Cassidy – C.A.S.H. [Review]

Back in my high school days (2002-2006) I remember Cassidy being one of the few rappers new on the scene that my friends and I talked about. His debut album Split Personality and various mixtapes (i.e. Cassidy vs. Lloyd Banks) supplied plenty of material for conversation and discussion. But oh how things have changed now in 2010. After three solo albums (Split Personality, I’m A Hustla, B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story) and personal life struggles involving a murder case, jail time, and a car accident, Cassidy arrives at his fourth studio album entitled C.A.S.H. meaning “Cass A Straight Hustla”.

For those like me that have been following Cassidy’s career since the infamous freestyle battle against Freeway, then you know clever punchlines and witty lyrics with solid production to match are to be expected. Well unfortunately those expectations end up being too much when it comes to C.A.S.H., which falls way below the quality of Cass’s three previous albums. Where past albums had hit singles like “Hotel”, “I’m A Hustla”, and “My Drink N’ My 2 Step” that garnered success on the charts and sales at the registers, a song of this kind is nowhere to be found on C.A.S.H. and that’s one aspect that really hurts any future success for the album. Even though “Drumma Bass” was released as the first single it really doesn’t posses the necessary qualities to become a smash and mainstay in the clubs like typical hits. While the song had potential to make noise with suitable lyrics from Cassidy and a catch hook, it’s the imitation Swizz Beatz production that ultimately limits the song from doing more.

Along with the aforementioned lack of hit singles, production value is another aspect that keeps C.A.S.H. from being a superior album. No longer being affiliated with Swizz’s Full Surface Records means there’s no Swizz Beatz production to be found on the entire album. While Swizz currently might not be in top form (see: “Roman’s Revenge”), it’s hard to argue the chemistry between these two as heard on previous efforts like “I’m A Hustla”, “B-Boy Stance”, and “Tha Problem”. This time around Cass is found behind the boards on half of the album’s fourteen tracks (“Paper Up”, “All Day All Night”, “Drumma Bass”, “Hate Me Or Love Me”, “I’m A G Boy”, “She Addicted”, “Music In My Blood”), whether as a track’s co-producer or sole producer. While a majority of the tracks don’t hold up production wise, there are a select few that do Cassidy’s lyrics justice like “Monsta Muzik” (Produced by B!nk), “Paper Up” (Produced by Cassidy & Neo Da Matrix), “One Shot” (Produced by Vinylz), and “Peace” (Produced by Boi-1da).

Even though those aspects hold the album back from its potential, Cassidy proves that he’s still strong lyrically as evident on tracks like “Monsta Muzik” and “One Shot”. Although his punchlines don’t have impact and cleverness they had in his younger days, he’s still able to deliver a few lines that will have listeners hitting rewind. While Cass’s lyrics are solid they are also flawed especially when matched with cliché subject matter and ineffective topics. Such is the case on “Girl Like Her” (Featuring Mya), “Awww Shit” (Featuring Red Café), “She Addicted”, and “All Day All Night” (Featuring Game). Take “All Day All Night” as a prime example, which has Cassidy and Game incorporating a back-to-back style of rhyming over some simplistic, dull production with a less than stellar chorus that all sound uninspired. Unfortunately these instances show up far too much over the course of fourteen tracks.

Bottom Line:
Following B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story, Cassidy’s career was looking at a comeback after overcoming the murder case/jail sentence and car accident. While that album failed to achieve the Gold certification status that Split Personality and I’m A Hustla earned, it was still able to chart well on the Billboard 200 with moderate sales and put Cassidy’s name back in the news. With C.A.S.H. it feels as though Cassidy has lost a step or two from the level he once was as an artist and will be placed in the category of “rappers who had the potential but missed the opportunity”. Unfortunately for Cassidy, C.A.S.H. won’t do much for him in terms of sales and increasing his status in a game that’s filled with new generation of rappers like Drake, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, and Waka Flocka Flame. With only a select few of tracks worth the time, C.A.S.H. ends up being an album not worth the listen. Loyal Cassidy fans may (or may not) enjoy C.A.S.H. while new listeners are better off checking out his earlier albums for a Cassidy that was once considered the next of the young breed of rappers.

nappyPicks: “Monsta Muzik”, “Paper Up”, “One Shot”, “Peace”, “Face 2 Face”

  • http://nappyafro.com B-Easy

    Cassidy tried so hard to reinvent Swizz’s productions on this album. The only problem is that what he and Swizzy did together back in the day wasn’t all that great to begin with.

    • http://nappyafro.com SBK

      I agree with that, there were too many instances on this album production wise that tried to imitate Swizz Beatz’s production style and cover up the fact that he was noticeably missing from this album. But frankly the way Swizz’s productions have been sounding lately I think he did himself a favor not having any beats from him. I mean they’ve had a pretty good track record though that can’t be denied (“Hotel”, “Get No Better”, “Tha Problem”, “I’m A Husta”, “B-Boy Stance”, “My Drink N’ My 2 Step”. When you think of Cassidy you really can’t not think of Swizz Beatz.

  • P-Body

    “Im A Hustla” with Mary J was tight but that was about it. He probably had a few other songs that jammed but nothing more

    • Anonymous

      ur crazy

  • Anonymous

    cass is good, album isnt that bad either, he aint the same your right but he still nice and people dont respect him caz he aint maintstream and he keeps its real rap and hip hop. Hes nice give him some respect

  • http://nappyafro.com SBK

    Umm sorry but the album is that bad. There’s no point in sugarcoating shit, plain and simple this was a disappointing album. Never in the review did I say Cassidy wasn’t nice as an artist, if you didn’t read/notice I complimented him lyrically so I don’t know where this disrespect comes from that you speak of. As a rapper Cassidy gets plenty of respect especially for his lyrical ability and he was once mainstream (“Hotel”, “Get No Better”) while getting that respect. I bought Cassidy’s three previous albums and have been following his career since its early stages, so coming from a fan of Cassidy and his music believe me when I say this album was pretty average.

  • lil mecha

    loved the album ima g boy also produced hard lyrics i thought cass still the greatest alive

  • Gee

    I thing the Albums great…..

  • Gee

    I think the Albums great…..

    • Bristol pa

      it is all 4 are

  • http://yahoo.com thuglife

    Cassidy still got it just listen to apply pressure 1 and 2, hes problably better than ever yet I have no idea why he didnt go all out on the album..

  • Anonymous

    you cats are funny. Cassidy never lost it and he will always have his talent plus hes much more mature with it now and how many rappers out there actually write there own lyrics or songs plus he produced it himself. This nigger cassidy is real to the core plus hes not being controlled by that illuminati business. No wonder why he doesnt BLOW

  • boricua

    I;m buying this shit tommorow

    I bought his last album and i’m not going to lie i thought it was kind of weak

  • http://nappyafro.com Misundrstood

    Face to face!

  • Bristol pa

    I like the whole cd just like his first 3 nothing changed about em i just dont think he had a the right promotion cause he did it all himself this album

    • http://nappyafro.com Verbose

      *sniff, sniff*

      Bristol Palin?

      *snarl*

      I wanna bulldoggystyle your pudgy little face till you’re dead. with love.

      Your Biggest Fan,
      ‘Bose

  • anthony

    listten cass is still one of the best rappers there is the and this album wasnt great but was pretty good. I thought he tried to appeal to too many diiferent styles ex. high off life. But this album had a handful of really good songs with great classic beats ex. get my paper up, monsta musik, imma g buy, aww shit. Since this is is first effort own his own with his new label i didnt expect perfection but hes heading in the right direction. Iwould say all he needs is some killer collabos with artists like banks, fabo, kanye and definately bring jag back dude is a beast is flow is effortless.

  • skoot

    cass is still the best rapper breathing