Some artists spend years trying to find their big break into the rap game, but Kassan "Kazzie Pop" Sherman is looking to make 2013 his breakout year. Already off to an admirable start, the Nu World Era Music Group rapper already has a number of major record labels tugging at his lapels in hopes of acquiring his musical talents. Hooking up with big ticket rapper Waka Flocka Flame for his latest single "We Don’t F--k With That" has helped the New Jersey MC establish a solid buzz south of the Mason Dixie line. Meanwhile, his "Get It" collaboration with Hot 97’s DJ Enuff is helping him generate interest up North. BET.com recently sat down with the 20-year-old wordsmith to see how he’s handling the expectations of being the new kid on the block and working with Flockaveli.
BET.com: What’s the origin of your rap name? It’s very distinctive.
Kazzie Pop: My name is Kassan and all my friends call me Kazzie, but I used to be in a group called The Popular Kids with Driicky Graham. We had a record with Gucci Mane called "We Robbed Gucci" and I was just representing for the movement. That’s where the 'pop' came from. I’m not going to lie, I might drop the 'pop' because it does seem a little childish. I’m rolling with it for now though.
How'd you get Waka Flocka Flame as a feature on your new single “We Don’t F--k With That”?
I got a beat sent to me from this producer named Cloud Nine. It’s a production company actually. But when I heard the beat, I got so excited and started working on the hook and then the verses. Once I went to the studio and recorded it, when it was done you could actually almost hear Waka on the record. That same kind of energy and concept just sounded like it would be perfect for Waka. We made a couple calls and he loved the song. We went down to Atlanta to record and he was in love with it. Basically the record found him.
The song is very energetic and club friendly. What was the atmosphere like in the studio recording with Waka?
As soon as he heard the beat, he started going crazy and shaking his dreads. But when he heard my verse, he was likem "Wow you went off. I’m going in just like that because you went in on this record." Another thing I picked up from that studio session is that sometimes when you write your verses, you don't have to try so hard. I don't have to wreck my brain trying to finish a verse, because Waka was recording his four bars at a time. Like, he would record four bars, go do something else like shoot pool or eat and comeback in 15 minutes and record four more. I learned a quicker way of working.
DJ Enuff’s "Get It," which you're featured on, is gaining in popularity throughout the Tri-State. How did you end up on that song?
When he [DJ Enuff] heard the record "We Don’t F--k With That." He was so excited about me and he told me I was going to be the next big thing. I ended up doing another record called "Get It" and when Enuff heard it, he was like, "Man, I want this to be my new record." In my whole 20 years of growing up here, I’ve never even heard of Enuff having his own record. So when he asked to make "Get It" his official record, I almost jumped to Mars.
When can fans expect a solo mixtape from you?
Honestly, I have plans of putting a mixtape together, but right now I’m focusing on these singles. I’m getting a lot of records done so I’ll put one out eventually.
How close are you to making a decision on what label you’ll sign with?
It’s a couple labels hollering like Universal, E1 and Sony. They’re all interested in what I’m doing, but I’m not sure who I want to go to yet. I want to go to a major, but I don’t want to sit on a long line waiting for my project to drop, so I’m still working. I try and pretend like all of this isn’t going on because I want to keep that hunger in me. Because once you think you’re on, you start to get comfortable and I don’t have time to get comfortable.
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(Photo: Courtesy NWEMG)