When it comes to the latest crop of Atlanta rappers, few are making as much noise as Ca$h Out. He has a hit single, “Another Country,” featuring Future. He has a debut album, Patience, on the way via Epic Records. And he has a partnership with PUMA that keeps him looking fresh from the studio to the stage. While on the road promoting his most recent record, we got up with him to talk about the single, the album and his sneakers.

Interview by Dana Droppo (@danadroppo)

What can you tell us about “Another Country?” How did you hook up with Future?
Man, it was just like, it was about that time. It was a great moment – two power houses, two people who know how to make great hooks, great records. I just came to him and was like, “You take the ball, you give me one of them hooks you been making.” I felt like it was a record that the world could relate to, different countries and things like that. I felt like it was another “Cashin’ Out.” It was a worldwide smash.

So you guys have been friends for a while now?
Yeah, we’ve been friends before he got signed. He was in the streets, putting in the work. We just happened to make it to the same label. It just shows that with the work we’ve been putting in, and with the work we’re still putting in now, we didn’t even make it yet. I feel like I haven’t even made it yet. I felt like I just made it to a certain point in my life, you know, to progress. We’ve just been consistent with the music.

So what was it like working with him, how did you guys collaborate?
I just hit him up. It was no “Hey, hi, my manager…” Nah. It was nothing like that. It was a real relationship. I was never like, “Hey, I need a record from you.” It was just the right time. I was doing my thing; I had my hit, he had his. I felt like we understood labels, and that’s what people really wanna see anyway. We just riding in our own lanes, and when it’s time to come together, it’s gonna be a special bond. We did that. It became “Another Country.”

Did you guys write together? Did you spend time together in the studio?
Basically. With certain records, I just feel the vibe and I don’t even have to write. The hook was already there so I just bonded with the hook. I took the hook with me and went in my studio. We did everything for the hook in his studio, then I just took the hook with me then bonded with it. I went into my studio and laid the verses down, and the rest was history.

What has it been like to have “Cashin’ Out” sampled by so many high-profile artists?
It was just great, especially for my first record of my mainstream career. It was just a smash, right behind Rihanna and almost platinum. It was kind of like a gift and a curse, but my whole thing was staying consistent. I wasn’t like, “I need to make another ‘Cashin’ Out’ because it was No. 1.” Nah, it’s about staying consistent. As long as we can feel like we can make a Top 10 record, you never know where it can go from there. I’m about getting into that Top 10 and going from there. So it’s about that consistency with me and the music. I just feel like “Cashin’ Out” was a big smash. Hey, great record, got us to Epic. It’s time to move on. I’m on to the next one. I wanna keep making these smashes and keep building my brand.

So what has been your favorite collaboration so far that you’ve worked on?
I think the “Cashin’ Out” remix because a lot of the artists showed love. Akon, Young Jeezy, Yo Gotti, Fabolous, who else… Man, I think that was it. Especially Akon, who made it in Africa and did his verse. He was over there playing with diamonds. It just showed me that people really love the music that I’m putting out, so it felt good as an artist at the time.

Yeah, it’s so good when people come out and support like that. I can’t even imagine what that would’ve been like. So if you could collaborate with any artist (dead or alive) from anywhere in the world, who would that be?
It’d definitely be Tupac. I would definitely love to get a collaboration with Tupac. You said dead or alive, and as far as alive, I’m still trying to get this amazing feature with Drake. I’m trying to put that together. It will be good.

So how are things coming along with Patience? Where are you at in the process?
I feel like I’m elevating to a higher level, a higher power. Like, I feel like this album is just gonna be a great body of work, different from my mixtapes. I was putting street/real problems into my mixtapes, and I feel like this album is just gonna be totally different because I feel like it’s gonna be for everybody – for the elderly, for my grandma. I got songs on there for her, where she can sit back and have a drink. I made a couple of songs for her, a couple of love songs, and definitely a couple of hits for the charts and for the TVs and radios. I feel like it’s gonna be a great, real, well-rounded album, where you can be like, “Okay, these are my favorite songs.” It’s music for everybody.

So can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with L.A. Reid and what he’s meant to your development as an artist?
Man, I feel like he was a cool dude when I met him, when I went to his office. I don’t really just be in the building like that because I’m on the move so much. I feel like he respects me as an artist. He respects how my team makes records on our own. There aren’t too many teams that can do that, go out there and work a record on their own. You know, you got some people who wait on the label to pick a record, wait on the label to come get behind ’em. But we’ve always been a machine of our own, had our own creative control – we make things easy. We might chart a record and get it half way, and Epic just comes behind. It makes things easier that way for us on both sides. It makes us a strong power house for Epic. I feel like he respects our hustle, you feel me, and how he moves… There aren’t too many people who can move like that for an artist and an independent label.

It’s definitely a testament to the kind of work that you’re doing and the artist that you are. Can you tell me about what it means nowadays to be a rapper from Atlanta? It definitely has a different significance than it did in the mid-90s. How does being from Atlanta affect you as an artist?
I feel like you just gotta set yourself apart, as far as your hooks and metaphors and verses. There are a lot of people who wanna be rappers these days, especially in Atlanta, so you gotta be distinct. The Ca$h Outs, the 2 Chainz, the Futures who stand out from all the other music artists who can go and make a little song, who can go and make a different genre of music. As far as urban music, I call it urban pop. You know, half and half. So you know, you gotta be that distinct you who can do that and step outside the box. And that will definitely separate yourself from a lot of artists. I feel like I’m just in that position where I can step out and do something else other than just straight rap. I got two songs with Pharrell that I definitely feel like are gonna be on the album. I just got a whole bunch of music, and I feel like I’m a different person too, as far as me doing the commercial, Spotify, what I got going on with PUMA. But I feel like I’m a man just like everybody else.

Yeah, that makes sense about being different. And this PUMA stuff is huge, so what do you like about PUMA? What sets PUMA apart from other sneaker brands?
Man, you got OGs on the block who are always like, “Man, you need to get me some of those PUMAs. You gotta send me some of them shoes.” So it’s always been like that from where I’m from. It’s a natural shoe, it’s nothing like you gotta force on me. It was like, “No, this is the shoe I definitely like. This is the shoe that the people I’m around love so when they see me, they always like, ‘Oh, you need to get me some PUMA.’”

So when you’re getting dressed, how do you match up your sneakers for each occasion? Do you have a sneaker that you wear to basketball games? Do you have a sneaker that you wear out to the show? How do you choose your kicks?
I’m a colorful person, so I might just put a whole bunch of colors together. That’s just me. It doesn’t matter what type of PUMA shoe I got, whether it’s the ones with fur or the pink and purple ones. I love it. I’m the type of person who’s like, “I’m gonna be different. I’m gonna bring this out. I might wear this color with this color.” I’m the type of person that if you put it in my face, I’m gonna make it happen one way or another.

How many sneakers do you own?
How many do I have? I need some more, I know that! (laughs) I ain’t got enough. I need all the new flavors and all the ones that ain’t came out yet.

Is there anything else you want to tell people about the upcoming album or single or shows? Any shout outs?
To my fans who have been down, stay down. To the new supporters, stay down. I’m gonna keep giving you that music that’s gonna get you through your days, get you through your problems and get you to the club – whatever you want. Just be patient. The album is coming.