Most people’s lives are built solely around the choices they make, but there are a select few who are destined for greatness. At 25, Cashus C.R.E.A.M. is one of them. The Connecticut-born, Queens, New York-based songwriter/lyricist has been creating hits for others thus far, and is now ready to unveil his own music and impeccable skills on the mic. His new mixtape project GameTime, hosted by the world-famous DJ Green Lantern, boasts an array of top producers on original tracks, including Ron Browz, Shea Taylor and P King.
Heavily-inspired by Run DMC, Nas and early LL Cool J, GameTime, Cashus C.R.E.A.M’s debut mixtape, is a showcase of the many faces of a music lover’s artist. Hosted by the infamous DJ Green Lantern, GameTime features beats by Ron Browz, P King, Shea Taylor, DJ Drama affiliate Detroit Red, Noize Trip (who produced the title track), The Weirdos and Battery 5. Whether he’s rhyming about the complexities of relationships or the pull of the streets his hypnotic flow can go down as smooth as honey or as sharp as a straight razor. He calls himself “Mr. Fix It” because he always knows the perfect tool for the musical job at hand.
Cashus C.R.E.A.M stopped by “Po Politickin” to discuss his musical journey so far…
Po: Tell us a little about yourself.
Cashus C.R.E.A.M.: I was born and raised in Hartford, CT. My moms had me bussed out to suburban schools as a kid so I could get a better education, because the schools were terrible around my hood, plus she felt like me being around my homies would hinder my progress. It was in those suburban school systems that I saw how different we lived in the hood, and how limited our resources and opportunities for advancing in life were.
I went hard at sports, and eventually went on to play college football. I thought that would be my tool to give my moms a better life, never really having paid attention to my teachers telling me how talented of a writer I was. The combination of my love for music and my writing ability soon changed my career goals. I graduated from Eastern CT State University in 04′, did the computer engineer thing at a Fortune 100 company called United Technologies to stack up bread, then a year later took my savings and headed out to the big city.
Po: How was it growing up? Who were you musical influences?
Cashus: Growing up was hard with just me and my moms. She had me at an early age and pretty much had to give her life away to make sure I could be somebody. That’s what this grind is about for me. Giving my family the life they missed making sure I’d be a successful man. I was heavy on Run DMC as a kid. As a started to get more into Hip Hop and lyricism, I rocked with Slick Rick, Outkast, Rakim, Nas and Jay-Z. I also gravitated towards artists with heavy charisma like DMX and Onyx. Something about the energy they had that made me love music more.
Po: Describe your music. How does it differ from everyone else in the game?
Cashus: Just from my life experiences alone, I think my music is a bit different. Having had the best of both worlds as a kid (seeing the best things that the hood and suburbs had to offer) it allows me to attack my music with different perspective. Adding the fact that I went to college and have played the corporate scene also adds to my ability to do different things conceptually, and hit things from angles some people may not. Not to mention the fact that I’m a songwriter, so I don’t always attack beats as a “rapper,” but as a musician.
Po: Can you talk about your name? Does it have a special meaning?
Cashus: The name C.R.E.A.M. came from the acronym Cash Rules Everything Around Me. It was given to me when I was young because I always had some little hustle to make dough. All of my peers from around the way were older, but I kept up with all the trends and new video games and fashion because I was always chasing paper. Cashus came from the great Muhammad Ali. He had a way with words that was so powerful and captivating, whether it was about politics or sports, and although it was cocky and boastful, he backed it up when it came down to action. I feel the same way about my music and wordplay.
Po: I heard you a part of the song writing duo The HitterZz. Can describe that experience?
Cashus: It’s great. I teamed up with my boy Shaliek Rivers and started writing pop and R&B in the beginning of ’07. By the top of ’08 we had gotten a publishing deal with Primary Wave Music and had placements on groups such as Prima J, The D.E.Y., and have placements pending for artists such as Jamie Foxx, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Lopez and David Archuleta.
Po: I read about your new mixtape, GameTime, hosted by the world-famous DJ Green Lantern. Can you tell us more about it? What was your thought process while creating the mixtape?
Cashus: My thought process was simple: It’s Gametime! I just wanted to go in and let the world know I was here. Show some diversity and wittiness, and of course a broad array of concepts and freestyles. I want to give the world a sneak preview of things to come. Green co-signed on the music and put his stamp on it. The rest is history.
Po: What are your career goals?
Cashus: To be a successful entrepreneur and entertainer. Music is my passion, so I plan to use it as my stepping stone to becoming a self made man. I like to look at Will Smith’s career as a marker to aim for.
Po: What advice would you give to aspiring emcees?
Cashus: The only people who don’t get a chance are the people who stop trying. Everybody gets their shot when the time is right. Somebody once told me that half of being successful is just showing up. Keep “showing up” and perfecting your craft in the process. Bring something fresh to the table and don’t stop showing up until you’re relevant. And when you’re relevant, keep showing up! [laughs]
Po: Where can we check out more of your music?
Po: Thanks for stopping by “Po Politickin.” Any last words for the readers?
Cashus: It’s GameTime! I will be seeing you all soon!
CASHUS C.R.E.A.M. and Jean Grae