Different Spins: The State of Hip-Hop part 3…With Cassidy, David Banner, Jazze Pha, and Bink

cassidy-3

Cassidy delivers his third

album B.A.R.S (The Barry Adrian Reese Story) with a strong

lead single “My Drink N’ My 2 Step.”  B.A.R.S is

the calm after the storm of 2006 where he served a jail term for involuntary

manslaughter, and months after being released critically injured himself

in a motor vehicle accident, sustaining a fractured skull and several

broken bones on the left side of his face.

Bink’s most memorable production

moments included a remix with Mary J. Blige and Mobb Deep titled “Deep

Inside” and Jay-Z’s “1-900-Hustler” from The Dynasty

album. Still working with the Roc clientele, Bink produced Freeways

first single, “Still Got Love” and has a project brewing with Anthony

Hamilton. Right now, he is working on an album with his own artist,

named Danny August and another cat name B Rossi fromDecatur, Georgia.

David Banner is a rapper, producer,

and actor that went gold in 2003 with Mississippi: The Album largely

due to the success of the single “Like a Pimp” featuring Lil Flip

.He’s produced many tracks for other artist including the hit

“Rubber Band Man” by T.I.. David Banner recently booked acting roles

in Black Snake Moan (2006), and the new release, This Christmas … His current

album The Greatest Story Ever Told, first single “9mm Speakers”

featuring Akon, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg is being released early 2008.Jazze Pha is a producer, songwriter,

and rapper. His production credits range in artists from T.I, Ludacris,

Nelly, Trick Daddy, Juelz Santana, Lil Wayne plus many more. He’s

credited with garnering Ciara with national attention on her solo album

Goodies. Jazze Pha produced the hit single “1, 2 Step” featuring

Missy Elliot. He also has a production deal with Cash Money Records and his

own label Sho’nuff which signed Ciara and Jody Breeze.

AllHipHop gets into the nitty

gritty of the industry from the perspective of certified rap artists

and producers.   AllHipHop: What are the benefits

being a rapper affiliated with a certain producer and how does that impact the music on that album? Cassidy: It’s a good

thing because you will get quality beats and quality beats are hard

to find.  Sometimes, being in the studio with a good producer,

it’s hard to get the quality music that you need because of the limited

time.  Whether you have one or two sessions or sometimes a week,

it is hard to get quality music in that time frame.  Now, if you

have a producer that is working with you throughout the project, you

stand a better chance of receiving the right type of music.  Bink: I think it keeps

a consistent sound throughout the album when an artist doesn’t work

with too many producers. They lock in to one to two producers it’s

more than enough. David Banner: If the producer

is hot, you get sounds that are consistent on your album that other

artists don’t receive. One thing that I see in many artists today

is that their album isn’t dope because there isn’t a consistency

in the music. When you are affiliated to a producer, people know that

a great percentage of the album will be a certain level of music. Also,

the artist has a buffer with the record label because most of the time

the mutha f*****r don’t know a thing about putting out a record. Most

of the time, it is old a** people who used to be hot but are no longer

in touch with the streets. When you have an affiliation with a producer,

you have a hot sound that is already proven in the streets.  Jazze Pha: If it’s the

perfect blend, the marriage is there.  The artist gets the best

of the producers work instead of a producer riding through something

and giving you a give and go. Like you take, what they give you and

then two days later you hear a record that should have been your record. 

AllHipHop: What is your opinion

of new artists signed to renowned artists versus new artists signed

to renowned producers?  Which is better?  Cassidy: I would have to

say the two biggest rappers out right now are Kanye and 50 Cent. 50

Cent is signed to a rapper, which is Eminem, but he is also signed to

a producer, Dr. Dre. And, Kanye is a producer himself and he is signed

to a rapper.  You never know it just depends on how you use the

situation that you get. Sometimes, it might stagnate you if the rapper

has the wrong type of attitude and he wants to outshine you and won’t

give you your light.Bink: It can be a downside

to an artist signed to another artist because a lot of artists don’t

know how to put themselves into an executive role and they will feel

in competition with their own artist. And because of that, the artist

will never get the right look that he needs opposed to a producer. 

It is every producers dream to break an artist so there is a different

type of motivation attached to it.  I believe it’s better to

be signed to a producer. It can be a good situation if the artist’s

own label has the right mindset for it and they really try to push the

artist along with their project. When your main rappers are signed to

artists, you really don’t see that type of support that you would

think they would get from the artist themselves.  David Banner: That is a

hard question because if the artist is dope, the artist is dope. In

most cases, it’s better to be signed to a producer because you don’t

have to wait on that artist album to come out and you don’t have that

competition, the producer is going to pay more attention. I haven’t

seen many artists that are signed to another artist that are successful.

Also, many artists that are signed to producers came through the same

ranks of an unsigned act in comparison to someone who is signed to a

rapper. Nine out of ten times that is the rappers homeboy or someone

that has been in their click all the time that hasn’t gone through

the battle Jazze Pha: It all depends.

If you are signed to an artist that is all about them than you can’t

get the best of what there is to be offered. If you are dealing with

a label and you don’t have a backbone as far as an affiliation, than

it is a double edge sword because you need the visibility of the major

artist. Some artists are artists and some artists are superstars. If

you are a superstar, you can go directly to Def Jam and create your

own situation but if you are a regular artist than you need somebody

to push you.   

AllHipHop.com: Name a rapper whose

album you would buy regardless of who’s featured on the album Cassidy: Kanye West. At

this present moment, I am feeling Kanye West. It doesn’t matter who

is on his album because I just like him.  Bink: Definitely Hov and

Andre 3000.  David Banner: Scarface

is one of the dopest lyricist. He is one of the rappers that doesn’t

like too many features. Scarface’s album has always stood out on their

own. He is probably one of the greatest storytellers. Actually, Ice

Cube and Scarface are the best storytellers. Jazze Pha: Kanye because

he has good content in his lyrics and touches on many different things 

 

AllHipHop.com: What do you think rap artists have to do to stay relevant in the game when they

release an album? Cassidy: They need to try

and reinvent themselves, try to come with new topics, new flows, and

a new sound. Try to be new and creative. Don’t come with the same

thing over and over again. Bring something new that they never heard

before to stay hot. Bink: Rap artists have

to stay consistent. If they aren’t going to do an album that will

generate astronomical numbers the first time around than you really

have to be consistent to get a second chance, a third chance and a forth

chance. I think it is very important to be more consistent with good

music.  

David Banner: They have to do

one of two things.  They have to market to a point where people

will feel their life will end if they don’t buy the album and then

they would have to meet those expectations or they have to continue

to evolve. A good example is Jay-Z. In his earlier albums, he would

always keep himself around the hottest producers and artists, I think

that is the thing that kept him fresh in the beginning. He put himself

around the new hot artists, was the first one from the East Coast to

put UGK on a record, first one to deal with Juvenile, peeped Kanye early

and he dealt with Timbaland and the Neptunes early on. He allowed other

people to evolve his sound without him doing too much. He didn’t shock

fans because he didn’t change his sound, he kept new people around

him to sound fresh. Jazze Pha: I think they

need to continue the story, to make it grow from one album to the next

taking your people with you. You have to connect the dots. If you jump

out of the box and do something totally out of the ordinary, act funny

that year or not being a people person like you were and it reflects

in your music as well, you might lose your fans. 

AllHipHop.com:What do you think

about new artists that act like they’re  superstars when they get signed

before they release an album and do u think that affects their chance

of success or failure ?  Cassidy: I think you should

act like a superstar before you become one and let people know how you

feel about yourself because no one is going to believe in you if you

don’t believe in yourself. You have to feel you’re a superstar before

everyone else does. I don’t think it is a problem if you act like

a superstar before you become one but you still gotta be humble to a

certain degree and know how to carry yourself. There is a thin line

between being a superstar and acting too cocky, confident or over doing

it. 

 Bink: Two things that bring

the true qualities out in a person are liquor and money. All they are

doing is showing you who they really are.  David Banner: I see that

in a lot of artists that are unsigned. Many people I beat out early

in my career, which was one of the reason I noticed that it hurt them.

Everyone wants to be that superstar before releasing an album. Ali said

he was the greatest after he had won championships. Scarface doesn’t

have to say he is the greatest, he doesn’t care. When  people

were asking him if he thinks he is the king of the south, he said he

didn’t care. People who are truly great, are great by merit. Other

people are supposed to tell you, you are the greatest, other people

are supposed to give you your name. That’s the problem. Everyone talks

about having this or that, but their fans don’t have it. If you notice,

when Cash Money was shining and blinging, America was doing well. So,

people wanted that. There is a time and place for everything. We have

a different presidency, people are now hurting. We have to adjust what

we are doing in rap, according to the time. Jazze

Pha: It all depends. It’s natural to act like a superstar if whenever

you are going to your label and they drive you around in limosines,

flying you first class, dining first class, and putting you in five star

hotels, it tends to be a lot for a person that came from nothing to

something. It can definitely affect the success of a new artist career

because the fans don’t really understand that so you got to know who

you can be supstarish around.   

AllHipHop: Give an example

of a great rapper in terms of delivery, lyrics, voice    Cassidy: Young Jeezy for

voice because of adlibs and the variation of voices he uses are very distinct and it’s crazy.  It’s a sound that I

like even if he doesn’t say the hardest lyrics. For delivery, I have

to go with Jay-Z. As far as different flows, going fast or going slow.

He has so many different flows that I feel he has the control over that.

As far as lyrics, just spitting bars line for line I will have to go

with Jadakiss or Beanie Sigel.  Bink: Andre 3000 is my

all time favorite rapper and I put him as a lyricist because he is four

five dimensional and he knows a lot of things so he can speak on a lot

of stuff without having to rap about the actual cliché Red uric of

what they allegedly have, how many chicks they’ve got.  That gets

old after a while and I like listening to people like Pac and Dre 3000

because they don’t talk about the obvious, they talk about general

situations in life so it makes them timeless.  ODB (Old Dirty Bastard)

for delivery because he wasn’t the most lyrical person but his delivery

made people like him.  Redman has a great voice,

he’s a rapper’s rapper. You could ask Jay-Z or Andre 3000 if they

respect Redman, they would have to.    David Banner: Twista for delivery because

of the clarity and speed of his rapping is hard to do what he does.  Andre 3000 is the dopest

lyricist because of the wide range of what he raps about. He just doesn’t

rap in his comfort zone. I have heard him do Gangsta Rap, talking about

spaceships and pastille La pelles. I think he is in the top three rappers,

but never gets the credit.  Pimp C and UGK for voice

because it is so distinctive. Jazze Pha:  Andre 3000 for lyrics. Busta

Rhymes for delivery.  If you take a lyric sheet and look at it,

you would think his lyrics are simple but his delivery makes them sound

complex. It’s not necessarily what he is saying, but how he is saying

it. Snoop Dogg for voice because he has the coolest voice in the world.

If you call yourself Snoopy, that is the coolest dog who was known to

lie on top of a house and just be chilling.  

AllHipHop: List a rapper that

has the best combination of all three?Cassidy: Me. I am lyrical. 

I been lyrical since I first started with the best punch lines and metaphors. 

But now, I have a delivery as far as the I am piecing up more words,

rhyming in more syllables. I definitely got that down pat. And I got

my voice.  A more mature voice. I sound real comfortable in the

booth. I feel as though I have all three of them. Bink: Hov and Andre 3000

have all three. My two favorite rappers. Hov is clever,          

he knows how to say the obvious and be clever about it, that is a talent

in itself. David Banner. Tupac is

revolutionary, lyrical, emotional, street, gangsta, with a great delivery

at different speeds. Many rappers stay in their comfort zone which is

smart and stay in the tempo they can rock to. If you consider yourself

an MC, you should have stage presence, delivery, and various pitches.

Just like a doctor, you may have a specialty but if someone was hurt,

you can piece them together.  Tupac is the full package.  

Jazze Pha: I love Andre 3000

for all of them. His voice, delivery and lyrics are crazy.  There

isn’t anyone that can out rap Andre 3000 to me. I think he is the cleverest

artist on the market.   

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