Cassie speaks about the creation of her newest mixtape "Rockabyebaby", including rapping for the first time, working with Los, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, and French Montana.
Cassie just dropped her first full length project in six years. Rockabyebabyis stacked with features from Rick Ross, French Montana, Meek Mill, and more. It also sports some pretty hard production from Young Chop and Mike WiLL Made It. Cassie recently sat down with Complex to discuss the process behind the tape, where she details working with Wiz Khalifa, and learning to rap from her Bad Boy affiliate Los.Â Read excerpts of the interview below.
RockaByeBabyÂ been getting some amazing feedback since it dropped. What were you doing between projects, essentially in the last six years. Where were you creatively?
Even though I wasnât really out there with the music, I was in a creative place always. I was always making music and trying records and trying new sounds, I donât think anything really stuck the way the project has now, because I just kind of developed a different sound. I was always really creating, it just wasnât on the scale that Iâm creating now.
Definitely. You tested out a lot of music, and we hearÂ that progression, from âMe & Uâ to âKing of Heartsâ to now. How did you find a balance?
It really started about nine months ago when I started the tape. I did the first track, âNumb,â the one that we added Rick Ross to, and I think thatâs kind of where I felt the sound needed to be. It was just the first sound that felt like it made sense. That wasnât even a year ago. To think that Iâve been really working on trying to find a sound that I wanted for the past six years, for five years. I still have been simultaneously working on a second album. I got in with will.i.am and a lot of other great people, too, for that project.
Before I get to talking about the album, your big comeback this year was âThe Boysâ with Nicki Minaj.
It wasÂ really cool. Itâs one of my favorite records, âThe Boys.â Iâm happy that Nicki wanted to work on it with me, and we made it happen, and the video came out great. I was really proud of it. I donât know what else to say. It was dope, though. I think that was the first time where I really jumped into my creative control, styling myself and everything.
And you rap on âRockaByeBaby,â too.
And I rap on RockaByeBaby.
And where did that come from?
[Laughs.] Exactly, like where did that come from? I have no idea. I worked on that with my labelmate Los and he just really coached me through it, and I was like âLos I can not believe you have me rapping this fast, I never thought I could move my mouth this fast.'Â
Everybodyâs letting it marinate, but even when I played that record and âBad Bitchesâ for one of my friends whoâs known me since I first started in the music industryÂ was like, 'Wait, this is Esther Dean.' Everyone has been like, âWhat the Hell? Where did you come up sounding like that? I donât ever remember you being loud and boisterous.â Iâm like, âI know, Iâm so laid back in real life.â
How was working with Wiz? He seems really happy in the video, as usual.
It was just so natural. Him and I have known each other for some time because we shot his âRoll Upâ video together, and I knew him before that, when he first came out with âBlack and Yellow.â
Wiz is just such a happy person, you canât help but laugh and have a good time and thatâs kind of what we did. We were all on the stoopâit was me, Jeremih, Problem, all my producers, everybody was there. We were just having a good time. Thatâs what we wanted to come off, so I think it did.
Exactly. Back to the mixtape, you have a bunch of stackedÂ features on it, too.Â
Everything kind of came organically, in that we would make a record, finish it and go, âWho would sound really dope on this?â Maybe I wouldn't finish a bridge so I could leave it open for a rap verse, and be like âDamn, let me call French. French where you at?â âIâm next door.â âFrench, Iâm sending you something right now.â It was like that. It exceeded my expectations as far as the verses. The quality of the verses, they are album worthy.