What Was Once A Friendship Of Sorts Would Grow Into A War Of Words.
When Meek Mill returned from prison in early 2010 he would be welcomed home by none other than Cassidy. The two traded verses in the living room of Meek’s crib. All signs of a friendship were on full display, and things would appear to be that way for the next 2 years.
After building a healthy Buzz in the summer of 2011 with the release of the 1st of his Dream Chasers trilogy, Meek went from one of the hottest in streets of Philadelphia to one of the biggest artists in the country. While becoming one of the voices of this generation of hip hop, he would also serve as the first national star from Philadelphia since the State Property days of the early 2000s.
Meek would begin to refer to himself as the “King of Philly”. While the term had long been made famous by Gillie Da Kid, the first rapper from the then new generation to sign a solo major label deal, his popularity would wane in the decade that followed, mainly because he never released a solo debut. On a national level, the title means very little, but on the competitive streets of Philadelphia the title is one that to be earned.
A strong battle rap culture has existed in Philly since the 90s, that culture would birth the career of Cassidy who earned his stripes by lyrically dismantling any MC who challenged. After years in the battle circuit he would sign to Ruff Ryders as a 1/3 of the group Larceny. Though they would never release album on the label, it allowed Cass to build a bond with the labels main producer, Swizz Beats who was in the process of forming a label of his own.
In late 2001 Swizz would form Full Surface records with Cassidy as the label’s flagship artist. Making his national debut on the single “Bigger Business” alongside the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ron Isley, and of course his mentor, Swizz. But it would be the film of a battle with fellow Philly rapper Freeway that would make Cassidy a battle rap legend. In a private studio, with onlookers from both Roc-a-Fella and Ruff Ryders, Cassidy unleashes line after line breaking down Freeway to the point he’s begging for a beat to be put on, instead of the acapella style in which the battle was handled on.
The fall of 2003 would be the beginning of his career as a major label artist. Following the success of his R Kelly assisted 1st single “Hotel“, he released his debut ‘Split Personality’, which eventually went gold. He would returned 2 years later with his sophomore album ‘Personality Change’, lead by his hit single, “I’m A Hustla” which would go on to become a hit. The album would eventually reach gold status.
The time in between his 2nd and 3rd album would bring adversity, in the form of a murder in which he would serve jail time behind. A horrific car accident that would leave his face permanently scarred. Lead by the single “Drink & My 2 Step” didn’t enjoy the success of his other singles, it was still successful to a degree. His album “B.A.R.S.” would debut at #10 on the Billboard charts, but on a larger scale it would be ignored. He would eventually part way with Swizz and Full Surface soon after.
How It All Started
Fast forward to 2012, Meek Mill is now one of the most popular artists in the country, Cassidy is more or less considered another battle rapper that couldn’t quite make his skills translate to success in the industry. What started as a Twitter back and forth would escalate to an all out war of words. Meek challenged Cassidy to a battle $100K, Cass excepted only to see Meek rescind the offer.
1st Blood – “Me, Myself & iPhone”
Cassidy was the first to air out his distaste for Meek, on the track “Me, Myself & iPhone”, after addressing everything from the industry to his now strained relationship with Swizz Beatz. In a phone conversation-styled record callers ask Cass questions, ending with the Meek feud.
Cass doesn’t really go to hard on Meek, he keeps it rather humble. Spitting facts about how he was with Meek before the fame. Shares the fact that Meek looks up to him. Calls him out for going back on his word for the battle that he challenged him to. Questions the similarity in all of Meek’s music, all in all, the majority of what he says sticks.
The Rebuttal – “Repo”
Wasting little time, Meek promised he would respond to Cass, and he eventually did with his track “Repo”. Meek sounds rather angry, he goes in. Taking shots at Cassidy’s legacy, accuses him of being washed up and jealous of his current popularity. Brings up his murder case, the fact that he spent his jail sentence in ‘Protective Custody’, its rather personal. He claims Cass is no longer welcomed on the streets of Philadelphia. He throws shots Cass, claiming he’s a snitch
Meek pretty much does what was expected, aggressively attempts to out ‘street’ Cass via record. Lyrically its solid, while its not solely focused on their battle. In ways it proves what Cass originally said in his original diss, it comes off sounding like the majority of Meek’s other music. To a certain extent, a lot of what Meek speaks on sticks as well, Cass has not been musically relevant for some time, and this may very well be his way of getting popular again.
Cassidy – “Raid”
Taking notes from The Game, who spit 10 minute songs dismantling G Unit 7 years before, Cass juggles classic beats and just lyrically assaults Meek. This time around, Cass is irritated by Meek’s “Repo”, and he gets just as personal on his response. Taking shots at the now famous, “Meek Mill braids”, taking shots at Rick Ross’ past as a correctional officer. Challenges Meek to produce paperwork that proves the snitching allegations. Going through his legacy as a Philly legend, and Meek’s years of struggling to get on as a MC only to get on and act as if he was always financially successful.
It’s hard to come back after a record like “Raid”, Cassidy said to Meek what a lot of fans wanted to say. His music is redundant, and often lacks depth. He’s always bragging about his watch or car. The end result is one of the best diss tracks in a longtime, very little reaching, the majority of what he says is verifiable.
Meek Mill – “Kendrick You Next”
Meek once again takes shots at Cass’ street creditability over 2Pac’s classic “Hit Em Up”, Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya”, NaS “Ether” amongst other classic diss tracks. Bringing up the car crash, Cass barley survived, his strained relationship with Swizz and Carmelo Anthony (who Cass was briefly signed to after leaving Full Surface). Like before Meek claims Cass is washed up, and takes shot as his former fashion choices which ends up being pretty funny if nothing else.
While it’s much more spirited than “Repo”, Meek just doesn’t seem to have as much dirt on Cassidy. He more or less repeats the same things from his original diss and just throws the name of other rappers in the midst, as if to validate what he’s saying. He calls Cass broke and irrelevant once again, there’s nothing truly new brought to the table.
While Cassidy has continued to throw jabs on at least 3 other songs, Meek has remained rather quiet about the “Beef”, and things have died down since the release of “Kendrick You Next”. What can be said is, as popular as Meek Mill has become, and as unpopular as Cass has, when it comes to skills and battling Meek is not quite on the same level as Cassidy. Cass is right at home, where Meek seems a little less comfortable, often resorting to having a money counting contest instead of a true war of words and skill.
While they have never officially made peace, both sides have stated that it is strictly fierce competition and not something that will eventually spill into the streets and turn physical. While it was competitive at times, it often played out as Cassidy’s skills against Meek’s popularity. Cass has yet to return to the level of relevancy he had in the mid 2000s, Meek has waited almost 3 years to release his follow up to ‘Dreams & Nightmares’. It seems Meek won’t be answering back to any of the many disses Cass has released, the status of this battle is close to being over, but who knows what could possibly happen now that industry rappers are getting involved in the battle culture.
Cass would jump back in the ring with popular newcomer Dizaster, and for all intents and purposes, he was right at home. Spitting 3 rounds of venom without a hitch. He received an alleged $200K for the battle and is now asking for a quarter million for his next one, if there ever is. While the industry wasn’t too kind to Cassidy, the battle rap scene has welcomed him back to much fanfare. So he may not be known in Top 40 radio any longer, he once again has the attention of the culture via live battling.
Winner: Cassidy definitely won the battle. Meek Mill may have won the war, simply by default. He’s the more popular artist and has remained that throughout the 3 years since the battle began.