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 Boys
resident bad girl. However many had to admit there was something special about
Bad Boys 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
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
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Its 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, Im 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 wasnt 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. Its not electro
music/house like hardcore but there is a good beat to dance to. And the lyrical
content is dope. Its all different. So I have a record with Pharrell that he
wrote on. Tricky and Dream, Akon, like its 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. Its 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
thats 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 Ive remixed and revamped everything that Ive done. I have a
cool record actually with Jadakiss called Make You a Believer and its just its
hard to explain. Im 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 didnt 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?
Ive never like really had a soulful R&B record, something that just gave a
good Bad Boy vibe. Ive 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 thats what we stuck with. Its a great R&B
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
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
arent really selling albums anymore. But I feel like I have a good fanbase and
I feel like Ive evolved as an artist, and if I can get the opportunity to let
people see that and what Im all about theyll 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. Im not running to the store calling the
paparazzi to come follow me. I dont 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 Im always the one at home watching movies with my
friends. Im not going to the club and trying to act a fool or anything. But I
dont feel like Im a celebrity or Ive changed. I feel like Ive 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
persons 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 werent 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 wasnt a good situation at all. But I just handled it. It was for my
AHHA: We live in a
culture where everything gets leaked. Everything comes out when it isnt
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 didnt know that someone was up in my email like that. I
dont even know what the case is. Its being investigated. So I dont know
exactly what happened. I no longer had the pictures. And my boyfriend no longer
had the pictures and it wasnt something that was really thought about. And I
dont think he would sell me out like that. It definitely makes you rethink
things. Im not saying that Im never going to take pictures for my boyfriend
ever again because thats how our relationship is. But Im 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. Thats what it is for me. We are not
together. We never have been together. Hes my friend. I hang out with him.
AHHA: Lets talk
about the hair. Thats 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. Id never seen it on
anyone else. Id never seen a girl do it. And I didnt know how much I was
going to shave; I didnt 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?
Im not modeling anymore. So I can shave my head. What do I need that side of
hair for anyway? Its just taking up space on my head. I wanted something
Since I was 12 Ive been modeling and Ive 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 wouldnt 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. Im not 24/7 in hair and make-up. Im
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
youve been in it?
Cassie: Things have
definitely been difficult. Its hard to break through. And you dont want to
spend all your time trying to prove yourself to people. I enjoy making music. I
dont care what people think about if I sound like Aretha Franklin or whatever
it is. I think Im numb to being criticized which is fine. Sometimes Im like
damn did they have to go that deep, but it doesnt affect me like it used to. I
dont 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: Im 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. Im really happy where I am now. Im
going to be 23 years old this year and Im just having a great time.
AHHA: Do you feel
like youve been targeted in anyway by the online blogs or certain press
Cassie: I think
everyone is a target. Its 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 Im not talented, because I clearly
would not be here if I wasnt.
AHHA: Twenty years
from now if they had to sum up your life and career and all that youve
accomplished with one word. What word would you want that to be?