The name is the first question in any discussion that involves Orlando rapper Fidel Cashflow. Whether you're telling a friend about his uniquely accessible street tales, smoothed over with a cleverly straightforward A-to-B flow, or chatting up the artist himself in the middle of the final mixing of his debut, that moniker is a giant, nationalistic elephant in the room. Given to him by a friend in 1998 as a joke, the reference has become both a statement and a source of frustration.
'As soon as I heard it, I was like, 'That's me,'â?� says Cashflow, whose real name is Cesar Gallardo. 'I admire the `Cuban` culture because my whole family, from my mother down, were born in Cuba and they came here.â?� In addition, Cashflow sees a parallel between his own musical attitude and the stubborn Cuban president. 'I like the way that `Fidel Castro` stands on his own and doesn't get intimidated by the bigger powers,â?� says Cashflow. Recently, New York's mix tape king, DJ Clue, took on the same name as an alter ego, prompting fruitless legal inquiries from Gallardo and a dis verse on his own mix tape, put out earlier this year, Faces of Cash.
A frantic romp through every subgenre of hip-hop known to man, Faces serves as a solid preview of Cashflow's forthcoming official debut, Year of the Hustler. Showcasing his adept grasp of confessional storytelling and radio-friendly hooks, Cashflow works his way through reggaeton, grime, even the 'crackâ?� genre being popularized in Harlem at the moment, in which the word is redefined as an adjective to describe something positive. It's a fascinating display of an artist finding the right fit through sheer will, and according to Cashflow, the quest continues. '`Hustler` is gonna have something for everybody,â?� says Cashflow. 'It has down-South songs, pimp songs, sing-along songs. Pretty much the message that I'm sending is that they need to pay attention to me.â?�
Cashflow sees the Orlando hip-hop scene as one that's ready to blow. He believes all the necessary components are in place, but it's going to take a breakout star to bring everything together ' a role he believes he can fill. 'I have more than skills in one arena,â?� says Cashflow. 'I'm a member of Full Impact All Starz, which is an elite group of artists and DJs in Central Florida.â?�
Additionally, the charismatic MC has signed two rising artists, Lady Lyric and Dirt Po, to his Pure Cash Entertainment boutique, and believes he does not need to go anywhere else to make his mark. 'When I first came here from New York, I didn't like it. So I stuck it out, and it wound up being very, very good for me,â?� he says. 'I feel like if you're destined to be `a star`, regardless of where you are, it's gonna come to you.â?�
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