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$his
has not only grabbed the labels spotlight, but hes willing to accept
the pressures of success versus failure in todays cutthroat climate in
rap. Chicago born and Orange County, California representing, Ca$his is
one of the newest additions to an arguably stagnant era of gangsta rap.
Despite current criticism from pivotal Black leaders, Ca$his does not
budge in his bandana-wrapped-gun brandishing attack on senseless party
rap. That was presented late last year in The Re-Ups You Dont Know single, and its painfully clear in the EP County Hound, dropping May 22.
A father to 10 children at the ripe age of 26, Ca$his home life may be
as pressuring as his career. As the artist has crafted a unique plan to
get his name buzzing, hes also determined to create a future for his
children. Unknown a year ago, Ca$his tells AllHipHop.com about his
close friendship with Eminem, his defense of gangster rap, and the
little people that keep him faithfully on his grind, and more careful
in the streets. If you didnt know, maybe now you ought to.
AllHipHop.com: In the early 90s, EPs were popular because of the vinyl
culture. Today, its hard enough to sell an LP at a discounted price;
why did you opt to release an EP?
Ca$his: Everyone was doing mixtapes. 50 [Cent] started the mixtape
game, and everybodys flooded it. It aint nowhere without somebody
with a mixtape for sale. I still drop mixtapes; Im 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. Its a limited
edition release; were early gonna print up so many. Truly, its a
set-up for the album. My LP is pretty much done; Ems 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.
AllHipHop.com: I want to emphasize limited edition. In terms of numbers and quantity, what does that really mean?
Ca$his: Its a decent buzz, so they want to go high; I want to go low.
Im thinking anywhere between 250,000 to 500,000. The goal is [for
fans] to go out and get it. It dont 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. Ive got five beats from Em, two from Rikinatti
of Blocc Boys, and one from Ron Browz. At only $50,000, once I sell
10,000 [copies], Im out the red. Anything else is just extra.
I want it to be like how people felt about [Nas] Illmatic. That didnt sell when it first came out, but it did over time. But when you heard it, you wanted more Nas. So when [It Was Written] came out, my mans did almost 3,000,000 [units]. Thats how were trying to set it up.
Were taking it back to the grassroots of Hip-Hop with this. Who else
can get Eminem on five joints? Were doing a video too. The [Re-Up]
project did 1,200,000 [units sold] without radio play. We went
multi-platinum overseas [too]. From that, the fans determined [that I]
should come out [next]. Theyve been calling, theyve been asking for
me, and Im gonna deliver what theyve been expecting.
AllHipHop.com: Youve got a record on there called Just Like Me. Whats the inspiration behind that?
Ca$his: Im talking to my kids. I made that song last year, [when] I
only had seven kids, now Ive got 10. Three of their names got left
out, but Im talking to my kids. Like, through everything that Ive
went through, I just wanted them not
to be like me, but I see that theyre just like me. My kids live in the
good part of Orange County, [California]. My kids act like theyre from
Chicago, where I grew up – but theyre more cultured than I was.
The only reason I aint killed myself I had a death wish, Ive always
been trying to get somebody to kill me or do something to do me. The
only reason that I didnt 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 Im gonna do
the same. I didnt 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 wasnt a hood perspective; that was some cool
s**t. I respected it, but Im 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, its a wakeup call.
Even if youre out there sellin dope and hustlin, believe me, I
understand. Even though Im on Shady, I aint rich, fam; Im still
gettin my money right now. Till the rest of these checks come through,
Im still out in these streets. Understand, you can still be a father
and take care of your kids, whether youre with the mama or not. My
kids are the reason Im 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], Im doing this music.
I didnt know that I was gonna end up meeting and becoming best friends
with Eminem. We talk everyday. We dont [speak] like Ca$his and Em,
its like What up Marshall?, What up Ramone? We talk about more
than music, and weve got 30-40 songs together. He told me that I
inspire him to get back into the studio. Hes always been an
inspiration to me, cause Im a fan for so long. I rap to make sure
that 10 years from now, my kids is straight. I also rap to hear the
excitement in Ems voice.
AllHipHop.com: As a young man in your twenties, how hard is it to get
to know each of your 10 children individually? One-on-one time must be
Ca$his: Man its 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, Im out the door Im going to rap. My kids know
me. They know me. Now, its hard for them and its hard for me, its
hard for us both. Now, Im in the studio all the time. Im in Detroit
most of the time, or Im doing a show. Its taking a lot for me and
them to adjust. Im used to them, and theyre used to me. I call em
all the time. But I dont want to interfere with their lives, because I
want them to grow up and be as normal as they can. Theyre proud of me,
they get to see me on TV all the time; theyre like the cool kids in
school. Im Ca$his daughter! They like that.
Im putting in this work right now so I can bring them on the road with
me in places thats not dangerous. At the same time, I am affiliated
with gang culture. Im not gonna put my kids in jeopardy, thats why I
dont live in Chicago [anymore]. I got me a little tip-off in Chicago,
but my kids cant I dont keep my kids around. As a man, Im a fresh 26
[years old], Im trying to do the right thing. I didnt think Id get
this far. Somebody can still come and do something to me for something
in the past. I want to kids away from that.
AllHipHop.com: 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. Ill show them. Thats not
conceitedness, thats just confidence. If you a ho, you a ho. I dont
even pay attention to Oprah and all that funny s**t. Its retarded. No
one says, Why you been with [Stedman Graham] all these years, and you
aint never married him? Youre just promiscuously f**king. People need
to think about that. In some peoples eyes, Oprah could be a ho. Im
not sayin Oprahs a ho, what Im saying is anybody thats got
something bad to say about Hip-Hop, Ive got something bad to say about
Its freedom of speech. None of these people get pissed off and call
somebody a b***h? I know preachers that say, B***h, what you doing?
You cant tell me youre 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 [AllHipHop.coms]
AllHipHop.com: Youve got kids, a career, a street life. When the rare
moments happen, what do you do with your proverbial Joe Budden 10
Cashis: [Laughing] When I get free time, G, Im just thinkin about my
next move. Im thinking on what next show to do, what next endorsement
to take, my next song to do, whats the freshest s**t for me to buy my
kids another way that I can show them that I love them. Im always on
the hustlers mentality. Im trying to push Shady Records as hard as I
can; I jumped into this s**t like a gang. Im trying to connect the
six-point star with the five-point star; Im a six-point star
representer, its tatted on me, next to the Shady tat on me. Im trying
to show people Im trying to bridge the gap between a gang culture or
an organization thats nationwide, at the same time, Im trying to shed
light on the city of Chicago, like, This is how we really get down!
Bump J is doin it, but Im at a bigger plateau. Twista is doing it.
Hes doing it for the Westside of the city, Im doing it for the
Southside, for the Eastside. Im also showing people that everybody in
Orange County aint p***ies. During my free time I never have free