Chase N. Cashe On His Relationship With Drake
Chase N. Cashe: “I was on Myspace and found Drake’s page and heard ‘City Is Mine.’ I thought it was so dope because he was somebody my age whose rap was ill. Then I heard ‘Do What You Do’ and some other songs. I hit him up because I actually did a chopped and screwed version of two of the songs which I sent to him. He was like, ‘Man this is dope. Let’s just build.’
“But we never really got to build like that because he was still doing his Degrassi thing and that was slowly coming to an end and he wasn’t really running around the states like that yet. That’s when he decided he really wanted to pursue [being an artist]. He was in Atlanta working with Don Cannon. Don Cannon happened to be a good friend of mine. When me and Hit first moved to Atlanta, Don Cannon took us in.
“So Cannon brought Drake to the studio to meet me and I met him. And this nigga was so shy and quiet. I was just like, ‘Yo, my nigga, you’re the shit.’ Drake was looking at me because me and Hit-Boy were working with everybody at the time. We were really popping in the A and Polow was the hottest nigga at the moment.
“I was telling Drake, ‘Whatever you need man, I got you. If you need beats for anything, it’s nothing. I got you.’ And we’ve been talking ever since. He went from a stranger to becoming my brother because I never met a person who never took what I was saying and doubted it. Everything that I told son, he listened to it.
“I knew Drake could be something. A lot of times with a singing artist, their records are coming from someone else writing and producing them. But this kid was on his own. This was before 40 was around all the time. It was just him and he was out here moving by himself.
“He was throwing himself out in the world and he was getting criticized like crazy and he never let that shit fuck him up. He had people calling him a wannabe Kanye and I was like, ‘Yo, this nigga is the next Fresh Prince.’
“There was one point where he had been offered a deal from Lenny S. I knew Rob Walker so well since he was mentoring me. I told Rob Walker, ‘Yo, I got this kid Drake. You need to check him out.’ I sent him some songs and he was like, ‘Yo he is dope as fuck. I’m gonna play them for Pharrell.’ Played them for P and P didn’t want to fuck with it. He was like, ‘Well, we got Chester French and Teyana right now. We’re kinda busy, but I’m fucking with it.’
“So I was telling Drake, ‘You really need to just be your own man. You got Boi-1da and 40 now.’ The next thing I know Boi-1da and 40 start getting better and shit just started happening. This was around Comeback Season and that’s when I knew it [he was gonna be big].
“So Drake came to L.A. and I took him to Interscope. I walked this guy Drake in and he’s wearing all Prada black premium. No one is noticing this but me, and they’re trying to tell me he’s not a star. He’s dressed head to toe like a fucking star!
“I walk him in and they listened to the music and the first thing they do is like, ‘I think we want to get you to write on some shit.’ They look at me like, ‘Chase, get him some beats and he could write on them.’ I’m like, ‘Huh? This nigga’s the shit. I’m gonna give him some beats like he’s an artist. He’s not a writer.’ So they didn’t want to fuck with him and Interscope passed.
“After that Drake gave the Surf Club his first shoutout. It was on the ‘A Milli Freestyle’ when he said, ‘Please comprehend, I’m the Surf Club general.’ We were gonna try to work something out, but I kept telling him like, ‘You are your own man. As much as I fuck with you, I feel like you’re a special person and that you should really start your own thing.’
“I used to always tell him, ‘You’re the next Hov. I don’t care what anybody says.’ I always felt that way because when I first met him he was very observant, quiet as fuck, and well-spoken. He is the most business savvy person I’ve met in years. I feel like that came from his acting skills. He knows how to play off people. I realized that he wasn’t corny like everyone was talking about. He could actually make people laugh.
“And I started seeing bitches turn over. Bitches used to be like, ‘He is not cute.’ We would be in the A and these bitches would meet this nigga and they would be in a trance because he’s so fucking well-spoken and he words everything so perfectly that bitches were out of their mind. Once I started seeing that shit I knew he knew how to work everything. He never let the Kanye comparisons fuck with him. He never let that shit keep him from singing.