An Introduction To One Of Chicago’s Best Kept Secrets: Cassius Tae

What’s going on man introduce yourself to the people

Yo, what’s up everyone! I go by Cassius Tae. I’m a current college student from Chicago attending Central Michigan University where I study Audio Engineering.

How was life growing up?

For me, life growing up was pretty cool actually. Both of my parents were heavy into music, hip-hop specifically, which helped grow my love for music as well. It felt only right that I would later get involved with music because it was always playing in the house. On top of loving music, I also played basketball for a while.

Explain the reason behind your name Cassius Tae

My real name is Deonte and growing up this girl started calling me Tae for short. While growing up, I was idolizing Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and when I began to make music, I decided to put Cassius and Tae together.

Did you have any creative talents before rap or was rap your first creative medium?

Before rapping I was heavily into drawing. My friends and I were into collecting comic books and that’s what we would draw. At that time, I had wanted to be an illustrator and work for Marvel. I still draw every here and there, but music and school takes up most of my time.

Pablo Casals once said, “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” What’s your reason for creating music?

I create Music to say things I wouldn’t normally say in regular conversation. I tend to think of myself as a very private person outside of my Music.

“Maybe maybe” was your first song you posted on soundcloud. Was that your first recorded song, or was there music you had before hand?

Maybe Maybe was the first song I released, but it was not the first recorded song.

A year following Maybe Maybe, you debuted your opening project “New beginnings”. Talk to us about that project

Crazy story. Before New Beginnings came out, I actually had a project I was going to release. That project was 8 songs, but I trashed seven of them and kept one, which was “Big Brother”. The concept behind “New Beginnings” came about after I dumped that whole project I just finished because I felt like this was a new beginning for me. Throughout the project, you hear a story, with the first song being the prequel, the second song being the credits, and the third to the last songs tell the story of finding my way or even your way through hardships and struggles. Its important to start new beginnings in life and that’s why I decided to call it that.


How important do you think the debut project is to an artist?

I feel like the debut project is very important. You create a hit or miss opportunity with the debut project.

Going on two years since your first project, could we be expecting something this year?

Yes, listeners can expect and EP to come out sometime in 2017. As far as the next tape goes, I’m going to do a sequel to “New beginnings” and continue the story after the release of the EP.

Do you feel like you’re under appreciated in Chicago?

I feel overlooked more than under appreciated. I also consider myself to be in a pretty good situation to get the recognition that I’m getting while I’m away in Michigan at school.

We see it in your music a lot, but do you think lyricism coming back to the forefront?

I feel like it is. Some of the most important topics being discussed are making it to the forefront.

In your song you sampled “Ice cream”, was Wu tang a big inspiration to you?

Ice Cream by Wu Tang Clan was actually one of the first music video I watched as a kid with my Mom. The video consistently reminded me of my childhood and that was something I wanted to recreate. As far as my inspirations, Tupac, Jay-Z, Drake & Kendrick are my biggest.

Caught a body is your biggest song out. Talk to us about the concept behind this song. Did you think it would get that big?

Caught A Body is a song I wrote inspired by a falling relationship between two people I was close to at the time. By me always hearing both sides of the story it was just an easy write. Did I think it would be that big? Man, you always hope for the best with your music but I’m going to sit here like I’m not surprised about the song’s success.

With Chicago having a huge renaissance in the creative field, how much of an impact does Chicago have on you?

Man, Chicago has a huge influence on me. I’m a very competitive person and writer, and there’s a ton of competition or talent (however you want to look at it) here in Chicago. The playing field in Chicago has made me a better rapper and has helped me grow a better ear for creating my sound.

If a stranger is reading this and has never listened to your music, what would be the three songs you would suggest them to listen to?

Man, I’ll give five. I think you should check out Cant Get Close, 3:45 am, Caught a Body, No Heart Freestyle, Ice Cream Freestyle, and Shit To Lose.

We are beginning the early weeks of 2017, in 51 weeks where will you see yourself?

By the end of 2017 I see myself scouted to be one of the next front-runners in Chicago Hip-Hop.

Written By: Nicholas Rud