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DJ Green Lantern & Cassidy: It’s Your Birthday

I remember the first time I realized Cassidy was nice. It was a Friday night and I was feeling a little lifted off “The Happening.” Out the blue my niggaa Nef called up my crib mad late wildin’ about this mixtape he just copped that had the audio to the infamous Cassidy vs. Freeway battle. He played it over the phone and I was Black Robbin’ it like “Whoa!” Cassidy shitted all over Beanie Sigel’s protégé.

Over time Cassidy would produce a hit that had drunk and horny chopped chicks waving their hotel keycards in the air hoping to lure drunker-hornier-broke dudes just looking for a place to crash for the night. If they had to take one for the team, so be it. He later dropped a hustler’s anthem, which in turn was probably your friendly neighborhood dealer’s ringtone. I know that’s how my homies did it. It seemed like Cassidy went from lukewarm to hot and then was set to blow.

Then came the legal troubles, the controversies, and the car crash. All these things kept him sidelined for a hot minute and in a game that has a memory span shorter than Midget Mack, that could spell doom for most artists.

But he’s been keeping himself relevant via the mixtape circuit and has shown no signs of letting up on his lyrical barrage when it comes to laying down that heat.

This joint is no different.

One thing about Cass that stands out is he always had the gift of saying something real without saying much. Like on “Let’s Get It” when he says: “You know you not a homo. Why say “no homo”? / Ayo, I think saying “No homo” is so homo / no I’m not a homo, you already know yo / it ain’t gay when I say “fuck niggas,” oh no…”

How real is that? Actually most of this mixtape was filled with the lyrical realness that most rappers claim to spit.

The only beef I’ve ever had with Cassidy was his flow. It doesn’t have the proper transition to keep it smooth like a Jadakiss, Banks or even Juelz. He packs more of a stop-and-go flow as opposed to a steady shift from one line to the next. ‘Cause lyrically he killed “A Milli”, but his flow just couldn’t match up with the track on any level.

Another flaw in this mixtape was the production. Though he did him on joints like “Money Come Fast” and “Wus Up Wit U,” the beats weren’t hard enough and were actually softer than dudes who wear chancletas with the thong strap in-between the big toe and the other little piggies.

Lyrically, It’s Your Birthday is dope, but the production and flows don’t always mesh well and it brings down the appeal. Luckily, the “On Da Spot” freestyles with A.R. AB were hot to death and kept this joint from being a total let down. They killed instrumentals from Prodigy (“Keep It Thoro”), Dr. Dre (“Been There Done That”) and T.I. (“What You Know”). The replay button got hit up a few times on these joints.

Will homie regain the status he held in ’04 or ’06? With the proper production it could happen. For the sake of hip-hop, I hope he does.

Hottest Joint: “Let’s Get It”

Weakest Joint: “Amnesia”

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