Chase N. Cashe is building quite a reputation. The 24 year old producer/rapper has crafted beats for hip-hop frontrunners like Lil Wayne, Eminem and Drake, among others, but now the New Orleans native is focusing on his own solo rap career and upcoming mixtape: The Heir Up There. Representing the Surf Club, along with good friend, G.O.O.D. Music’s own, Hit-Boy, Chase is currently opening up his homie Drake’s Club Paradise tour with Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky. In between stops, CNC took some time to talk to XXL about his journey as an MC, his role in creating Drizzy’s tour lineup, and the story behind his track, “Look What You’ve Done” on Take Care. —Rachelle Jean-Louis (@RJL24)
XXL: So tell me about your decision to focus more on rapping rather than producing.
Chase N. Cashe: I started off under [Polow Da Don's] Zone 4 imprint. I was just mainly producing. I had always been writing. My focus was producing because that’s what was making money. I don’t do well not having money in my pocket. [laughs] Like 2007, me and Surf Club did a few songs, and we put them on the Internet. [Hit-Boy and I] started getting a lot of attention. We were living in Atlanta at the time. People started asking if we would wind up being a group, so we chose that route to bring attention to the brand. In a sense, it led to me always wanting to do more songs. It got to the point where I was in the studio so much by myself, I just started recording. People would come through, hear the songs and be like shit, you need to put a project together. So before I did that, I decided to drop some music on the Internet. Wherever I could get booked, I went and started performing. Then after that, I got off the road and went in the studio and started recording – knocked the shit out in three months. That set me up to the point where I dropped [my mixtape] Gumbeaux [last] March.
So how did you meet Drake?
Long story short, I was popular on MySpace for beats. He was popular on MySpace for rapping. I actually ran into Boi-1da’s page. He had the song “City Is Mine” on it, so I found Drake’s page. I sent him a message like, “Yo, what’s good, I fuck with your music.” He hit me back like, “That’s what’s up, I fuck with your beats. We should link up.” When I was living in Atlanta, he was down in Atlanta, and through mutual friend Don Cannon – he was down there fucking with Cannon, I guess trying to discuss working on a mixtape – and Cannon brought him to the studio. That was the first time I met him in person. We’ve talked every day since.
You have a track on Take Care, “Look What You’ve Done,” one of the most honest songs on the album. How did that come about?
It was all me. That’s my nigga. We share a lot of time, a lot of thoughts, a lot of information. Just being creative. He likes Aaliyah. The way he feels about Aaliyah, I feel about Static Major. I was just up one night, and I was like, “Let me check the [OVO] blog and see what [Drake] posted.” I saw the video of Static Major and Smoke’s jam session. I was listening to the words and the melody, and was like, ”This shit crazy.” I found a way to sample the YouTube video. I started fucking around, played the keys over. It sounded too new; it didn’t sound real. You couldn’t hear Static singing through as clear, so I just scrapped the piano, and I just used the loop that I got. I sent him the beat like, “Yo, I think you should fuck with this shit, this shit crazy.” As soon as he heard it, he was like, “This shit is amazing. I’m about to use this shit. I’m gonna kill it.” I don’t really send him beats and shit like that. We’re around each other so much that when we have an idea, we just make it come to fruition. Or if I have some shit that I feel like he should have, he fucks with me enough to be like, “Alright, I’ma ride.” Like “9AM in Dallas.” Even though I didn’t do the beat, I gave him the beat because I just want to see him win.