When Cashh came back, he picked up right where he left off, only hungrier than ever and with a perfected craft. Cashh has been delivering pure bangers and also raw, insightful tunes ever since the times he was known as Cashtastic, over 10 years ago. Always known as a storyteller and someone who talks freely about his life and the tough moments he had gone through, Cash kept it real since day one and this is arguably one of the main reasons for his early rise in the rap game back when he was still in school.
He came to the UK alone at just six years old to reunite with his mother and siblings after he was raised by his mother’s side of the family in Park Lane, one of the most violent areas in Kingston.
As he came to the UK he got introduced to rap music by one of his older brothers, Che, whom he used to follow around every day and take in all the music that he was making at the time. This is how he started to dabble with music and decided to pick up a pen at 10 years old, when he also recorded his first song as his brother gave him an eight bar at the end of one of his tracks. The whole family gathered to hear it and as soon as he received their stamp of approval, Cashh carried on making music and soon became a phenomenon in the scene.
He had just signed a deal with Universal when his issues with the Immigration Office began as he started his application after he accidently found out that his documents were not in order when he was still underage and playing football. At the time he was supposed to go to Paris with his team for a match, as he was a remarkable player, however he was not able to as there was a problem with his papers.
Despite all his efforts to prove his eligibility to stay, Cashh was deported in 2014 just as his tape Alarm Clock came out. After spending five years in Jamaica and fighting the British system from there, Cashh came back fresher than ever and with more stories to tell in his music.
His caliber as an artist has only risen since he left, even though he didn’t really release music while he was gone. Knowing that he was going to come back at some point, he kept following and studying the UK music scene, preparing his return.
You can get a taste of his music journey below, and take in all the bangers in preparation for his new album, Return Of the Immigrant dropping this Friday.
“Treachorey” ft LP & Giggs
For Cashh, music started with his older brother Che who was rapping and inspired him to give it a try. As his brother spent time in America, he was rapping in an American accent, which was very common amongst the UK rappers at the time. In an interview for Big Ego Media, Cashh mentioned that Giggs made him want to rap in a British accent after he heard “Talking the Hardest ”.
In a conversation about the early days of his music journey with Kenny Allstar, Cashh pointed out how Giggs was the one who changed the game and carved a path for UK rappers: “I thought that if you was gonna rap in a UK accent it had to be fast and the way they were doing it. Until Giggs. Cause he slowed it right down and then obviously he’s from the ends so man’s relating a whole different side of it. That’s where music started for me”.
At the time “Treachorey” dropped, in 2009, Cashh was in year 8 in school, carving his own path in the industry and stacking hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
As Cashh stayed steady on his game and kept climbing the ladder in the rap scene, in 2011 he delivered “Tastic’s Room”, which was an absolute hit. The song is a cover of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” with the beat reproduced by Steel Banglez.
Cashh and Steel Banglez have had a very powerful friendship ever since Banglez met Cashh through Young Meth over 10 years ago. They started working tirelessly on music together as Banglez became his producer and produced Cashh’s Alarm Clock mixtape.
“Tastic’s Room” has almost 300K views on YouTube, most of them from the time it dropped, which was a huge flex in 2011. The tune still remains a staple of the UK’s rap scene in the early days.
“Gassed in the rave” ft Krept & Konan
Another 2011 banger, “Gassed in the Rave” ft Krept and Konan was getting played at every rave and house party in the UK at the time and the lyrics “I’m gassed in the rave, swag’s out of space” were on everyone’s lips.
2011 was a great year for Cash as it saw plenty of collaborations and releases, the artist also dropping two mixtapes, Lil Bit of Cash and Advanced Music, the latter being a collective effort with Young Meth. Krept and Konan appear on both tapes with “Gassed in the Rave” on Lil Bit of Cash and “Innn!” on Advanced Music.
“J Cole K Koke”
Another classic track off the Lil Bit of Cash tape, “J Cole K Koke” sees Cash take an introspective look at his life and talk openly about his family situation and certain events that marked him, which was something different from what other heads in the scene were doing at the time.
Although he’s got a mean flow and can freely jump on any kind of style and vibe when making music, Cashh has always had the characteristics of a storyteller, which made him stand out early in his career. As he describes in a recent interview after his return to the UK, Cash has never been afraid of keeping it real and talk openly about himself: “If you ever hear something like “Cashh gets exposed” or anything like that, I don’t know what anyone can expose me for. And that was one of my things, you know like similar to Eminem in 8 Mile, I’m gonna tell you everything about myself so you can’t tell me nothing”
“Talk About Pain“
“Talk About Pain” is one of the rawest, most intimate songs by Cashh. Part of Lil Bit of Cash, the track literally offers a little piece of him as it’s a straight 3:07 confession about his life, thoughts and struggles.
A big part of the video was filmed in central London and even sees a guest appearance from Krept and Steel Banglez. As the video follows him around to different places, one location that Cashh used was his family home , where his family can be seen as well. To this day the video has over 1.2M views on YouTube.
The summer of 2012 saw Cashh drop “Winning”, which is a very catchy, inspirational song on a head spinning riddim produced by none other than Steel Banglez.
These were the times when the artist transitioned from Cashtastic to Cashh and his lyrics took a different direction as he started to put out more motivational music after he began the process of getting his visa.
“Conversations with Cashh“
Another 2012 banger, “Conversations with Cashh” remains a Cashh classic tune which at the time reinforced the transition from the old Cashtastic, who was spitting cruddy bars and talking about the life in the streets, to Cashh, who was now talking about his life in a motivational way and delivering more melodies than ever.
The video also sees him doing a little bit of acting at the start, which was a surprise for everyone and showcased his large array of creative skills.
“In my zone“
“In my zone” came out in 2013 and rapidly became a party banger due to the rapid beat, heavy flow and catchy bars Cashh delivered on this song.
Fast forward to 2014, Cashh continues to drop anthems and delivers “Red Handed”, which is another classic Cashh song following the same recipe for success: infectious flow and clean bars on a mad beat. The song is part of the Alarm Clock mixtape, which dropped soon after “Red Handed” came out.
Showcasing his vast creative skills again, Cashh directed the video together with Quason Matthews.
Cashh was at the pinnacle of his career when he put out “Behind Barz”, right after the dropped “Red Handed”, which remains one of his most standout tracks.
The iconic freestyle saw Cashh strip himself of all the pain that he was going through at the time: being in the streets, his mother going to prison, his uncle passing away and the way it all affected their family. He wrote the song when he was alone in his cousin’s Trim car one night as he had the instrumental on repeat while he was waiting for his cousin to return to the car.
In an interview he gave earlier this year, Cashh remembered the effect the song had on him: “I remember that song was the first time that I saw the effects of me being vulnerable. Imagine I’d gone to this girl’s house, she’s invited me round, family settings like back yard, family’s out there. Her mum said something to me and I must have smiled and was like “Wait, are you just smiling back to blend in?” I was like Oh shit! Bro I crumbled on the spot cause I didn’t expect her to know my lyrics. Everyone receiving it was a moment for me, man.”
After his return to the UK, Cashh dropped “Trench Baby” which reflects a lot on his Jamaican heritage and it only felt right after his 5 year stay on the island.
From the intro in patois to the short old videos from the island incorporated in the production, Cashh offers a clear view of his life and his origins as he talks about his family, his tumultuous past and his time in Jamaica. The video is a cinematic compilation of old videos from Jamaica in the 90s, showing the life that people were living back in those times and reinforcing the idea that Cashh is a real trench baby. There is also footage of the infamous Park Lane, which is one of Kingston’s most dangerous sides where his mother is from.
Be sure to buy and stream the album when it drops on the 5th of November.