News: Cassidy Turns Down Major Record Labels, "I'd Rather Have My Freedom"

Saturday, May 16, 2009 2:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Philadelphia rapper Cassidy recently updated fans on his career status and discussed his reasons for going the independent route.


Along with talking about taking his major label snub, Cass also addressed his rise from freestyles to albums.

"I love hip-hop," the rapper explained. "I just always wanted to prove that I was better than another rapper. I remember I got on this radio competition in Philly called The Cipher hosted by this DJ named Zulu. I [won] for months at a time. I became a personality, but nobody knew what I looked like. So I started battling dudes face-to-face...The focus and direction of artists [has changed.] It's bigger than it's ever been...People [are] making business music as opposed to making good music...Yeah, I don't want a deal right now. I'd rather have my freedom without people over me telling me what to do. If you was ever in the industry, you'd know what I mean." (Rolling Out)

G-Unit's Lloyd Banks recently spoke on his issues with former major record company Interscope Records.

"I was ready to make a move," Banks said about leaving the powerhouse label. "I'm a brand-new engine. If anything, it's their loss. It's been a dark shadow cast upon that. That's why you hear [Funkmaster] Flex on the radio [boycotting Interscope], because it's an aura created around that machine, and the artists automatically get smacked in the head...I felt it's time for me to go somewhere where it's not biased and I get a fair shot. There's a lot of stuff on the table right now. You don't wanna speak about it until it gets ironed out all the way...Everything happened for a reason. I feel like I'm so blessed because of my work ethic and how easy the music is coming to me. It feels so good to be an independent artist with a brand. I have direct deals with iTunes and things of that nature, where it's direct money coming to me. It's 50 percent of me that's not pressed to be on a major." (MTV)

The rapper's last album dropped nearly two years ago following a prison stint and near-fatal car crash.

Cassidy returned with the harder I'm a Hustla, which was released roughly two weeks after he was charged with a murder that took place in his Philadelphia neighborhood. The extra attention had no negative effect on his career, with 2007's B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story bowing in the Top Ten of the Billboard album chart; its lead single, "My Drink 'N My Two Step" (also produced by Swizz Beatz), peaked at number 11 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart. (Billboard)

He made his name renowned from an infamous freestyle rap battle against Roc-A-Fella's Freeway in 2002 and collaborations with Swizz Beatz.

The first MC of significance to be supported by Swizz Beatz's J-affiliated Full Surface label, Cassidy is a fresh-faced Philadelphian who gained a lot of attention as a battle rapper -- with a successful bout against Freeway as one of the first feathers in his cap. People who had been following him through several mixtape appearances were more than a little surprised by the angle taken on his first solo single, "Hotel." Rather than build on his street credibility, Cassidy used the song -- with vocal hooks courtesy of R. Kelly -- to establish himself as an MC who could just deliver a fluffy chart-aimed hit with equal ease. "Hotel" more or less piggybacked Chingy. (All Music)

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