I also ride out, and listen to a lot of old school R&B, like Frankie Beverly and Maze; all that music that was before me, but when I sit back and listen to it, it’s relaxing.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of those dudes, do you still have any contact with G-Unit at all?
Ca$his: Yeah, I mean everything is still cool. It was never like, we just hanging around each other all day everyday. But everything is still cool. It’s a business. I don’t know. I mean I’m on Shady. They do what they do. But its still like, we on the same team. I know when I came out, I thought it was like a gang. I’m like “ woo, woo, woo..” and chasing people out clubs, wearing G-Unot T-Shirts. And I got talking to my brother Kino, and he was like, “ What are you doing? You putting your life on the line.” I was like "I’m riding." But, you know, I still have a line of communication with them, but its not like we chilling together, or doing all that. I’m concerned about getting my money, and they concerned about getting they money too. They getting hot again, to where they trying to do a takeover. I’m doing the same thing. I don’t have all the bread they got, but I’m getting my money in, and I’m getting super hot. And it makes sense. Cause I don’t ever want to have to pay anyone to do a record with me. If I can do a record with Em, we just trade art. You respect me, I respect you. But I just want people to see that I’m going somewhere, and so that way, we can make some money to where it’s a favor for a favor.
AllHipHop.com: One of the things that I wanted to touch on throughout this interview is that whole situation. I know you were pulling people out with G-Unot T-Shirts and all. But this is the hip-hop game. People have beef. Can you talk about your beef with Freddie Gibbs, or Chamillionaire, or Royce da 5’9?
Ca$his: Alright. Let’s start with Royce. Man, straight up that was some bulls**t. Some weak a** s***. That’s crazy, cause I didn’t know. I was all Xanied out; not saying that I wouldn’t have did it sober, but I saw something when he called my man a cracker. I was like, “ F**k you mean, ni**a, you with racism? F**k outta here homeboy! ” . That s**t pissed me the f**k off. So, I probably would have done that s**t sober too. But, that was just me not having restraint. Cause I called to check and see what was going on. I didn’t know that the s**t was mad old, and all that. You know, and the end of the day, I just let it ride. I reached out to the muthaf**ka like, “ Yo, what’s up with the record? “ But he respected it. But he also know ain’t no hoes over here. I ain’t scared of s**t. Not saying that Im the biggest, baddest, toughest muthaf**ka, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that. And I got a big a** family, and we go after it. But, he know I’d ride for him that same way. We ended up doing bomb a** music together. Now we on the same squad.
Now, Chamillionaire. I ain’t got no beef with Chamillionaire. We got a bomb a** record together too. He cooler than a muthaf**ka. I actually like his material. But, it was like, he had this video. And he was like “ Ca$his, how you man? “ . He had this black dude in the video with white make-up on. Running around like, Cashis Bonds. And I had just came out, so I thought that it was distasteful. And my songs had already been released before that video came out. And I was like Ca$his, that’s not your name, who are you dissing? And I had to call my manager at Suave House, like yo, homey, let him know. And Suave know how I am, and he was like whoa! It would have been a problem if I seen him on my scene. Cause I felt threatened. I am straight from the streets. I was like oh, you burning , you making jokes, and you got people laughing, using my name? Oh, I’m on you, dog. But I let him know, and his people said that it was no problem. But we reached out to each other, and did a record together with the homie Talito. It wasn’t like I was like I’m sorry, I was just like, yo let’s do some music. I just felt like we grown, and that was some bulls**t. If turned out to be good thing, which was a blessing.
As far as Freddie Gibbs, I don’t even know that dude. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, like straight up. I wasn’t even aware of him until like 2 days before he dissed me. One of my A&R’s had hit me like won’t I do this record with this dude Freddie Gibbs. He is out of the Midwest and went to California like you. I’m like, okay, that’s what’s up. He from the Midwest, I’ll f**k with him. So, the next day I went in the studio, and laid down a dope a** record, and was gonna hand it over to him. The next day, I get an e-mail from my A&R like don’t do the record with the dude, and I look in the e-mail, and homie [Freddie Gibbs] is talking mad s**t in the e-mail.
And I’m like, Oh my God, that was the ultimate slap in the face, cause I’m really working harder than a muthaf**ka to be good. To do good. I been telling people that I don’t diss people in my music, I’m tryna stay out of jail. Then this dude come with that. So, I’m like alright. I didn’t know what to do, so I just won’t respond. Because he called me a buster, which means that he wasn’t talking about rapping. So, I’m not talking about rapping. So, he gone have to prove that I’m a buster. I ain’t gonna go looking for that ni**a, because I don’t know him. And I would have wished him the best, but it seems like we are cut from a similar cloth, or he’s mimicking. One of the two. Because we both have a Pac sort of influenced style. We both went from the Midwest to California. We both supposedly like guns and all this crazy s**t. So, either we are similar or someone is copying someone. And I know its not me, because I came out first.
I feel as though we should have done something to unify the Midwest. And to help them be stronger in California. I don’t bang any California gang, so I can go anywhere. I got a whole gang of Latino homies, I got a gang of homies from 60’s [*known Crip area], I got homies everywhere. From Bloods to Crips, I got a lot of homies, and I’m not even into that type of thing. I do my own thing. But you called me a buster; I got a 13 year old, a 12 year old, 11 year old. My kids read that. My momma read that. I got enemies that read that whom I probably did something to for less. As a man, that threatened me. You called me a buster. So, I would never threaten or respond in rap. Because, I don’t think that the people need that from me. I feel like the best way to address a hip- hop beef is to put out better music. And I know I put out way better music than Freddie Gibbs.
I mean, I am about to put out a dangerous album, that you[ Freddie Gibbs] had a great opportunity to be a part of, and gets some fame off of. And I just don’t understand why someone would diss someone that is trying so much to change his ways. That’s like the devil. Satan. And for a minute I was playing Satan’s angel. Save other people dissing, cause for a minute, I was doing that. It got me nowhere. I got poor publicity, and it got me nowhere. And now I’m on the other side, so my karma is good. And I am never gonna reply back musically.
AllHipHop.com: Did any of the situations Eminem went through with his decision to go to rehab, did that influence your decision to change your life?
Ca$his: No, because I didn’t know he was going to rehab. They kept it a secret from everybody. Because we used to talk everyday, than it became less and less. And I just thought that he was working, then he came out, and we talked about it, and it was so eye opening, and was like oh s***. But me, I used to go in the studio with like 80 valium, literally 80 valium, and record. And my speech used to be all slurred. Like, I couldn’t annunciate for nothing. What did it for me is that I kept getting in trouble. I kept getting cases, and it caused me to keep losing everything. I had looked up, and I had almost lost my family. My girl had came to me, and said look what you doing to yourself, baby. Like you don’t even know your kids, you don’t even know yourself. That’s not you. You becoming a walking zombie.
I just knew that I was moving too fast. You know, I was kind of hostile all the time. That ain’t a good influence on Eminem. Cause I’m sitting here popping pills, and he’s trying to get clean secretively. He can’t be around me, because I’m professing it. I got Xanax bars tattooed on me. I’m like we got them everywhere we go, pills by the hundred. Obviously, you would want that around someone who is trying there best to get clean. So, I started going through my own things, and started to get well. It just so happen that it was at a similar time that Em did. So, when I popped up in New York, and I was like what’s up, they were shocked because they could see a clear difference. And they were like, aww man, he’s back. Everything has been lovely every since then, and the music has been speaking for itself.
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