Cassius Tae has been a big supporter of the site since it’s humble beginnings. He has continued to submit dope tracks, and we have posted every one of them. This time the roles have been reversed and we reached out to him to give us the honor of premiering his newest freestyle and accompanying it with an interview. This isn’t a dissection, but a full on interview covering everything having to do with Cassius.
Side note: Cassius leaked No Heart on his SoundCloud last night, but it was since taken down.
Hey Cassius! Thanks for talking with us. How are you?
Yo whats good! I’m actually doing really good. Just got done writing a new verse, playing this Frank Ocean album, (Endless + Blonde), so yea it’s a good day.
So you released your debut tape, New Beginnings over a year ago. How long did it take to create that?
My debut tape took about a year and a half to write. Although I ended up with 11 songs and 2 bonus tracks. I went through about 20+ songs and it was the most intense writing process ever. I found my singers by attending an open choir practice and closed my eyes and listened for the voices that I envisioned for the tape. The recording process took about 5 months. I went through a lot of ideas to make the tape better and better and give the most of me that I could.
I’m a big fan of the project. It was a very narrative piece. Why did you decide to go in that direction?
Man thanks for real! It means a lot! But I decided to go with a narrative because of “Big Brother.” I wrote it my sophomore year of high school through the perspective of my older brother from the block. My tape was written during my freshman year/sophomore year in college and so many people still asked about that song. And I was wondering how could I make it fit. So I based the skits around this climax of someone that I looked up to losing themselves when they lost the person they looked up to. That’s why Bad Mood and This What God Wanted sound the same because when I wrote the tape I watched a lot of films during the time. Bad Mood was like a prequel. Tae’s Monologue was like scene setter footage as the movie starts with opening credits. Can I Live was the beginning of the movie and the fact I was watching movies during the time inspired the idea for skits as well.
The production is amazing. Which producers were involved?
Man I had production from Oddisee to Insightful to Seven to man just so many people including Sango
What is your favorite song off of the album?
MAN! This is always the hardest question and I get it so much its crazy. Because every song means a lot to my life at that time it would be like picking the most pivotal point in my life. It’s like a game of Jenga, if you move one block everything falls. But the way I answer this question is based on what songs the tape could not survive without. Bad Mood, Can I Live, 3:45A.M., Blue, and From Time. And My Story His Story because the bars so crazy. But I had to pick ONE??? It’s From Time because it represents my feeling of relief. Which is all I wanted.
Do you still struggle with the things touched upon on the project?
Yes, I do. Like it’s hard for me to go to parties and not be paranoid and on the lookout because they all used to get shot up or big fights would break out. I still struggle with watching people being overly drunk because of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Struggling with feeling hurting those close to me like in “Blue” is still happening. I mean it be small stuff but I guess it just means more to people you mess wit heavy.
Going back, when did you first start writing and recording? How old are you now?
I started rapping at the age of 8 but didn’t write my first song till 10. The following year me and all the guys on the block started a group called the “HeadBangaz” and it was 4 of us. We recorded our first tape that summer. When had a mp3 player, and sat in the yard every night from like 7 till whenever. We just freestyled on topics to random beats while they played from my mom’s little radio. We would burn beats to CDs and go through them. I came up with all the hooks to beats that complimented all our flows and yea we went from and had the time of our lives man.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Man I knew I wanted to be an “artist” at the age of like 5 or 6 because I started drawing. But the two things that pushed me was when I was 8 my pops let me watch “Tupac Resurrection” and then when I was 11 my mom wouldn’t let me play AAU basketball because of the traveling so I pursued music instead
What was the first hip hop album you listened to?
My mom kept Straight Out of Compton, All Eyes On Me, and a couple others during my years of being like 3. I remember that vividly. And then once I started listening on my own my favorites were College Dropout, The Blueprint and anything with that soul sound.
You currently live in Chicago; have you always lived here?
Yes, but now I spend most of my time at school at Central Michigan University.
Do you listen and follow any Chicago artists? If so who are some of your favorites?
I listen to Chance, Vic, Herb, Bibby, Durk, and Mick mostly. And Dreezy and Tink when they drop new heat. But as far as those who are coming up with me as well..nah. It’s nothing against them. Only person I really mess with is Femdot because I know him personally and he a good dude with bars.
As I’ve stated in almost every post you’ve been featured on for flowsfordays, you continue to work. You’ve released a ton of content since your debut. What is your reasoning for doing that?
Man to just remain relevant. We’re in the day and age where it is so easily to be forgotten unless you’re established in the city. And also as long as I keep producing heat we’re going to keep pushing heat to the masses.
You recently released a music video of a track off the album. Will you drop any more videos?
I have more videos outside of the tape but as far as the tape I have a My Story, His Story video. It’s very, very nostalgic in a way where it’s like “dang that’s really me”
Ja-Wan directed the video and killed it. How did you link up with him?
Man crazy thing..we’re blood brothers. We don’t publicize it but yea idk our mom just got lucky lol. He was the first person I heard want to be rapper at the age of 7 lol he always had bars and still do. Him and my big brother from the block Tay started the HeadBangaz and then me and my brother from the block Brandon started rapping too. Ja-Wan got a mini camera for Christmas when I was like 12 or 13 from my gramma and then yea he made a short film starring himself and the rest in history.
Who are some of the major players in your music career? Who has really supported you along the way?
My mom, she really introduced me to hip hop music and the culture. My pops as well he used to DJ heavy growing up and is still Djing till this day. And he taught me the business of it because it used to manage local acts in the city before I came along. But I would also say my biggest supporters are my block, those I’ve known in high school and damn near everyone I’ve met in college.
What are some of your goals for the second half of 2016?
Since we talking goals…I gotta be on somebody’s “Artist to Watch in 2017” list. Blogs/people can’t be sleep man I really love this music thing and really gonna do this. Some other goals I got about 10 songs and 4 or 5 videos to give yal before the year’s over. I’m hoping to get an email or someone to reach out to me to be on a bill in Chicago. I love to perform. And hopefully more interviews from people who want to know more about the kid.
You’ve definitely gotten a good amount of blog love for your content. When did you start getting on blogs? Has that pushed you to continue working?
Man I touched my first blog when I released my first song “Maybe Maybe” and the hashtag #cassiustaetuesday and #maybemaybe had me trending locally and after that the rest was history. And that recognition it just made me hungrier and pushed me to work harder
When can we expect a new project from you?
Shhhhhh lol man we gotta keep those things “under raps” lol. But if I had to say anything about it I would say..so far so good.
Any last words or shout outs?
Keep God First