ILUVLOLA PRESENTS: GET TO KNOW - CHASE N. CASHE
Words by Megan Sumpton
On the 52nd Grammy Awards back in January of 2010, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Drake and Travis Barker performed the now platinum single “Drop the World” from Wayne’s REBIRTHalbum. Twenty-four year old fellow New Orleans native, Jesse Woodard, was the man behind the production of the single. Known to us as Chase N. Cashe he is one of todays up and coming and most prominent producer/rappers. With a wide range of production credits including: The PussyCat Dolls, R.Kelly, Brandy, Flo Rida, Young Money, and J.Cole, it’s clear that Chase N. Cashe is indeed chasing the right things. At the age of seventeen, Woodard left his hometown of New Orleans and moved to California in order to pursue his dream of becoming a producer. The self-taught beat smith now twenty-four says “The hardest part was leaving my parents behind. That was the only thing.” Though Cali seems to be the new permanent home, New Orleans remains the reference point for his creativity. This can be seen in work such as his album, GUMBEAUX (pronounced Gumbo), which dropped in March of this year. Gumbo, which is a popular Cajun dish especially in New Orleans, was chosen by Chase N. Cashe as the title because of the mix of different ingredients used to make it. When it comes to his music, Woodard believes it’s a mix of everything much like “Gumbeaux”. For this same reason, Missy Elliot and The Cash Money Millionaires production are what sparked his interest in beat making. “The beats were very eclectic and energetic but yet very hard & melodic at the same time”, Woodard says. A piece of Louisiana and Cajun heritage can also be seen in Woodard’s everyday speech. Peruse his Twitter timeline (@ChaseNCashe) and you’re bound to see the use of the French –eaux ending at least a couple of times. When it comes to his music and life he says, “I never want people to listen to my music and not hear the foundation. New Orleans made me everything I am & is still building me. I go back often.”
Since Chase N.Cashe is a member of the Surf Club, on his projects Woodard mainly does collaborations with fellow members. A group of likeminded and talented writers, producers, and artists, The Surf Club has become a movement/force in the music and entertainment world. In previous interviews, Woodard has described the Surf Club as a mix between Dipset/N.E.R.D. The group consists of members: Chase N. Cashe, Hit-Boy, Kent M$NEY, Chili Chil, Stacy Barthe, Young Ry, and B. Carr. So does Chase collaborate with artists outside of the clique? “Anyone outside of the Surf Club that I’m going to work with is probably affiliated to our brand in some sort of way for example LEP Bogus Boys, Duct Tape Ent, OVO, TDE, A$AP, etc. We all have personal bonds,” he says. Both Chase N.Cashe and Hit-Boy were signed to Polow Da Don’s Zone 4 label from 2007-2009, which brought about many great opportunities before they decided to fully focus on Surf Club projects. Hit-Boy recently signed to Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D Music and also produced the second single “N*gga’s In Paris” from the highly acclaimed WATCH THE THRONE album. “It was a great thing to see happen,” Chase says about the record. “Always great to see people you share a bond with, succeed at what they love to do.” When asked if he felt pressure to ink a deal, Woodard responded, “Nah no pressure at all man I like making my own money. Me & Hit-Boy are a unit but we work differently. After my stint with Zone 4 I’m strictly Surf Club / Chase N. Cashe all day. Next deal I sign would only be with a major label offering me a home for my brand.”
If you’re a Drake fan, you’ve probably heard him talk about Chase and the Surf Club before. In the “9AM in Dallas Freestyle” he raps: “Chase N. Cash that’s my brother from the surf club/ Damn that ni**a always kept it so hood/Back when we would smoke good/At the oakwoods.” If you’ve attended a [Drake] show, you may have caught a glimpse of Chase with the rest of Drake’s team in the cut. Well, Drake started his Club Paradise Tour with opening acts A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and none other than his “brother from the Surf Club” Chase N. Cashe. But he’s not nervous about it. “I’m excited and prepared more than anything,” Chase shares. “Nerves don’t kick in until 5 minutes before my set starts. It’s a blessing & a great opportunity to capitalize.” He’s also put in some work with Drake in the studio and has produced “Look what You’ve Done” on Drake’s brand new album TAKE CARE, which came about as a result of their friendship and doing music.
Chase N. Cashe has begun promotion of his new mixtape hosted by Dj Drama The Heir Up There, but he still continues to gain acknowledgement from Gumbeaux. Woodard has dropped the artwork and three songs from the upcoming mixtape including: “Money Right”, “Anything”, and the Mega-Man produced track “S.S.D.” While there is no official release date, he is aiming to have the mixtape out by this winter, but is in no rush. “Shooting for earliest as possible, but not rushing because of all the things I have lined up to drop this Fall-Winter season. Gotta have the marketing right to capitalize off the buzz,” he states. “I feel like one of my biggest accomplishments is establishing myself as a brand worth investing in & my ability to withstand ups & downs that come within the music industry.” With the interest of today’s music fans changing rapidly and the music scene constantly evolving, Chase N.Cashe hopes to leave his mark in the industry. As a he continues on in his music endeavors he just wants to make sure that he instilled some knowledge & creativity that wasn’t here before him in the world.