By Amberly Taylor
In 2020, we saw an unprecedented year full of social movements. Movements like “Free the weed,” “More Than An Athlete,” and “Save the Children” were among some of the more popular trending social tags last year. It seemed as though the whole world was watching as America “woke up,” becoming more aware of changes that would be publicly championed at the grassroots levels of widespread communities across American society.
Add to this, specified personal mission-movements would often be initiated and inspired by the likes of individuals such as Curtis Canady, who established his own mission- movement since his recent release from federal prison and newfound freedom.
“More Than A Rapper” is a new mission-movement that has a connection with his recent collaboration with Weldon Angelos and the nonprofit the Weldon Project and its Mission Green initiative. This freedom fighting team aligned with the life decision Curtis made before his release date to bring awareness to the epidemic called the “American prison system.”
The hip-hop world knows Curtis as “Guapo Cashh”, but Weldon Angelos met Cashh as federal inmate 65356-112. Weldon Angelos, an award-winning music producer, met Guapo while serving a 55-year sentence handed down by a federal judge for a minimal cannabis charge. Weldon’s sentence was later commuted with overwhelming support from industry friends like Snoop Dogg, as well as cannabis community activists, alongside U.S. Senators lobbying for Weldon’s release.
Talent locked away behind bars
Recently, Weldon had obtained a full pardon from former President Trump. Before Weldon was able to touch freedom, he was able to hear and appreciate the gift Guapo Cashh was blessed with.
“A lot of guys in prison say they can rap, Cashh was a real dude who actually turned out to be who he presented himself to be, plus he had talent. That is what made me want to make me invest my time with Cashh and his career,” Weldon explains. “I promised Cashh when he got in the free world, I would give him the game and help him get a deal. That was important to me because so many talented people are locked away in the world never get to see their talents put to good use.”
Weldon smiled as he remembered his promise to Cashh, as he and Cashh reminisced about Guapo leaving prison for the first time. After Cashh had been incarcerated since the early age of 17, his first action out of prison was immediately recording his first single “first day out” on his first day of freedom.
Cashh’s work ethic
At 26, Cashh’s first day outside of a cell was also the first opportunity in his life to record a song on a professional level. Cashh recorded his first professional track with the literal and metaphorical title on his way to his halfway placement during his community reentry transition. Guapo’s metaphor, entitled “First Day Out”, became the consistent energy showcased by Weldon Angelos’ new artist.
It showed impeccable work ethic and hunger towards making it in the music industry within his first hours of freedom. Cashh described his passion for music being something “always in him”. Although he didn’t think about pursuing music as a career until incarceration. Cashh remembers his family members encouraging him when he was little to pursue music, but with his dad in prison by the time cash was three, the generational curse would end up taking Cashh’s freedom just the same.
Cashh recalls shifting through some notebooks found in the bottom of his grandmother’s closet not long before his federal incarceration stay, where his passion for music became a flame. Guapo goes on to tell the story of him reading through loose notebooks, he began to notice what was written was rhymes. Cashh couldn’t get the melody right in his head, He explains that was the day “I fell in love with rhymin’, I don’t think my uncle knows to this day I read those notebooks.”
Weldon described cash as the person who “always signed up to perform in the prison facility’s talent shows.” “Cashh always was working, that’s why I have to make sure he makes it. The system took him away so long and released him without any life skills; rapping is all he knows”.
“My mom was raising kids alone, so around age 13, I felt like I had to contribute, that caused me to get my first prison sentence,” Cashh said. His lyrics tell his story behind the walls, the story that one out of 20 Americans experience.
Picking up the torch
The informational organization STATISTA reported back in May 2021, “the United States not only is the home of the largest number of prisoners, but also is the country with the highest incarceration rate.
“I’m in the trenches, they locked me up, called me a menace”, a few lyrics from Cashh’s new music, produced by Weldon. Angelos has spent his recent years of freedom helping both federal and state cannabis and drug offenders embrace freedom. “No Man left behind” is the common motto gifted among activists. Many fellow activists begin their journey of service after receiving help previously themselves from others.
That same torch was passed down to Cashh when he touched down after completing his federal sentence. Guapo Cashh is a partner ambassador for Mission Green, making sure the public is educated on subjects like mass incarceration, juvenile court system practices, and over sentencing in America. Upcoming Rap artist Guapo Cashh recently published his campaign promotion for the new partnership between him and Mission Green on Instagram and his other social media platforms.
Weldon and Cash recently collaborated with Weldon’s industry friends like Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla $ign and Tory Lanez. Each artist on Cashh’s upcoming album has experienced personally either themselves or their family members learning how the system can steal your loved ones from you.
“This collaboration was deeply organic,” says Cashh. While working on a different project with Weldon, Tory Lanez heard Cashh’s demo track and described Cashh’s track as “Nice.” Weldon’s expression illustrated his excitement for his new artist as he went on to explain that, “the way a high-profile artist such as Tory Lanez said nice” meant confirmation towards Weldon’s vision about Guappos Cashh’s career.
Tory and Cashh began working on a new project that will be introduced on Guapo’s new album release expected to be out and available for purchase by the end of September. Ty Dolla $ign is another artist invited to collaborate with Guapo Cashh, as his album will be mainly focused on social injustices. This collaboration between Ty Dolla $ign and Guapo Cash is another anticipated track due to the fact that Weldon Angelos has been working hard behind the scenes helping Ty Dolla $ign‘s brother obtain freedom as well.
Cashh named Grammy award-winning artist Drake as one artist he would love to work with on this album. Guapo’s album is aimed at showing the world his vision through music, what his reality is, and what his reality was as a teenager in federal prison.
Cashh’s freedom has not been textbook easy. Living in LA since his release introduced Cashh back into the environment of gun violence and crime. These obstacles are a reality for him and many citizens of the big city.
Cashh recently experienced that burning feeling of violence by way of a bullet, when he was shot and injured so badly during an incident involving his car being towed that his doctors had to replace an artery in one of his arms. Since his encounter with this recent act of violence, Cashh has been working even harder at his music career, appreciating his freedom along the way.
Casshh, along with many California musicians, have taken on the role of being their community storyteller. Hip-hop has often taken the role of America’s historical “story teller”. Weldon describes Guapo Cashh as “an artist who possesses the perfect formula for a successful recording artist talent plus great character equals a star”.
Guapo Cashh is on his way to bringing awareness throughout hip-hop using his musical talents as his weapon of education. With his recent links with legends like Weldon Angelos, Ty Dolla $ign, Snoop Dogg and Tory Lanez, Cashh has already proven how determined he is to make a name for himself outside the underground hip-hop world.
“To hear Tory Lanez say I’m dope,” said Cashh, “was the rocket that I needed to fly my dream into a focused plan.” Guapo Cashh‘s new album, produced by Weldon Angelos, is an anticipated album for many loyal hip-hop fans.
With Guapo Cashh’s promise he made to his incarcerated community behind his mission for judicial justice in America‘s prison system, along with his collaboration with Mission Green, it looks like a great fit for Cashh’s music career to take off in the right direction. Weldon and Cashh encourage hip-hop fans to pre-order Cashh’s new album as soon as the pre-order release date is launched, as well as following Cashh’s journey and upcoming collaborations with Mission Green on Instagram as well as Facebook.
Guapo Cashh is more than a rapper.
Amberly Taylor is a Lawton, Oklahoma resident who uses her platform to bring awareness to topics like social justice, mass incarceration and Oklahoma’s judicial system.