By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Previously known as Hop Da Great, he is now referred to as Hop Cashay. Representing the actual birthplace of hip hop, The Bronx, Hop Cashay looks to be one of the next big things in the game. He is definitely a member of the new school, but Hop Cashay is very old school with his music.
The Highbridge, Bronx emcee has not dropped a project in almost two years, with the last thing released being the Confidential EP. Now, Hop Cashay is working on his new project, Preconceived Notions: The Unusual Gift. September 12 is the release date for that project.
Hop Cashay is moving back into the spotlight, so we decided to talk to him. Sitting down for an exclusive interview with Hip Hop Vibe, Hop Cashay talked about his history in the rap game and his upcoming projects. Preconceived Notions is set to be released in a little over a month.
Read the entire interview below:
So tell the readers of Hip Hop Vibe a little history about yourself and how you got started in this industry? Well, my father was drummer as well my other family members like my uncle. They were always into music so music was always in my genes. I grew up in Highbridge in the Bronx. When I was sixteen, I started cutting records. I had a little ass room that had no portable ac unit. I was burning I would stay in that room daily and record working on my craft and when I turned twenty-four, I dropped my first mixtape and my buzz started growing and growing.
How would you define your style of Hip Hop and where does the daily influence and motivation come from that makes you create music? My music is street awareness, a touch of jazz, and I’m speaking about what’s going on today. My style is different than any other rapper in a certain kind of light. If I had to compare myself to another it would be J. Cole or Kendrick, that kind of level of music.
You tackle a lot of truthful topics and sensitive topics in your music from street stories about the hustler life to black empowerment, how do you fuse the two without one concept outshining the other? I write from the heart. I talk about everyday stuff and how it affects us as a whole. It just comes out of me.
How did you and MVA (More Versatile Artists) team come together? Was it strictly a family thing or is it comprised of more than family and what roles do you all play to make the MVA movement successful? Actually, it’s now called 682 Varsity. If you had a beeper and you typed in MVA, the letters would be 682. It started with a group of guys that came from the same neighborhood and I kind of turned it in to a label. I’m searching for different artists you know there’s a lot more to come but I’m going pop off first.
Now recently there has been this insinuation that certain artists from the NY area are bringing NY Hip Hop back, but if you’re like me I say it never left. What’s your take on that? I like it when artists have class. I never really looked at it like that, I like to think that New York has to find an artist to bring it to the forefront, you know hard work beats talent but talent don’t work hard.
So, you dropped Bigger than Life back in January and you had a lot of collaborations on the mixtape and I heard you state that you’re willing to collaborate with anyone that’s grinding so are there any artists, producers etc., that you haven’t worked with that you want to work with in the future? Actually, my last my project was the Confidential EP. I dropped that almost two years ago, but the reason I take so long to drop something is because to me the music I make is not throw away music. I don’t treat it like that, you know it’s art and whenever I’m in the studio I try to paint the best picture I can paint and sometimes you can’t promote that picture in three months or six months. I take my time and promote it. I shot my videos, two of them I shot myself with my own money out of my pocket. To me, it’s about making sure people get the craft right. I’m not one of those artists to drop a mixtape in January and have another one in June. That’s not going to happen, it’s about quality over quantity and Confidential was about like our people, when I say that I mean the melting pot the urban demographic, you know the things that are going on. I want to work with well-known producers like Pharrell, Alchemist, Hit Boy, J. Cole and Premier. The list goes on even as far as artists like Kendrick, J. Cole and I’m gonna say something that’s crazy but I want to work with Gucci Mane.
Why Gucci? Music to me is all about the raw. I don’t know him, but that’s the one thing I love about artists and that’s if you be who you are. He’s just being who he is whether you like it or not and that’s one of things I like about him. He’s not putting up a front, this is who he is.
Now let’s take it back for a minute. I grew up in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx before moving to Hollis Queens, so being that you’re from Highbridge section of the Bronx and the Bronx is the birth place of Hip Hop culture, when did you know that you wanted to create Hip Hop for life? I would listen to all types of music growing up, it wasn’t just Hip Hop. I had Michael Jackson, Sade, I had other things but I still loved Hip Hop. I fell in love with Hip Hop later on. Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, was my first tape, ’cause back then they had tapes. I’m from that era.
If you had to leave the planet earth today, what would be the one thing that you would leave behind so the world could remember you as a person and remember your musical legacy? My music.
What’s your favorite food? Macaroni and chesse.
What’s your favorite drink alcoholic or non-alcoholic? Juice cause I don’t drink.
What’s your favorite sports team? San Antonio Spurs.
Who’s your favorite sports figure dead or alive? Tim Duncan. I actually wrote to him when I was kid and he wrote back, so he will always be my favorite player.
You still have the letter? I would have to look for it but I know I still have it.
What’s your favorite Movie? It’s actually a tie between Dumb and Dumber and What about Bob.
What’s your favorite place to visit? My favorite place is somewhere I haven’t visited, but as of now, I don’t have a favorite place.
What’s your favorite car? Luxury car would a Lambo, non-luxury I would say a Chevy.
What’s your favorite fashion brand? I don’t have a favorite.
What was your favorite moment in your career? In my music career, my favorite moment was shooting a video. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s one of those moments I always talk about. I was shooting a video and I had a gun in my hand and we were acting and the police came and almost shot me and everybody had to come out of their cars from the scene. They ran to the officers like no, no, no he’s just acting and the officers said, “you don’t have a permit to shoot here get the fuck out of here.” It’s one of my most memorable moments and I almost fucking died. The cop had his gun on me telling me to put my gun down and I was so in to my acting mode that I didn’t drop the gun right away.
Who was the person or artist that made you become an artist? My uncle and the artist would have to be Big Daddy Kane.
At the end of the day what is your ultimate goal? Pushing forward to balance things out, because today there is imbalance in music. That is my ultimate goal and to show people to be that you can be who you are. There used to be music that touched your soul. It’s not like that anymore there very few artists that are doing that.
Growing up who influenced you? It was never one artist. I was listening to James Brown, Michael Jackson, Sade, Total, Public Enemy and even Puff’s No Way Out album. I’m influenced by a lot of different things.
Do you have any last words for the reader and viewers of Hip Hop Vibe? I’m dropping, Preconceived Notions: The Unusual Gift on September 12th, exclusively on whoishop.com and I’m on my way and hopefully we’ll change the perception on rappers. Hopefully, I can make it to that point and be that voice for this generation. There are people that don’t want to see me make it out these streets you know. Be yourself at all times and I promise you if I get to where I need to be Ill change the world.
How can people reach you? www.whoishop.com and my Twitter is @Hopcashay682
Follow K.B. Tindal on Twitter @KBTindal.