It shouldn't surprise you that Cassidy, a baby-faced, Philly-born rapper who, about a decade ago, conspired with an alleged sexual predator to make one of the catchiest songs of all time and (allegedly) shot a man to death in the span of a few weeks, is a savage. I forgot about this for months or years, even, until just this week, when I was listening to songs at random on my music library of choice and a Cassidy track popped up.
The track in question was called "The Problem vs. The Hustla" and in it, Cassidy, one of the greatest battle-rappers of all time, elects to battle himself from the standpoint of two alter egos.
The thing about battle-rapping yourself is that it's quite a caper, and one that takes full commitment to work. If you're going to battle yourself, you can't hold back. You can't take yourself as prisoner. You have to be willing to end your own career with your own sick burns on yourself. This feels like a nearly impossible task, until Cassidy calls Cassidy a bitch before the beat even drops. Cassidy, it appears, is not here for the bullshit. The Hustla was announced the winner, but to this day, there's still debate to who won.
Below is a brief synopsis of the battle, and a final, conclusive decision.
Cassidy threatens to shoot Cassidy in the head. Then Cassidy claims that Cassidy's girl performed fellatio on Cassidy's whole clique, and that she then left via public transportation—the 6 bus. When his time is up, Cassidy speaks to the crowd, saying, "I told you this nigga wasn't fucking with me. You can't be serious."
Cassidy threatens Cassidy that if he's talking, Cassidy and his friend will get beaten up. Then Cassidy says, no, he is the man, and that Cassidy is a "bitch in a man's body." Then Cassidy informs Cassidy that he has no skill, and furthermore, is a sellout. Cassidy tells Cassidy that the only reason Cassidy sold any records is because he collaborated with an alleged sexual predator. Cassidy then informs Cassidy that his ability has slipped, and that he has no money, and that he is not as big of a star as Cassidy. Cassidy ends by calling Cassidy a pussy.
Decision: Though Cassidy started strong, this is a rap battle, and Cassidy replied by hitting Cassidy where it hurts most: his rap career. The Hustla takes this round easily.
Cassidy starts by delivering the funniest line of the night: "I got shit on lock like I'm constipated." Cassidy then threatens Cassidy's life, and boasts of the time he was nominated for a Source Award. Then Cassidy calls Cassidy's desire to work hard and make money, and posits that the only reason Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla" enjoyed success was because of Jay Z's (known then as Jay-Z or Jiggaman) involvement. Cassidy then divulges that even though he is good with the ladies, he will still kill a man. (We now know this to almost definitely be true.) Finally, Cassidy says that even though he has no problem killing a man, he also had the foresight and knowledge to "own 100 person of [his] publishing," in doing so maximizing his current personal wealth while also positioning himself to profit off his name and work for years to come.
Cassidy starts by threatening to shoot Cassidy in his face a bunch of times, and then eat him à la Jeffrey Dahmer. Cassidy then tells Cassidy that he has lost his ability to battle rap, and instead, now makes crossover pop songs for women. Cassidy then declares himself the best, and reveals that he also imports cocaine by water. Cassidy finishes by promising that his album will sell more copies than Cassidy's.
Decision: This was a close round, to be sure, but Cassidy was more believable in rattling off his own bonafides (having lots of sex, developing over time a willingness to kill a man, making smart business decisions) than Cassidy (also willing to kill a man, maximizing his prominence and marketability as a rapper, establishing a profitable import-export operation). Round 2 goes to The Problem.
It's easy to see why, a full decade later, declaring the true winner of this battle remains a contentious and difficult endeavor. Cassidy was funnier and more charismatic, though Cassidy seemed more eager to address Cassidy's career and overall ability as a rap artist. A draw would be more than fair, but that would be, in the words of Cassidy, pussy. The winner of this rap battle is The Hustla.