2020 has been a year of mass chaos and upheaval that has lead to a great many growing pains within our different communities as dissension increases more and more and on a much more microcosmic level, this has been reflected in many different music trends, specifically within rap, that have begun to take shape over the last twelve months that are certainly challenging sonic status-quos while also inspiring and grabbing the attention of new listeners every day who are tired of hearing the exact same type of boring song structure and production tropes continually. Atlanta in particular has been a hotbed for this rise of creativity and innovation within the ‘trap’ and ‘SoundCloud’ spaces that have given both artists and producers a blank canvas to essentially riff on the sounds and flows pulled off by their peers. It is innately collaborative and frankly beautiful to watch and while people may immediately point to artists like 645AR, whose squeaky-voiced flow has already enchanted millions this year, or even Kenny Mason who is beginning to work metal and shoegaze production tendencies into his music in a completely new way, unlike the tired and drab ‘rap-rock’ of previous years.
However, neither of these artists are quite as innovative and unique as the duo of Tony Shhnow and CashCache! whose reject joint-project Dis Should Hold You Over expanded on their sonic achievements on Tony’s prior project Da World Is Ours 2 that featured a few cuts over CashCache instrumentals which quickly became everyone’s favorite songs off of that tape for their uniqueness and lullaby-like qualities. While Tony’s rapping ability and beat selection deserve infinite praise, the original catalyst for their jazzy-plugg style is CashCache who is without a doubt a recognizable name to many familiar with the SoundCloud universe. His sound is sanguine and light and has even drawn the very unique yet astonishingly accurate comparison of sounding like “meltycanon mixed with MexikoDro.” One of my favorite aspects of Cash’s production that may even go over some heads is his delicate little hi-hats that sound more like a Newton’s Cradle going back and forth than a percussive instrument helping create the tranquil atmosphere that he does so effortlessly.
Thanks to the background provided by CashCache’s production, Tony is able to snap freely, talking his usually cocky and money-hungry shit, but rarely rising above a whisper or normal speaking tone, not pressed to make any dramatic points, but getting his point across firmly nonetheless. Much of the monotone-ness of Shhnow’s flow can be traced back to Slimesito who is an Atlanta innovator in his own right but Tony is able to expand on this by catching difficult and unique flows that are able to still set him apart from his Clayton County counterpart. Beyond Tony’s ability to ride a beat he is also a prolific and clever lyricist whose punchlines are IG-caption worthy every time, proving that rappers don’t have to be high-and-mighty or overtly ‘conscious’ to flex some lyrical muscle.
I am so very excited to see where Tony and CashCache can take their sound next as a unit and I really hope to see them continue to release collaborative projects but also am equally eager to watch Tony continue to go up and release new music at a rapid rate and finally receive some of the respect and acclaim that he has deserved for a while now and hope that CashCache will be able to further hone his sound and even creep some of his style into other already established niches to only expand the already rich SoundCloud world.
I was lucky to get the chance to talk to both Tony and CashCache earlier this month. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
You’ve rapped over a super wide range of production and it even seemed for a while like you were leaning towards beats that were more melody-less with and a lot more bass, what made you want to start rapping on CashCache’s beats?
I’m really not sure, I never really liked regular-ass beats. Like I don’t wanna rap on whatever the next “trap”, “lyrical”, or “melodic” rapper gon’ wanna rap on, and in the same moment I may wanna rap on something that’s stupid trap, extremely lyrical or extra singy. I don’t know, a lot of beats are corny to me. In all, I normally just do whatever I feel that day, but with Dis Should Hold You Over I tried to do that lol, but cash only send beats one at a time, so I told him I was at the studio when I wasn’t, made him send me a load of beats. This project I just rapped on whatever I could get from Cash and I made the most of it.
Your lyrics are one of the most impressive aspects of the last project and a lot of your bars even go overheads at times and aren’t picked up on until a third or fourth listen. How does the writing/recording process look for you and do you like to change it up at all or tend to stick with one thing?
Ion write, I really don’t even try to hear the beat to many times. I like to give my initial feeling/thought.
What made you choose FLEE to be the only feature on the project and how did that track come together?
Okay, so how I know of Cash and FLEE is because of 10KDunkin, I used to steal beats out of his email because da guys used to steal my beats from my email whenever we’d all do “gang” songs. I was about to rap on that beat FLEE used on Cash’s project, but 10k stopped me because he heard FLEE rapped on it. Honestly, I was mad as hell at first because dat beat was hard as hell, but I ended up hearing FLEE’s song and I was fucking wit it. He kilt dat shit for real. But I still kind of wanted to speak on that topic on my project so I said a bar on “White House” and that was the end of that I thought. Initially, Dis Should Hold You Over was a no feature project, but FLEE followed me on Instagram the week I was uploading the project. I just wanted to tell him before the project came out that I had said his name, so I showed him, and he messaged me back after listening to the track and told me he to send him an open, but the project was done, speak up was done. When I first made that song I imagined him on it, even tho it initially it wasn’t an open, I still wanted flee on there because I just knew he’d kill it.
So Cash, How did you and Tony connect in the first place?
The first time we actually met was at a Daily Chiefers concert. At the time, I already had a few songs with 10kDunkin, so I had been listening to a lot of SOS music. Tony’s raps really caught my attention because of his unique wordplay and high-quality beat selection. I was instantly hooked, I guess you can say I started out as a fan! I’m pretty sure we only started talking that night because of our mutual friend RobOlu! I walked up to tony and was basically like “BROOOO, I FUCK WITH YOUR MUSIC SO HARD” and he looked at me and said, “You look like a fye producer” and called me goofy. I honestly had to beg to get a picture with him lmao. But I think that we first connected through Rob Olu, and he gave me a chance to produce for him because of my previous work with 10k.
Where did your tag come from?
My tag honestly came from some random clip off of youtube that can’t even find anymore. Before I changed my name to Cashcache, I was producing in a group called Cacheclique with Khroam (shoutout to Khroam for creating the name Cacheclique), lilsyn, miloOTK, keys206, lostboy, Dyst, y2tnb, and Audelio. At the time I was producing under the name “missed calls”, but I really wanted to change it to something more catchy. I was listening to ‘Word To Yams’ by Carti one day and I heard him say some shit like “Cash cash, my car go fast” and it just hit me to change my name to cashcache, it just sounded so smooth and also I ended up ripping that tag from the song. So my original tag came from a Carti song. The tag you guys hear so much now actually came from this video on youtube where this woman was being interviewed on her lifestyle, as she only used cash for transactions and didn’t own a debit or credit card. I got so lucky to find that tag<3 I don’t think I will ever change it!
What all influences your beats, from musical inspiration to not, and how important to you is innovating and creating new styles with your music?
I’m not sure what influences my music taste. At a young age, my parents always had a plethora of music choices in the house. My mom really liked Mary J Blige, Jill Scott, Corrine Bailey Rae, and artists of that nature. Women with beautiful voices, singing over soft jazz or indie-pop beats! My dad also had amazing music taste. He introduced me to Lenny Kravitz, Miles Davis, Nirvana, Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Biggie, hell I’m pretty sure he gave me my first OutKast CD. I think growing up in Georgia definitely influenced what I liked as well. Producers Like Zaytoven and Mexikodro are both people who I highly respect and look up to! Their sound definitely influenced me, but I also never wanted to be exactly like them. I know in my heart that I cant do what they do, and I always tried to pave my own way. Its super important for me to be innovative in my sound because I feel like that’s the best way to set yourself apart from other producers. I love to try new things and tie it back into what I’m already doing. That is the beauty of production, you can do literally anything you want! So I try not to box myself in. Music is always changing so for me its important to be able to make different kinds of vibes! I love it when I make a beat that I think is so different and Tony actually uses it. That’s beautiful to me, and it pushes me to keep expanding my sound! <3