Portland, OR’s Cassow (b. Jeremy McKinley) got into music at a young age and gravitated toward rap as an outlet for dealing with family issues and having to grow up too fast. In 2010 at only 19 he started carving out his niche with a series of mixtape releases, most notably “Mixtape Off Mars.” In the nearly decade since, he’s stormed the hip hop scene, collaborating with fellow Portland artist TYuS on the Warner Brothers release “Never Forget,” and penning his own singles, “Flashback,” “La Brea” and “Dealership.”
The spotlight stays on this independent up-and-comer with his latest release, “HEART TATTOOED” – a low-fi hip-hop track with contagious lyrics and an even-keeled few-note chorus that creates an endless looping refrain. Whether intended or not, the title ends up being very meta as we hum along with Cassow and realize the track is now tattooed on our hearts, brains and respective SoundCloud feeds for the foreseeable future.
The video for “HEART TATTOOED” is comprised of different scenes with one common denominator: they all feature water. From the opening aerial shot of a riptide, the elements gradually constrict in size – from a swimming pool, to a shower, to a fish tank casting a glow from the corner of a bedroom – that collectively, effectively depict the theme of entrapment-post-breakup.
Cassow views music like a marathon; it’s an exercise in endurance, but still a race with a finish line. And he wants to be #1. With the release of his EP, Gods of the Young, hot on the heels of touring Post Malone, it’s clear that Cassow has hit his stride and is pacing for greatness in 2019.