Cassie: Gossip Girl
So I interviewed Cassie yesterday for HipHopDX. Some stuff I left out of the DX interview was Cassie’s love of the show Gossip Girl (hence the title of this piece and her referencing it a few time throughout the interview), and our discussion on her being from Connecticut and my being from Jersey and how those places kind of breed just regular people. “If people only knew how regular we really are,” she said to me. I have a few things to say about homegirl after the jump.
Here’s the thing… I don’t care what your chosen career path is; if you’re a woman, you’re at a loss in the socialization department. I interviewed Keri Hilson a few months back and we both agreed that you can’t even stand next to men at a social event for too long because by the end of the evening you’re sleeping with them according to onlookers. I don’t really know what Cassie’s private life is like. I don’t really care either. She could’ve been sleeping with Ryan Leslie, she could be sleeping with Puff. She could be sleeping with you for all I know. What I do know though is this: don’t judge a book by it’s cover and where it chooses to lay on the shelf. Most people would’ve crumbled by now at the way this girl’s been thrown under the bus. And her music is just as good as any other Pop starlet. Manipulated vocals, solid production, A-list cameos… Welcome to 90% of the music industry. So why Cassie? Why does she have to be the one f*cking her producer in order to get a hit? Read on and she’ll tell you why.
Cassie: Gossip Girl
By kathy iandoli
Cassie doesn’t really care what you think. The Connecticut
bred model-turned-singer-turned tabloid darling was sucked into the media
vortex early when her debut single “Me & U” came complete with a
provocative video that was never meant for our eyes. Now three years after her
self-titled debut, we’re greeted with naked webcam photos of Cassie that she
assures were accidental. Perfect timing to the publicist; awful timing to the
While most would cower from the internet after that, Cassie
brushed her shoulders off and kept her Twitter stride strong. Now finishing up
her second album Electro Love, enlisting
the likes of Pharrell and maybe even Kanye, Cassie is here to dispel some
rumors and have some fun. In speaking to HipHopDX, Cassie talks her new album,
new hair, and new mantra of “Eh, what are you gonna do?” And what are you
gonna do? Try respecting her gangster.
HipHopDX: Does it feel good to be back in the swing of
things recording your album and stuff?
Cassie: It feels really good. I haven’t had this opportunity
in a while to be on my stuff, so…it feels good.
HipHopDX: When did you shoot the video for “Must Be
Cassie: I shot the video about a month ago or so in LA at a
warehouse. It was really simple, and Bernard Gourley shot it.
HipHopDX: What made you decide to have Puff play such a
big role in the video?
Cassie: Well he’s on the record, so we didn’t know what we
wanted to do as far as concepts for the video. When Bernard’s treatment came in
it had so much warmth to it, and a nice story that wasn’t overdone so that’s
how Puff ended up in the video as much as he did – because of the story
that Bernard told. It was sold to us in the best way ever.
HipHopDX: One thing that’s cool about you, regardless of
the rumor mill or whatever is that you seem to shrug it off in a good way.
You’re like “Eh, whatever.” In the earlier days of your career when the “Me
& U” video leaked you moved past that too…
Cassie: It kinda gets to the point where you just kinda have
to dust things off and keep it moving. Especially at this point. I’ve had
rumors and situations that I just can’t control any of it, so I kind of just
keep it moving. I guess it’s just a natural reaction. I don’t know if it’s bad
that I’m numb to it now, but ya know…
HipHopDX: I’m not going to go too much into your webcam
drama, because it’s not like people haven’t taken pictures before…
Cassie: I love that you said that! If you take a picture
like that for your man, it’s not supposed to leak.
HipHopDX: Exactly. It happens, but you handled it really
Cassie: The less of a deal you make of the situation, the
less of a deal it’ll become for everyone else. I just tried to not give it any
energy, and it’s been fine. People will ask me briefly or we’ll have a
conversation, and it’s really not that big of a deal anymore. It came out, and
it’s over and there’s some other news on those blogs today that’s even bigger.
HipHopDX: Well, outwardly you handled it really well. But
on the inside were you like, “Oh no…”
Cassie: I was. [laughs] I definitely said, “Oh no…” because
I had to call my mother and I had to tell my father. My parents handled it
really well too. They knew were like, “We know it wasn’t meant for anyone, so
what are we gonna say?” It happens and it happened, so… It was a good couple of
days of like, “Damn, that wasn’t supposed to happen.” [laughs]
HipHopDX: In terms of getting back into recording after
that, how did you not let any of it break your stride? Was it Puff who helped
you or did you have to tell yourself that?
Cassie: I definitely had to tell myself that. I had a lot of
great people around me that gave me good advice and kept me motivated, but even
the negative stuff gets you motivated too to a certain point. That’s what it
did for me. I just keep going through everything. People, I don’t know whether
they’re sick of me or like whatever it is, I’m still doing what I’m doing and
I’m not gonna stop. It’s kinda like that. As far as there being situations that
would probably bring somebody down, somebody that’s not used to it, it actually
motivated me a little bit more.
HipHopDX: I saw on a video that you said you are
maintaining your new hairdo at barbershops?
Cassie: [laughs] No I haven’t been to a barber shop per se, but I may have gone to one once. I have
gotten it cut so many times since I got the cut that I have to get it cut like
once a week; once or twice a week. I do have a barber do it if my stylist is
not around because I’m afraid to touch it myself. It would just be a mess.
HipHopDX: How long do you plan on maintaining the
Cassie: I’m stuck with it for now [laughs]. I love it, and I
definitely wanna own it so I’m keeping it for quite a bit. It’ll be fun. And
I’ve met people [with the haircut] since getting the cut. I had never really
seen a cut like this. I saw it – my uncle used to listen to this rock
band when I was younger and the lead singer had this haircut; the guy did. So
that was like the only real cut that I had seen like it. Then I slowly started
seeing more girls, I would go to different places and see people. Everybody
does it a different way. Some people leave it longer on the sides. I might grow
it out a little bit in the future, but it’s shaved all the way down now.
HipHopDX: Apparently it’s pretty big in Europe because on
your Twitter you had someone pretty upset [laughs]…
Cassie: [laughs] Yeah she seemed a little bit upset. I had
no clue who she was, I had never seen her before. And obviously with the billions
of people that are in the world someone is definitely going to have the cut
before. I never claimed to be the first one. I just did it and people know who
I am. I didn’t know why she was so upset, so I felt bad.
HipHopDX: You’re on Twitter a lot. It’s like a regular
part of your life, and it’s good that you weren’t scared of the internet after
Cassie: [laughs] Yeah it could’ve gone the other way. The
thing about Twitter, you know, with the label and working in the industry,
people are always like, “You need to keep yourself on the internet.” The
internet is like the biggest tool. You have to promote yourself. Twitter is so
easy because you can do it from your Blackberry or whatever phone and you can
post pictures real fast. That’s the reason why I do it, because I don’t have to
go through getting on a computer and making a video. It’s easy.
HipHopDX: And it’s really you on there and you’re not
leaving generic messages. You’re sending pictures of like, shoes.
Cassie: Yeah. I like to talk the bullshit [laughs].
HipHopDX: Has anyone approached you thinking that you’re
homies now because you talk on Twitter?
Cassie: You know what? Actually I think I was in Las Vegas
or maybe LA and a kid came up to me and was like, “Oh my god, can I take a picture
with you? I’m your Twitter follower.” We took the picture and I looked at my
Twitter later and he posted the picture. It’s just so crazy. It’s like Gossip
Girl or something.
HipHopDX: Do you feel like with your haircut you have to
match your music to the haircut?
Cassie: A lot of people haven’t heard what’s going to be on
my album yet, but people kind of have an idea. It’s a little bit more of a Pop
record, and I worked with a lot of great producers that do Pop and R&B and
Hip-Hop, like Pharrell. And Pharrell is Pharrell, I really wanted an N.E.R.D.
song. It’s definitely – I think people will get it, but I didn’t go like
rock star or anything super different. I didn’t start playing the electric
guitar or anything [laughs].
HipHopDX: Is it still titled Electro Love?
Cassie: Yeah, Electro Love. It’s out later this year. I don’t have an exact date, but I would say
HipHopDX: Why the title Electro Love?
Cassie: Actually DJ Cassidy gave me the idea, and the music
just sounds…that’s the vibe that it gives. It’s not so literal. I’m not doing a
dance/electro/house album. It’s not, like, super different, but you can dance
to the music. It’s fun and a cool vibe.
HipHopDX: I read somewhere Kanye was working with you. Is
he in on it?
Cassie: I’m not quite sure because we’re still finishing
things up. I wanted him to definitely be on it, and we did go in the studio
together after we shot his “Stronger” video, but we never got back in. You
HipHopDX: How about Ryan Leslie?
Cassie: Yeah I worked with Ryan on the album, but that’s
what’s so up in the air about everything. I have one set of picks, but I’m not
sure on every single record, so I don’t know what’s gonna be on the album or
not, but I definitely did some tracks with him.
HipHopDX: In the beginning it was as if you were Ryan
Leslie’s protégé and down with Next Selection. Then you became the Bad Boy
girl. What happened?
Cassie: I think, you know, I definitely – everyone
grows and changes. I’m at a point right now where…it’s not necessarily like
I’ve become the bad girl of Bad Boy or anything [laughs]. I think that I’ve
kinda molded into my own thing, which is why I went in and I wanted to work
with different producers and different writers to get a different feel and find
out my personality more. But I was definitely in the early stages of my career
linked tightly with Next Selection and everything. I still support them 100%; I
just kind of went on and did my own thing. I guess that’s the best way to
HipHopDX: Evolution is key.
Cassie: Evolution is key.
HipHopDX: Being a woman in the industry, there’s always
the rumor that in order to be working with someone, you have to be intimate
with them…you know what I mean. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, that’s
up to you. But you can’t even be standing next to them…
Cassie: You can’t even be at a party or like be seen
anywhere. It’ll get written about, like Gossip Girl.
HipHopDX: Well you can probably date whomever you want
now, because according to the papers, you’re sleeping with them already…
Cassie: [laughs] You’re right. That’s the rumor mill, that’s
what it’s like.
HipHopDX: But for you it’s different. In your case, it
was as if you had to be sleeping
with your producers. Why do you feel that people just automatically assumed you
had to be the one? It’s a common problem with women…
Cassie: …but it was a little bit worse with me. I actually
have never quite figured that out. I mean I know that in the beginning I had a
rough set of performances so people questioned my talent, and they questioned
why and who and what and where. How it was possible – I know that had a
lot to do with it. But on the other hand, you know I think that certain people
just get the brunt of things. So I’m like one of those artists that I just get
a little bit of a hard time, but it’s fine. It just makes me work harder at the
end of the day. Haven’t quite figured out why, but everybody that I’m around, I
get labeled to have been with or whatever it is. I’m used to it now, and
actually it’s been easier to keep my private life private. Because no one
actually knows what’s really going on.