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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ca$his Interview

In my internship with HipHopDX, I recently got the chance to interview Ca$his, a California rapper by way of Chicago.

He's most known for his Aftermath Associations, being signed to Shady Records and working with Eminem. Here's one of his popular songs, from the Shady Records Re-Up album:

Check out the interview here. Although I asked questions about everything - how his kids affect his music, the new album, etc. - I also got to ask him my patented rap analysis questions. They're excerpted below:

DX: When you rap, do you come up with the words first, the rhymes first, or both at the same time?

Ca$his: Together, at the same time. I let the beat play.

DX: So you always have the beat first?

Ca$his: Yeah, I always hear the beat first, unless I do something a cappella. I let the beat play, and I freestyle. It may hit me but certain words are chopped off. It’s incomplete for a minute. I get the pattern, then I vibe to it. I might write it down sometimes because I can catch myself better. Sometimes having more focus is better. I sit there, and I turn the music up, and I smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke. As it keeps looping and looping and looping, I’m ready. Maybe 10, 15 minutes I got the whole record down. I’m a one-take jake, man.

DX: Say you’re writing a verse that’s 16 bars long. Do you start from bar one and go all the way through 16, or do you keep a book of rhymes and maybe take two bars here, three bars there, and fit them together if they work?

Ca$his: Nah, I don’t really know how to do that. I’m not good at taking records from other songs of mine and putting it in there. I just come with the bars. I just go through it. I get the verse, two or three bars I have a pattern on how I wanna do it. And once I have the pattern, it’s all good. The only thing that changes is if the beat changes or if there’s any drop-outs.

DX: Say a beginner rapper comes to you and they say, “Ca$his, you’re sick. Give me some advice on how to be a better rapper.” What’s the first thing you tell them?

Ca$his: I’d tell them to remember the rhyme. That’s the most important thing in rapping. That’s what made it, rhyming. Some of the new artists forget about rhyming. But the classic, true artists don’t. Jay-Z always rhyme, Nas rhyme, Em always rhyme. The biggest artists, DMX, they always rhyme when they do their rap. People need to pay attention to that. If you stay rhyming, and build your vocabulary and confidence, you’ll be alright.

DX: Can you think of any artists who forget to rhyme?

Ca$his: I don’t listen to too many people. I have my few artists that I listen to that I’mma fan of. Like I said, Jay-Z, I bump some of the Wayne joints, I bump 50 joints. I bump Twista. There’s not a whole bunch of people. I listen to some songs from Kurupt. Like I said, I bump a lot of Snoop Dogg. I bump 2pac, I bump B.I.G. I bump a lot of Beanie Sigel. That’s pretty much it, I don’t really bump too many artists because I’m always working. I don’t ever want to sound like other people. Treach is one of my favorite artists, my uncle bumped a lot of Treach. Kurupt was the artist I sat with that really put me up on game, and who I pattern myself after. Because he can freestyle forever and he can rap forever. He just knows rap. So he’s one of my idols in rap.

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