The Rhyme Perspective: Cas Metah
First and foremost, who is Cas Metah and how long have you been rhyming?
Well let's see: I'm an emcee. I'm a producer in the traditional sense of the word. I'm the co-founder of Scribbling Idiots, a crew I guarantee goes down in history as one of the best to do it. You can print that! lol. I host a Podcast for Sphere of Hip-Hop. I do a lot of stuff behind the scenes as well, just check the credits haha. I'm a collaborator as well as a solo artist. I'm simply a hip hop head. I fell in love with the culture at a young age, probably ten or so. I started rhyming in 1995 and never looked back. Where are you from and what do you hope to achieve with music? I'm from Greenfield, Ohio. Basically between Columbus and Cincinnati. I just want to make timeless music, man. I want to make a living at it, but I'm not in it for the money. I want to keep collaborating with my brothers and help them anyway I can. I aim to bring an alternative to what you're used to. If I can somehow balance entertainment, education and edification then I've done my job. I'm not Jesus or Superman, I can't save yall, but I'll try to point you in the right direction. Hopefully my ability to be transparent can help shatter some of these stereotypes I keep seeing. Fans: Quit putting rappers on pedestals, we're human too! Rappers: Take off those masks, you ain't fooling me son!
Ohio is a hotbed for talented emcees and beatmakers (J. Rawls, Copywrite and others have made a name for themselves). How do you view the scene in Ohio and is it competitive?
Word man, Ohio is booming with talent. Funny you mentioned J. Rawls and Copywrite because I was just with both of them last weekend. I forgot my hard drive at Rawls studio, gotta go get that lol. There are tons of other dope emcees, Dj's and beatmakers, not to mention B-boys and B-girls holding down the culture here. Unfortunately the scene/support doesn't seem to equal the talent. Some cats are down to build with you, others aren't. And then there's the whole over saturation of garbage rappers taking up space. So it's definitely competitive. I'm sure it's pretty much the same everywhere these days. It just depends on the crowd and the venue. Sometimes I'm really proud to call this my home, others times I could scream, lol. I've earned the respect of many, but still proving myself to many more.
I respect you for your work ethic and ability to consistently put out solid material. Where does the motivation come from?
Thanks bro. I know this is going to sound cliche, but I'm blessed man. I thank God for the talent he has given me to be so prolific. I'm bi-polar, so maybe that has something to do with my ability to work so hard lol. I am also single with no kids, so I don't have the responsibilities that would slow other guys down. A lot of the Ep's and stuff I've done come from doing 'cram sessions'. For instance, I might go to my dude Mouth Warren's crib for 4 days and we will bang out 7 songs. Even as I've shifted from 'hobby to career' mode, I never stopped doing it for the love. I love hip hop and I don't ever want to put out sub-par material. It's not that I've never wrote a wack verse, it's just that it usually hits the cutting board before I hit the booth. I can tell when I'm writing if it's going to come out dope or not. That's just where experience comes in. I've scrapped just as many raps as you've heard me release, trust that!
You have released a lot of music via Illect Recordings. What is your relationship with Illect Recordings and do you plan to release music with them in the future?
I have a good relationship with Illect Recordings. For the most part they give me 100% creative control, which is important to me. I just finished a compilation for the label called Invitation Only. I've been telling people it is basically an SI version of Guest Room. I made sure someone from SI was on every song, and then recruited a gang of our homies to jump on tracks as well. It took a lot of work to finish, but the end product is better than I could have expected. Everyone brought their 'A' game. I can't wait for folks to hear it. I don't know the release date but I'm pretty sure it's going to drop in 2011.
What are you currently working on and what would you like to release in the future?
I'm juggling a few things but I'm really just trying to play catch up this year. I have a lot of solid material that has been done, but you can only release so much music in one year, ya know? Last year I dropped six projects and that's too many! I have another EP with Mouth Warren done. It's our third, under the group name Analog Amazon. A young cat named Defizit did all the beats. It's our best stuff as a duo in my opinion. I also have a project I want to release with my side-group Chemistry Test. It's myself along with two emcees, Lewie and Blast. Together they are a group called N.O.M.A.D. We met like ten years ago, working in the same studio in Columbus. Lewie actually did a hook on my first album "Key Tah Life", and I bought a few beats from Blast, but other than that we didn't start making songs together until a couple years ago. We have around 15 songs done I think, I just want to narrow it down to the best ones and put it out as a free download. I have one other collab EP that's going to drop this year, but I'm keeping it a secret for now. My main focus this year is touring and promoting the records I already have out. Oh almost forgot, I've been making some new SI songs happen too, for those wondering what's up with the sophomore album, it's in the works.
Describe your song writing process?
I'm going to have to quote Jimmy Paige and say "I can't tell you what the process is. It's all very spontaneous." It just comes from a creative spark. I'm to the point where I refuse to write to a beat unless it's really dope. If the beat is banging, it will draw something out of me. Sometimes I get concepts ahead of time and try to fit them to beats later, but it usually just comes to me on the spot. If someone else came up with the concept already, it usually doesn't take me too long to follow suit.
In 2009, you released the guest laden compilation project called Guest Room. How did most of those of those collaborations come to life?
It started out by me quite literally providing a guest room for touring artists. There was a time when a lot of the cats in our scene were performing at a spot called Joe's Java, which is 30 minutes from me. When you're on the road you want to save money any time you can. So if you can crash on someone's couch versus getting a hotel, you do it. So it's pretty easy to get someone on your album when they're at your crib anyway. Likewise several of the songs came together when I was out on the road, I took my studio with me. At first I didn't plan on doing a compilation, but once it started coming together I knew that's what I had to do. The tracks were all hot, but they were all too versatile to fit a solo album. Also, some people probably don't know this: It took four years to make that album. Then it sat on the shelf for two years before it came out. "Rhyme Life" was made in 2003!
Who inspired you to pursue rhyming or emceeing?
Recently we had a conversation that revolved around touring and how you want to tour more. Where do you like to tour and how can people help this dream become a reality?
I like to tour where the heads are of course, that's ideal. Sometimes you rock shows and you feel like you're going over everybody's head. In one ear and out the other. So if you hear about me coming through your area, please come out to the show! If you want to help promote, holla! I'm booking dates right now in the Midwest and East Coast. Going to be taking MotionPlus and EF Cuttin with me. So y'all gonna get that classic combo of 2 emcees and a Dj on stage. We hope to make it to the west coast soon after this run, and really anywhere if it makes sense financially.
Have you ever thought about your KickStarter or any other fund based programs?
That's not really my thing. I'll take donations on my Bandcamp and I might eventually do pre-orders since Bandcamp just hooked it up where you can do that. But I can't see how it's the fans responsibility to fund my entire album. Maybe I'm cheating myself, but I doubt it. I'm not really that popular lol.
Who would you like to create an EP with and why?
Griffin and I have been talking about doing one for years now. He's brought it up a few times lately, so I think we might do it next year. Why? Because we're both fans of one another and every time we collab it comes out great, so why not?
How can the masses get in contact with you?
Any Final Thoughts?
Yes, make sure y'all check me out at Bandcamp! Right now I'm pushing Nine From '09, which is a good introduction to my style if you're not familiar. It's free! I also have a few real nice EP's on there with my SI brothers, and a couple albums I did with my local fam Field Specialists. Thanks for the interview Praverb, I appreciate all of the support! Peace!