Casual, a founding member of the Hieroglyphics collective who dissed Eminem on "He Still Think He Rap God," recently spoke with HipHopDX about why he addressed Marshall Mathers on wax.
“Actually, He Think He Rap God, if they don't know, was an album I dropped in 2011,” Casual said in an interview with HipHopDX. “I just reiterated it by doing it over Eminem's ‘Rap God.’ Basically, I was just trying to make the brother aware that there is already a Rap God. You can't do that. You can't get aloof in Hip Hop and get on this level where you so big above your peers and think that you thought of a new concept or try to come out with it and find out that one of your peers is already running that. Well, that's a point of conflict."
While there in lies a point of conflict for Casual, he is also quick to celebrate Eminem's skills.
“Eminem is remarkable,” Casual said. “No one is trying to take anything from him, lyrically. It ain’t even about that. That's not the circumstance. Eminem has done what he's done in Hip Hop. That's untouchable.”
He also said that his track was released in order to show that he wouldn't disregard the "Rap God" label.
"Honestly if you listen to it, my lyrics, I wasn't a hundred percent just going at [Eminem]," Casual said. "I just had to say the few things to let you know that you just stepping on my toes and I don't think my fans would respect me if I simply disregarded the fact that I’m Rap God and I just let you take off with it."
According to Casual, he did what many emcees are scared to do.
"A lot of emcees would've just disregarded the fact and would've surrendered ‘Rap God’ to Eminem because they feel his power is so much higher than theirs," Casual said. "All these rappers are scared of him. Let's keep it 100."
Soon after releasing the track, Casual was criticized by some who said he was not as prominent as Eminem. Casual said this is irrelevant and noted that Eminem understands who he is and what he has contributed to Hip Hop.
"It takes somebody of my caliber to even be able to put him in his place," he said. "Eminem gave me his demo so anybody talking about, ‘Eminem don't know who Casual is,' is just foolish. They don't know the intricacies of this industry. Straight up, but it's like that. In Detroit, standing by the backstage when I was about to perform before he came out. Eminem [is] 42 [years old]. I'm 38. I came out at 17 years old...I got a record deal at 17-years-old and he must've been 22 when he gave me his demo. So nobody can speak to what my prowess might look like to him. Hopefully, I'm still respected by Eminem and even more after I just rapped over his ‘Rap God,’ because he should know, like I said, the God is still here."
Casual said he remembers listening to Eminem's demo in awe.
“I remember," he said. "This is one of the most remarkable demos I've ever heard. We hopped in a van leaving Detroit. He had it on a blue tape and we popped that blue tape in the van riding and the first song that came on was...It wasn't Dre's version of [The Slim Shady LP]. This was before he got with Dre...He was like, 'I'm an M-80, you little like that Kim lady.’
"As soon as we heard that lyric, everybody in the van was like, 'Oh,'" Casual added. "I'm not one of these artists who's gon' be like, trying to disrespect someone who I'm up against 'cause that'll make me look so weak that I got time to go against a person who weak. Period. I ain't got time."
Casual's raps over "Rap God" contained lines about Eminem and other emcees.
"Your whole career you on some devilish shit," Casual raps on the selection. "So if I let you claim Rap God, Heaven will split."
"Claim the Son of Rap God and I won’t abuse my child," the Oakland, California emcee also rhymes on the track. "Listen, Biggie used to use my style / Homie, this ain’t 8 Mile / Now everybody feeling the rhymes, the real Rap God / Out-rap that fraud."
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