Los Angeles, CA – It’s not every day you can turn on a Hip Hop record and feel an authenticity once reserved for the genre. For Flatbush MC Casanova 2X, that’s not an issue. Having served three separate stints in the New York prison system for everything from selling drugs to assault with a deadly weapon, the Brooklyn Knight’s music oozes reality. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of his journey is that Casanova has only been rapping for a year and has a deal with Memphis Bleek’s Warehouse Music Group imprint. Cas recently stopped by the DXHQ to talk shop with the #DXLive team about the lack of authenticity in Hip Hop, his journey to get where he is now, and how Chris Brown pushes him to be a better artist.

Unlike most, Cas never thought about being a rapper. It’s something that fell into his lap. “You hear ‘Boom boom boom’ everybody getting shot but really dudes not shooting nobody,” Cas exclaims. “I can say I shot people because I went to jail for it but these dudes that are rapping these days are really not what they say they are,” Cas exclaims. “It’s music. I never really wanted to be fake but I guess after I went through what I went through I had a story to tell. I been around a lot of rappers and I was like, ‘I can do that.’ Once you go to the studio with somebody and see how they come up with something it’s like, ‘hold on let me try it myself.’ That’s how it happened.”

Casanova also explained that while he understands not all artists exude veritable rhymes, being a real gangsta isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “You get the real gangstas that rap, that make hits, [and] that go to jail. Then what you call the real gangstas? Stupid. So why do you want to be a real gangsta anyway? You went to jail. You had a good career and still wanted to be a gangsta. You’re dumb. So, I’m lucky I got passed the gangsta part and I became a rapper. I don’t glorify [being a gangsta] anymore. I was a gangsta. I went to jail. In jail, I was gangstered out. I went to the box. I was gangsta in the box, which is the hole, and they gave me a loaf of bread for every meal. So that’s the last [instance of being a] gangsta. No. Everybody will tell you that [has] been in the hole [that] when you get that bread with them vegetables and them carrots in it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Any man is going to fold.”

With a life of crime behind him, Casanova is focused what he wants to be next. “I just wanna be hope to the people. [People in the hood] tend to make excuses like aye man if I had this or [could] do that but I did it. I robbed. I shot. I did this [and] I did that but I also said, ‘nah this ain’t me.’ This is not cool. It was all fun until you get caught. The gangstas don’t tell you that once you put that work in you going to jail. They don’t tell you, ‘He put the work in and now he in jail for 20 years. He lost his mother, he lost his father but now he home [and] he in the shelter. That’s the process. Once you do all that time, it’s mandatory you have to go under supervision. You have to do six months in a federal shelter. They don’t tell you stuff like that so I just wanna be the hope. I don’t wanna be the best rapper in the world. I just want to feed my family and stuff like that. I’m good.”

These days Cas is finding inspiration for his newest lifestyle in the most unsuspecting of places. “This might sound crazy but Chris Brown,” Cas says when asked who pushes him to be better. “We got some records coming up and every time he just go in there and surprise me. The first time that he went in on a record, the record that was on my mixtape, I let him go in there like, ‘He ain’t gon’ do nothing. He a singer. He ain’t about to do nothing.’ The engineer records him through the headphones so you can’t hear what’s going on. So he comes out all cocky [and] I hear him rapping and I’m like, ‘Aw man I gotta do my verse over.’ I don’t even wanna talk no more. But I got records from dudes that are way above me so they kinda wanna help me. Sometimes they’re like, ‘Nah you gotta do that over.’ I be getting blessed. I’m not like these other dudes that they be competing with.”

For more exclusive interviews like this be sure to tune into #DXLive every Thursday at 6 pm EST/3 pm PST and as always for more music and news keep it locked on HipHopDX.