After serving more than a year in jail and suffering serious injuriet in a car accident, Philadelphia rapper Cassidy, has a lot to be grateful for. And on his third album, “The Barry Adrien Reese Story (B.A.R.S.),” due Sept. 18 via Full Surface/J Records, the MC is definitely counting his blessings.
“When I was going through problems, from going to jail to the accident, even though I had money, I had power, respect and friends, no one showed up and the only thing that helped me was my faith,” Cassidy tells Billboard.com. “I was so worried about what lawyer I was going to hire and what judge will handle my case, but when I read the scripture, which says it’s better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man, I knew I was going to win and get through it with the Lord on my side.”
Lest fans be confused, Cassidy insists “B.A.R.S.” should not be mistaken for a gospel album. “It’s not church music — it’s just street songs,” he says of the project, which features production from Swizz Beatz, Neo Da Matrix, Scott Storch, Timbaland and Cool and Dre. “So many serious things happened in my life. What I’m talking about has nothing to do with me being a rapper, but with me as a person.”
One particular testament to Cassidy’s conviction is the Angie Stone-assisted “Leaning On the Lord’s Side.” “[We] used to sing this song in church while I was in jail with a chorus that said ‘leaning on the Lord’s side,’ and so when I got out, I asked Angie if she could help me bring the song to life,” he says. John Legend, Beanie Sigel, Fabolous, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eve and Rell take guest turns as well.
The first single is “It’s On (I Got My Drink and My Two Step),” produced by Swizz, which was serviced to radio early this week. A video is scheduled to be shot next month. Other tracks on the set include “Cash Rules” featuring Eve and Bone Thugs, and “Me, Myself And I,” which Cassidy produced himself.
On July 7, the rapper will celebrate his 25th birthday by releasing a mixtape hosted by DJ Green Lantern with “seven exclusive songs, including the first single off ‘B.A.R.S.,’ for the streets,” Cassidy says. He will also be the new face for Lot 29 clothing line’s fall advertising campaign.