Cassie: Hi Haters

 

Cassandra Ventura, better known as Cassie, burst onto the

music scene in 2006 with her infectious hit, “Me & U”. Though the former

model had a huge first single, after some less than stellar live performances,

many were quick to doubt the talents and the staying power of Bad Boy’s

resident bad girl. However many had to admit there was something special about

Bad Boy’s new princess. Unfortunately, over the past couple of years it would

seem that Cassie has made more headlines for her personal life than for her

music.

 

The gossip blogs have been ablaze with rumors of a supposed

secret relationship between her and label head P.Diddy Combs. Most recently on

the heels of promotion for her upcoming album Electro Love, naked pictures of the singer surfaced on the internet.

As the release of her sophomore album creeps closer and closer, one question

has yet to be answered: Can her music entertain us as much as her

personal life?

 

AllHipHop.com Alternatives: It’s been a little while since your debut. If you could, just talk

about how you have evolved and changed in the past couple of years.

 

Cassie: It has been

quite a long time, but since the end of the last album cycle I went overseas

and performed and did promo out there. Then started re-recording, and then I

shot a film [Step Up 2: The Streets]. And these little things,

they build you up and build your character. I went through a lot of different

stuff. I went back after the film and continued recording. The sound is fully

developed, I’m excited about it. The album is called Electro Love.

 

AHHA: If you could

just kind of touch on the title. The mind definitely goes certain places when

you mention the title.

 

Cassie: The last

album, it was self-titled. It was a fast release because I had the single out

and I just had to put an album out almost immediately. It was like I had no

choice, kind of. And it wasn’t that it was bad. It was a great album, but I

wanted people to be able to see who I was and the kind of music I like and what

I really like to listen to. Electro Love is not really supposed

to be taken literally. DJ Cassidy gave me the idea, and I just thought it fit

the sound of the album perfectly with where it was going. It’s not electro

music/house like hardcore but there is a good beat to dance to. And the lyrical

content is dope. It’s all different. So I have a record with Pharrell that he

wrote on. Tricky and Dream, Akon, like it’s just a good mix.

 

AHHA: Do you think

anything on this album will surprise people? Or do you think the album in

general will surprise people?

 

Cassie: I think the

album in general will surprise people. It’s hard because of records getting

leaked and stuff like that. I try to refrain from talking about that to people.

Like if I see a record out, what I immediately want to do is be like “Oh My God

that’s my record it got leaked blah blah” but it takes away from what people

will know on the album. So hopefully they will forget that it got leaked and

came out. But I’ve remixed and revamped everything that I’ve done. I have a

cool record actually with Jadakiss called “Make You a Believer” and it’s just…it’s

hard to explain. I’m having such a hard time trying to describe my album to

people. But I think they will be surprised.

 

AHHA: Talk about the

single and how that came about.

 

Cassie: The single

is “Must Be Love”. It was a record that was kind of already in Bad Boy. Day 26

had recorded it. They didn’t keep it for their album. So it was just there, and

I was like I love this record. This record is amazing, can I please try it?

I’ve never like really had a soulful R&B record, something that just gave a

good Bad Boy vibe. I’ve never had a record like that. I had “Me And U”, “Long

Way 2 Go”, “Official Girl”- they were all different. So I tried it and it

worked. Puff got on it, which is really an honor to have him on the record or

want to be on the record. And that’s what we stuck with. It’s a great R&B

record.

 

AHHA: Within the

last years since your initial release there has been a lot that has happened in

general in the music business. Has that made you change as an artist in any

way?

 

Cassie: The industry

itself has changed so much since I first started. That in itself is serious.

Everybody always asks me are you nervous to put out a release because people

aren’t really selling albums anymore. But I feel like I have a good fanbase and

I feel like I’ve evolved as an artist, and if I can get the opportunity to let

people see that and what I’m all about they’ll get it.

 

AHHA: How have you

changed as a person? How has the “celebrity” changed you?

 

Cassie: I never have

really tapped into that side of it. I’m not running to the store calling the

paparazzi to come follow me. I don’t do any of those types of things. The

celebrity part of it has never really been apart of my life. I might get talked

about and things happen but I’m always the one at home watching movies with my

friends. I’m not going to the club and trying to act a fool or anything. But I

don’t feel like I’m a celebrity or I’ve changed. I feel like I’ve acted the

same way my entire life.

 

AHHA: We live in a

celebrity-obsessed culture. We want to know everything that goes on in a

person’s life who is on television or who is on the radio or whatever. And

there was a situation that occurred recently where there were some personal

photos of you that leaked on the internet. What was you reaction to how that whole

situation went down?

 

Cassie: Um. I was in

shock because they weren’t meant for anyone to see, Number 1. It hurt for the

few days that it happened and the few days I had to deal with it and then I

just moved on because there was no other way to handle it. People assumed

whatever they wanted about how the pictures came out and what exactly happened.

But how I explain it to people is, I have a mother and a father and brother and

little cousins that are high school and middle school and it was just really

rough. It wasn’t a good situation at all. But I just handled it. It was for my

man.

 

AHHA: We live in a

culture where everything gets leaked. Everything comes out when it isn’t

supposed to. Photos get leaked, videos get leaked. When you were taking photos like

that did you ever think this would happen?

 

Cassie: I can say

that I definitely did. But with the situation I was in, I was as safe as I

could be with it. I didn’t know that someone was up in my email like that. I

don’t even know what the case is. It’s being investigated. So I don’t know

exactly what happened. I no longer had the pictures. And my boyfriend no longer

had the pictures and it wasn’t something that was really thought about. And I

don’t think he would sell me out like that. It definitely makes you rethink

things. I’m not saying that I’m never going to take pictures for my boyfriend

ever again because that’s how our relationship is. But I’m not going to email

them. [laughs] Because clearly that was really stupid.

 

AHHA: That brings me

to my next question. Recently, there has been a lot of speculation about your

relationship with the head of your label. I wanted to give you a chance to

address that in any manner you see fit.

 

Cassie: Puff is my

friend. We are not dating, and that is it. There just so many other things

and ways to say it to try to get through to people but everyone is going to

believe what they want to believe. That’s what it is for me. We are not

together. We never have been together. He’s my friend. I hang out with him.

 

AHHA: Let’s talk

about the hair. That’s another thing that caused a big stir on the internet.

What led up to you shaving half of your head?

 

Cassie: I had thought about it for awhile. My uncle used to listen

a band back in the day, and the lead singer had this cut. I’d never seen it on

anyone else. I’d never seen a girl do it. And I didn’t know how much I was

going to shave; I didn’t know how low it was going to be. I just did it. I just

woke up one morning and decided I wanted to do it. What am I holding out for?

I’m not modeling anymore. So I can shave my head. What do I need that side of

hair for anyway? It’s just taking up space on my head. I wanted something

different.

 

Since I was 12 I’ve been modeling and I’ve always had that

same hair. Never colored it or changed it. Actually I colored it once. It was

blonde, it looked really weird, I changed it back. And it was just my moment of

being a teenage and doing something my parents wouldn’t really approve of. My

Mom actually really likes it though.

 

AHHA: Why do you

think it caused such a stir?

 

Cassie: I have no

idea. I think people had a certain perception of me. They thought that I was

just this girly girl. All the glam the hair and make-up and the sexy dresses

and whatever it is and they had it wrong. I’m not 24/7 in hair and make-up. I’m

a t-shirt and jeans girl and some boots. I feel more comfortable now. This is

just a reflection of my attitude towards life right now and just who I am.

 

AHHA: What would you

say has been the hardest part about working in this industry for the years

you’ve been in it?

 

Cassie: Things have

definitely been difficult. It’s hard to break through. And you don’t want to

spend all your time trying to prove yourself to people. I enjoy making music. I

don’t care what people think about if I sound like Aretha Franklin or whatever

it is. I think I’m numb to being criticized which is fine. Sometimes I’m like

damn did they have to go that deep, but it doesn’t affect me like it used to. I

don’t really look at anything as a negative anymore. Because most of the time

people are just sitting behind their computers hiding.

 

AHHA: Where do you

see yourself going from here as an artist, as an entertainer, as a personality?

 

Cassie: I’m so

focused right now on getting this album out this year. I really do want to

continue making music. I love making music. Even if its just behind the scenes

helping create stuff. I did a film which I loved. I loved being on set and that

whole environment so I definitely want to try that again. I definitely need to

get more experience and take some classes. I’m really happy where I am now. I’m

going to be 23 years old this year and I’m just having a great time.

AHHA: Do you feel

like you’ve been targeted in anyway by the online blogs or certain press

outlets?

 

Cassie: I think

everyone is a target. It’s just life. They get on everyone. Everyone has an

opinion. Even the people that are right in my circle. It is what it is. The

streets are Gossip Girl right now.

 

AHHA: What do you

think is the biggest misconception about you?

 

Cassie: I think the

biggest misconception about me is that I’m not talented, because I clearly

would not be here if I wasn’t.

 

AHHA: Twenty years

from now if they had to sum up your life and career and all that you’ve

accomplished with one word. What word would you want that to be?

 

Cassie: Spontaneous.

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