“…The game ain’t the same to me and it’s plain to see/Who you think would win if Diddy battled Jermaine Dupri/Or, Jazze Pha and Mannie Fresh went at it/Ya man will.i.am and Wyclef went at if/Just imagine if the Ghost and the Chef went at it/Or, Redman and your man Meth went at it/(Dramatic)/Man, I’ll pay to see that show/Another good battle would be Rick Ross and Fat Joe/I wanna see Foxy battle Lil’ Kim again/Drake battle Kanye and Wayne battle Eminem/I wanna see Dr. Dre battle Timbaland, The Clipse vs. Chris and Neef, Pharrell vs. Swizz Beatz/I wanna see Beans and Kiss catch wreck again, and see Jay-Z battle Nas and DMX again/Like wrestlin’, rappers talk dumb greasy/I wanna see Gucci go at it with Young Jeezy/Tip and Ludacris should go next/Game should battle Styles P and Common should battle Mos Def/You know what else would be dumb hot?/Juiceman vs. Plies and Young Dro vs. Yung Joc/I wish we could see Trina battle E.V.E./But Mobb Deep vs. M.O.P. what I need to see/Twista and Krayzie Bone battle would be fuckin’ fast/What if Capone and Nore battled Kurupt and Daz/Lil Flip and Slim Thug’d be a nice move/But I’d rather see Ice-T and Ice Cube/Cam and Ma$e would go at it like straight savages/Another good battle would be Juelz and Fabolous/But the next one gotta be the best one/The next one should be Rakim and KRS-One/That’d be wonderful, I wonder who would win that/I know my fans are wonderin’ where the fuck I done been at/Look, I took a rest but came back like I never left/We all gonna perish, you gotta cherish every breath/That’s why I wish Big and 2Pac never left/I’m not kiddin’, man/The game would be a lot different/But I’m in love with hip-hop/I can’t stop spittin’, stop shittin’ on other cats with the raps I got written/Take a stand, man, stop trippin’/If you can’t take the heat, then get yo ass out the hot kitchen…”

—Cassidy, “Face to Face"

First off, how did you come up with the concept for “Face-to-Face?”

Cassidy: Well, when I was working on this [C.A.S.H.] album I really wanted to make history [and] prove that when I’m by myself, and more independent, taking more responsibilities in my own hands, I can do it the same way if not bigger. So I was trying to think of a crazy concept to get everybody attention so everybody can know that I’m back automatically so they can know that I’m going hard again. I was just thinkin’ and thinkin’ and that just popped up into my mind—and you know I started off as a battle rapper, like that’s what I’m really into, and I feel as though that’s how all artists should start off bein’ able to really spit.

You put together a few epic battles. We want to know who you think would win some of those matchups…

Well, I feel as though a lotta songs that stirred up a lotta controversy and got a lotta talk, like “Dreams (of Fuckin’ a R&B Bitch)” or “How to Rob,” it was callin’ out a lotta names and talkin’ about a lotta people in the industry… A lotta people felt [those songs] because of that but a lotta people didn’t feel it because of that. I ain’t really wanna pick who I felt as though would win or what the outcome would be but whose battles I would like to see. It’s up to the people who hear the song to make the decision on who they feel as though would win if that were to happen.

Okay, so what was your thought process for making the matchups?

Like, with those battles, it’s not like a lop-sided battle where’s it’s like clearly this person could beat this person, it’s like good comparisons, it’d be a good battle. So depending on who prepared the most and who showed up that night would just determine who would win that battle and that’s why I wanted to match up people that I felt is like a good match up and something that people would wanna see. Like just how promoters try to put fighters together that’s a good fight that people would wanna come out and see or pay on pay-per-view to see… I was doin’ a similar type a thing, like if I was a promoter for battles and I had the opportunity to put rappers together to battle, those are the type a battles I would wanna set up. I feel as that’ll be the most interesting and that’ll bring out the most people.

So you thinkin’ Chris and Neef could hold their own with the Clipse on a two-on-two battle?

Well, you know, I’m from Philly. I gotta relationship with Chris and Neef; they my homies, I’ve been rockin’ out with them for years and that’d definitely be a good battle. They definitely two named groups; they got love for each other on some brother stuff, I just definitely think that’d be a good battle. Chris and Neef definitely get busy. They might do female songs, party songs, different type a songs, but they get busy and so do The Clipse. They both could talk that street talk so I just feel it’d be a good situation.

Game and Styles P isn’t your average pairing. Why’d you choose those two to go against each other?

Every time I made a comparison it wasn’t to compare people that had the same type a style, it’s just battles that I feel as though would be good. It’s like Styles is a East Coast rapper but he was always considered to be hard… I was signed to Ruff Ryders like first and foremost, like that’s my team, so I know how he get it in and the type of dude he is. And he’s supposed to go hard, like with his lyrics he always go hard. You know what I’m sayin’, and as far as the West Coast was concerned Game was a dude that was goin’ hard, playin the gangsta role, the goon role, you know what I’m sayin’, he’s supposed to get busy. He might not have a similar style to Styles, but I just figured it would be a good battle with two hard dudes tryin’ to go at it just to see who’s really the hardest

You also mentioned one of hip-hop’s classic battles between Jay-Z, Nas, and DMX…

Yeah, ’cause they already went at it before and both times, even though Jay-Z holds so much weight and he put in so much work and he did what he did, it’s like in both battles there’s a lotta people that felt as though you know what I’m sayin’, he got the short end of the stick. So it’s like you know what I’m sayin’, I’d like to see that go down again. You know what I’m sayin’, I don’t know if they got his number or he was just not on point at that particular time, there’s just no tellin’, so to really see them like prepare and go at it again that would be dope I think.

Where there any battles that you didn’t get to put on the song that you might want to add on a remix or something?

If I really sat here and thought about it, I’m pretty sure I could write a whole ’nother “Face-to-Face” song of battles I would like to see and people I would like to see goin’ at it. The song was already rather long, but I could definitely think of some more battles I would like to see but not off top.

And you definitely get props for takin’ it even further back when you said the best one would be Rakim vs. KRS-One. A lot of cats don’t respect what the veterans did.

When I first began falling in love with rap it was with the dudes that was holdin’ it down gettin’ money so I definitely gotta show respect to them because without them doin’ what they did the dudes that came after them would never be able to do what they did… KRS-One and Rakim put in the work that they put in for us to be able to do what we doin now, so that’s why I said that’d be the best one. And those is just two dudes that at they time period held so much weight for bein’ lyrical but never came across the dough or nothin’ like that so I think that would be crazy. —Anslem Samuel