A closer look into the life of Baltimore’s very own “Chris Cassius”
First things first,
How’d you come up with the name Chris Cassius? Isn’t your name Daryll?
“Ok, my middle name is Christopher and Cassius kinda had a ring to it. I already had a bunch of different rap names and I needed something concrete. Something that had a ring to it.”
How’d you get into music? Have you always wanted to do this?
“The first time I ever had written a song it was in a notebook on a piece of paper, I was in the ninth grade, and it was about a bunch of bang bang kill kill type shit. My mother had found it one day and she kinda kirked out. She was like ‘why would you write something like this’ and all that good stuff. I kinda stopped writing. Then I would freestyle to songs in my head when they came on the radio. If it was like a Lil Wayne song I would rap my own thing in my head. I kinda felt like I just wanted to be an artist.”
Most of your music is about the girls, is this your favorite thing to talk about?
“Is most of my music about girls? That’s brazy. I mean I really just try to make sure all of my music is authentic. I want to make sure it’s all about things I involve myself in. I don’t wanna rap about anything fraudulent. Girls tend to be a pretty big inspiration for my music.”
In a song you mentioned “shagging and dragging,” is that really something you spend time doing?
“I mean that’s really just a Baltimore thing. It’s really a part of our slang. I definitely shag and drag throughout my life. Shagging on these bitches, dragging on these bitches aye.”
You don’t rap about drugs like most rappers of today, are you using this to divide yourself from the current wave?
“Not necessarily. Like I said I just rap about things I involve myself in. I did sell weed at one point in time and I mentioned that in ‘Jeezy&Boosie'”
Your earlier music sounds like you were struggling in life, is “Jeezy&Boosie” a true story?
“Yea, it’s true. That’s all facts.”
You don’t wanna glamorize drugs and shit like that?
“Nah, I don’t. People that come from that lifestyle with a real objective to do something in life they not gonna glorify it.”
“Have you ever done any hard or soft drugs habitually?”
“No, I have not done any hard drugs. I consider hard drugs to be things like coke, acid, I ont pop pills. None of that. The closest I came to doing drugs… I tasted lean. Like I took a sip. That aint my thing. I always thought it was stupid. I never done any hard drugs. For instance, with coke I seen people selling that growing up. I got homeboys to this day that sell that. I see what people look like that buy certain drugs. They junkies. I wouldn’t take nothing that I know a junkie is out here doing. To me that’s backwards.”
You’re very different from other rappers.
“Yea, I ain’t into all that other shit.”
Now, about performing. What’s it like for you?
“It’s like a real rush. I get nervous every time before a show. I’m always nervous. Especially when it’s at the point where somebody comes to me like ‘yo, you up next.’ That’s like my most nervous moment. I’m really standing there. I’m looking around at the crowd. At that point I might be in the crowd or I’m on the side of the stage. And I’m looking around like yo is people gonna like what I get up here and do. It’s like a real nerve-wracking experience. Once I get up there and I say the first few lines… normally what I do when I get up there is I talk to the crowd. I do the whole thing where I’ll say a line to one of my songs and get them to say the other line. I might do that back and forth and then we drop the song. Just to give myself some sort of ice breaker. So that way when I’m rapping it’s not like I’m standing up there and you hear me trembling or I’m standing up there and I forget words. I try to go head and get past that nervous wall first before I start performing cus I never wanna mess up.
And I always bring my own water, cus people don’t always provide it. And my mouth get dry when I’m performing.”
Is there anything else you want them to know?
“Icy icy gang gang. Chest vest music.”
But, wait. What is “chest vest music?
“Chest vest music, okay, I actually break this down on a song. It’s not gon come out yet. Basically its called chest vest music because up to this point of me doing music I try to be versatile. That’s why I went from putting out songs like Calvin Cambridge to She Made Me and they like completely different things. Now I’m tryna stick to one kind of music. My favorite songs by myself are when I’m just flexing, you feel me, like talking my shit. So, the official definition is ‘When you flex it causes jealousy from others which in turn will cause them to take shots at you literally or metaphorically. Which in turn you may need a chest vest literally or metaphorically.'”