After parting ways with Swizz Beatz and his Full Surface imprint, Cassidy is starting back at square one with the release of his fourth studio album C.A.S.H. (Cass A Straight Hustla). Acquired by Carmelo Anthony’s Kross Over Entertainment, the Philly native isn’t going at it alone, but he’s definitely in a rebuilding phase.
Throughout his career, Cassidy has become known for two things: battling and hit singles that serve as club jams. Since the former doesn’t adapt well in an album setting, he’s already going in with one hand tied behind his back. This doesn’t stop him on “Face To Face” from wishing for an environment where everyone participates in lyrical fisticuffs. Unfortunately, the concept dissolves into little more than him rattling off a slew of dream match-ups. Unsuccessfully finding solace in other song structures, “Drumma Bass,” the album’s lead single, is a lukewarm club jam. Despite his best attempt at setting the dance floor on fire, the drum kit and hand clap-driven beat isn’t dynamic enough to do more than send people flocking to the bar. Same goes for “One Shot,” which sound like the same beat as the aforementioned “Drumma Bass,” with the drowning chants of “one shot” being piped in throughout the chrous instead of “drumma bass.” Both tracks will only find spins in the club when lemons and limes are being sliced, if at all.
Without the signature hits to make C.A.S.H. stick in the people’s minds, the rest of the album is full of filler that rarely rise above marginal in both subject matter and overall product. The upbeat “Paper Up,” finds Cassidy harmonizing on the hook about stacking paper and staying on his grind, is bogged down with lifeless stanzas like “I stay countin’ paper up/that’s why I stay with a paper cut/money don’t grow on trees/but we rakin’ up/It ain’t greed, but I need more/cuz I’m the best thing smokin’, like my weed store.” Alternating between that and justifying his thug on songs like “Imma G Boy,” redundancy sets in early. The Mya assisted “Girl Like Her,” is a formulaic attempt to get back in the good graces of a lover, with a backdrop that mirrors 75% of songs on the radio at any given time. Even appearances from Game and Red Cafe fail to make a splash respectively on “All Day All Night” and “Awww Shit.”
Although Cassidy puts on a brave face for his money hustle, Swizz Beatz and his connections are sorely missed. The project as a whole lacks a certain energy, especially on the production side. Cassidy’s name is littered throughout the production credits as sole and co-producer among beat merchants like Top Notch, Neyo Da Matrix, Vinylz and Stoopid On Da Beat. Most of the beats are adequate, but mostly sound like skeletons than finished works. Even beats from more notable names like Bink! (“Face To Face,” “Monsta Muzik”) and Boi-1da’s “Peace” sound like throwaways opposed to being specifically crafted for the Philly spitter. Combine that with Cassidy’s technically sufficient, yet vanilla rhymes and C.A.S.H. doesn’t offer much in replay value. At this point in his career, Cassidy should be making strides artistically or at the minimum stand pat with the quality offered up. Instead, there’s a severe drop-off all across the board and he’ll be lucky to achieve his past successes if he remains on his current course.