Less than a week after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault, Cassidy is already planning out his future from behind bars.
The Philadelphia rapper, who could serve nearly two years (see "Cassidy Convicted Of Involuntary Manslaughter — Will Be Eligible For Parole Soon"), spoke out from Philly's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility for the first time Monday (January 30), saying, "While I am pleased that I was cleared of the murder charges, my satisfaction is not long lasting, because of the death of someone who I considered to be my friend, Des Hawkins.
"And while I am eager to resume my career as a recording artist, writer and performer," he continued in a statement issued via his attorney, "I am also eager to be reunited with my family, friends and fans."
Cassidy, whose real name is Barry Reese, was also convicted of possession of an instrument of crime for his involvement in the death of Hawkins, who was killed during a gunfight between two groups of men at Cassidy's home on April 15. Police found the rapper housing a sizable amount of ammunition at his pad, some of which matched the casings found at the crime scene.
Cass said he considers the incident a learning experience and hopes his young fans see his predicament as a warning of what not to do. He also noted that he shares the message delivered in court by Hawkins' father, who urged all parents to love their children and be there for them in their time of need.
"As the father of a young child myself, spending much time on the road and in the studio, away from home, I am relieved that I will soon be home," said Cass, who expects to be released on parole in the next two to three months, thanks to several months' credit for time served since turning himself in to police in June (see "Cassidy Turns Himself In On Murder, Weapons Charges").
"When Cassidy gets out, do not expect us to promote this situation as a cocky and violent situation, but as a blessed situation," said producer Swizz Beatz, a close friend of Cassidy's. "Cass will continue to make great music, but in a positive way, educating the youth that violence is never the answer, [and] we'll do the rest of the talking with the music."
Upon his release, the two plan to hit the studio and churn out tracks for Cassidy's next album, which they hope to put out by summer (see "Swizz Beatz Says He's Eager To Lay Down Beats With Cassidy").
Meanwhile, Cass is slated to drop his latest single, "Cassidy (The Anthem)," on February 28. The track, which will be released as a 12-inch vinyl, was originally recorded for, but never featured on, his sophomore LP, last summer's I'm a Hustla. It will also be widely available as a ringtone starting Tuesday and as a digital single on February 14.