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To make it in music, you need dedication and unending self-belief. This is even more true in modern hip-hop, with the genre’s globalization and the intense competition making it harder to stand out. In New York (and beyond), a Bronx-born rapper and producer named Cash Cobain is doing it his way, via production and rapping on his own and with other artists. What makes Cash Cobain unique is his spin on the sound of New York drill (referred to as “sexy drill”), focusing more on women than street beefs, over beats that sample classic R&B and soul songs.

Cash Cobain isn’t an overnight upstart, as he’s been making beats since he was a teenager, and started rapping in 2013. At just 25 years old, Cash Cobain’s style permeates through a lot of the music coming out of NYC, and his consistency has landed him production work with Drake, Lil Yachty, PinkPantheress, and more. Cash’s ear is special, as he can craft something like the Mary-J.-Blige-sampling “My Everything” for a gritty street rapper like B-Lovee, and make the mix sound like a natural fit. It’s no coincidence that Cash’s, “This a beat from Cash, not from YouTube,” tag is on another song every other week. “My Everything” is the song that got Cash on the map outside of the streets of New York — this was slightly before his own sexy drill began to really move.

When Cash Cobain is making music of his own, he still uses samples (and often doesn’t). Still, the use of them is “smoother,” closer to R&B energy than a drill song, and he’s rapping directly to women and about high-level fashion and getting money. As he continued to work on the sound, it slowly rose higher and higher locally, with the true turning point being his 2022 2 Slizzy 2 Sexy album with Chow Lee, another artist in the “Slizzy” ecosystem, a word for simply having fun and being in the mix. Singles like “JHOLIDAY” and “Vacant” fully formed the idea of sexy drill, while his later work raised the profile of the artists around him, like Mali Smith and Vontee The Singer.

This leads right into Cash Cobain’s landmark 2023, where he produced on Drake’s For All The Dogs (“Calling For You” featuring 21 Savage), and PinkPantheress’ Heaven Knows (“Nice to meet you” featuring Central Cee).

Cash Cobain’s latest song, the infectious “Fisherrr,” has him trading bars with Bay Swag, one of his friends and peers. The song was already blowing up on every social media platform and just got a remix featuring Ice Spice, the most successful of NYC’s new wave of rappers. The song, which skips back and forth over the line of romance and lust, has already taken over Cash Cobain’s home base and is picking up steam across the country. Cash Cobain is just warming up, right before a hot summer.

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