- Released: June 6, 2005
- Label: J-Records
Vibe - p.1443.5 discs out of 5
- "Cassidy returns to his rhyme-cipher roots, forgoing confectionary rap tunes for grittier compositions."
- 1.The Problem vs. the Hustla
- 2.I'm a Hustla
- 3.On the Grind
- 5.B-Boy Stance
- 6.A.M. to P.M.
- 7.Can't Fade Me
- 8.Kick It Wit You
- 11.Get 'Em
- 12.So Long
- 13.6 Minutes
- 14.The Message
- 15.I'm a Hustla - (Remix, remix, bonus track)
Personnel: Cassidy (rap vocals); Mary J. Blige (vocals); Swizz Beatz (rap vocals, background vocals); Fabolous, Lil Wayne, Mario, Mashonda, Nas, Raekwon, Quan (rap vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris Theis; Manny Marroquin; Rich Keller.
Recording information: Marvin's Room, Los Angeles, CA; Monza Studios, New York, NY; Right Track Studios, New York, NY; Sony Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Jonathan Mannion.
Fearless freestyler Cassidy opens his second release, I'M A HUSTLA, on a genius note, poking fun at himself while showing off his seemingly immeasurable skills. On the opening track, "The Problem vs. the Hustla," he sets up an MC battle between his two personalities: the relentless hustler who shot through the underground with mix-tape classics, and the polished, mainstream rapper who sold millions with his debut record SPLIT PERSONALITY. This cut, with its unique approach, super-quick wit, and underdog victory (the hustla wins), sets the tone for I'M A HUSTLA, a rawer record than the first, but one which retains much of its predecessor's luster.
The title track, with its irregular flow, fiery lyrics peppered with hilarious one-liners, and ace Swizz Beats production is unforgettable. The rest of the set mixes in slick tracks on gangster life with disarmingly reflective cuts including "Can't Fade Me," where Cassidy matches rhymes with the legendary Nas, and "The Message" where he eases into a sad look at the world. Unfortunately, Cassidy's inner conflicts and street stories spilled into his real life (he spent the album's release behind bars on a murder charge). Given his immense talent, fans could only hope that Cassidy's troubles wouldn't prevent him from recording again soon.