By Aaris A. Schroeder
Back in the day, East-Coast emcees were held on-bar as gritty, in-your-face street poets, spitting truth on the mic, not knowing they were shocking the public with their trash-talking and lack of censorship.
Since the days of censorship have come, artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan have faded away, passed away or come back re-incarnated as less street-anthem and more about the things they have earned, mentally, spiritually and physically through the game, toning down on the verbal violence and even less talk of herb and liquor.
Fortunately for the streets of New York, there are a few emcees that are willing to step up to take that street battle and put it into their lyrics. Cassidy; once a Ruff Rider and now on Swiss Beats, is one of those such East-Coast cats who still smokes blunts, creates and speaks on emcee controversy and battles and keeps his lines gritty and his hooks snappy. Cassidy says he still considers Ruff Riders family and is still greatly affiliated even though he is now on Swiss Beats which is ran by Sony/BMG Records.
“The game is watered down. It is only a matter of time before an artist comes out with a quality album,” says Cassidy.
Known for his freestyle cipher skills and gutter-worthy street-savvy hip-hop approach, Cassidy A.K.A. The Problem has been in the game a few years and will be holding it down like the East-Coast MixTape King he is. Cassidy used to look up to a lot of emcees who had mixtapes.
“I used to look up to a lot of people that made mixtapes. I started off battling. I wasn’t interested in top-40 records. [The hottest punch lines and artists – I wanted to grow out of that,” says Cassidy who now makes grittier top-40 hip-hop albums.
Rumor has it that Cassidy dropped his album, “Split Personalities” the same day as Jay-Z’s greatly promoted and long-awaited album, “American Gangster.”
“I had my date first. I was supposed to come out in Oct. but I was still making the album. We wasn’t willing to turn it in until we were ready. I am happy we are dropping on the same day. To drop on the same day as a legend and to put out music is so crazy and [I] really anticipate it,” states Cassidy who also says you don’t have to have the number one song to sell records.