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Cash Cobain talks working with PinkPantheress and pioneering drill rap

Cash Cobain has spoken to NME about working with PinkPantheress and pioneering the current sample drill rap trend.

The South Bronx native rose to prominence in 2021 when he produced ‘My Everything’, the breakthrough track for fellow New York rapper B-Lovee that sampled Mary J. Blige’s ‘Everything’.

The song went viral online and is considered the catalyst for the city’s popular sample drill trend that has spread across America and elsewhere. The subgenre sees rappers perform over instrumentals that blend well-known samples from classic R&B or ’00s pop songs with the erratic drum slides of drill music.

After the success of ‘My Everything’, two remixes were released to capitalise on the hype – the first was with A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and the second featured Chicago drill legend G Herbo.

“It felt great,” Cobain told NME, explaining his breakthrough moment. “It just set me apart from everyone else. It really showed people who Cash Cobain was. It was the biggest song in New York at the time and it didn’t sound like the rest of the drill stuff that was going on.”

‘My Everything’ went viral on TikTok because, after the song leaked on the app, there was a popular dance challenge created for it. The gold-certified track was then released officially in late 2021 and, currently, has over 240,000 videos made to the official sound on the app.

@____godswill____

@L⚡️@drew2wavy #foryou #drill #nydrill #bronxdrill #blovee #trend #dance #ukdrill #nyc #viral #dettysanchez #kayflock #dougieb

♬ My Everything – B-Lovee

Sample drill has been the polarising rap phenomenon of the year where artists like the aforementioned B-Lovee, Kay Flock (with Cardi B), Ice Spice and more from the Bronx paved the way for the new subgenre of pop drill. “It feels great that something little old me created is something that everybody wants to do now,” Cobain enthused.

He explained how he stumbled on combining drill drum slides with soulful snippets: “At the time, [Brooklyn drill spearhead] Pop Smoke was out [and] everybody wanted to be like Pop Smoke or have a Pop Smoke type beat. I love drill beats, [and] also UK drill beats. I love that but I never wanted to make drill beats for real, or at least a drill beat like that.

“But it was what was in so I had to [make a New York drill-type beat]. I had to add my own little twist to it, though. I couldn’t just try to be like [London-born drill producer favoured by Pop Smoke] 808Mello.”

Cobain continued: “[The sample drill concept] literally just came to me. I had a sample, I put the sample in the beat and I just started building drill drums around it. I didn’t think nothing of it, I didn’t think it was going to be such a big thing. I just thought I was just doing what I normally do; making a beat with my own sauce.”

Despite being inspired by UK drill production, he said he “values [Chicago’s] cultural impact” over the UK’s sonic impact on the genre: “That’s where we got the mood and the slang from; thots, drill – New York didn’t use the word ‘drill’ until Chicago [drill].”

Cobain has utilised his niche sample-flipping skills for the PinkPantheress and Central Cee collaboration, ‘Nice To Meet You’, from the former’s debut album, ‘Heaven knows’. The duo discussed how they made ‘Nice To Meet You’ – which sampled Spandau Ballet’s 1983 hit ‘Gold’ – for a recent Apple Music commercial. In the video, PinkPantheress spoke about how she created the song’s melodies and the producer spoke about how he arranged the drums.

@pinkpantheress

me and cash collaborated with apple to show y’all how we made nice to meet u 😌❤️ #fyp #newmusic

♬ original sound – 😘🙈☺️

“It was a great experience meeting [PinkPantheress],” Cobain explained. “It was my introduction to her. It was crazy seeing her make her own beats [because] I didn’t know she made her own beats.”

In the UK, despite drill rapper Digga D’s ‘Noughty By Nature’ album being a great nod to 50 Cent and ‘00s hip-hop, viral rappers Liilz and YR have released songs that sample Madcon’s ‘Beggin’ and The Wanted’s ‘Glad You Came’ respectively and faced much ridicule online.

For example, in the comment section for ‘Glad U Came’, two popular comments took jabs at the song, joking “We’re never making it out the trenches with this one” and that “this song so fire, should have stayed unreleased.” This has caused many to argue whether sample drill is “ruining” rap music, specifically UK rap. However, Cobain doesn’t think that sample drill is “killing rap music.”

“I think they say that because people are just piggybacking off the same sound,” he said. “They’re not really adding anything different, so I understand them. For a guy like me, I’m actually chopping the samples up – you wouldn’t even know I’ve added a sample in a song. I choose the right samples and people just be sampling anything nowadays.”

Cobain also commented on the Jersey club trend in rap, where New Jersey rappers such as Bandmanrill have created their own lane by rapping over club and house beats. He gave credit to the sound’s predecessor, Baltimore club, and Philadelphia’s newer club sound for the trend too. However, he noted that “a lot of people don’t credit Queens for this Jersey [trend]’

“My songs sound different because I’ve been cooperating Jersey with the Queens,” Cobain said, before briefly explaining the New York borough’s brief club music moment in the 2010s. “Queens don’t get no credit for that. There was an era called the throw-it-back era and there was the BBE challenge [created by DJ Taj, Lil E and Sliick] – that’s a Queens challenge.”

Back in September, the gold-selling producer released his debut solo album ‘Pretty Girls Love Slizzy’, where he – as his alter ego Slizzy – could be heard rapping too. When NME asked whether rapping or producing is more important to him, he replied: “I just wanted to make beats for real, [but] making beats and all that – it didn’t get boring to me, but I like finding new things to do. Rap was another new thing to do, so I started rapping.”

Cobain added: “I feel like if you want to rap, rap. If you want to make beats, make beats. You want to do both, you can do both. I just want you to be nice after you do what I’m saying.”

At the end of the interview, Cobain was asked about his goals and what he hopes his future looks like. “Don’t you see me gearing up to take over this world right now?” the rapper-producer replied. “We’re going to go crazy.” He also promised to release “more music, more music videos, merch, design, fashion wear,” and hopes to grow his collective, Slizzy ENT.

‘Pretty Girls Love Slizzy’ is out now via Giant Music. You can listen to the record below.

Last Friday, Travis Scott previewed a new song at the launch party for the latter’s label Cactus Jack’s collaboration with Audemars Piguet, which was produced by Cobain.

On the same day (December 2), the South Bronx star released ‘ASSON3000’, a new single where he sampled the opening track from Andre 3000‘s new experimental flute album, ‘New Blue Sun’, ‘I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A Rap Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time’.

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