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Cazwell’s latest single from his “Hard 2 B Fresh” album is “Downtown,” a ratchet trap club banger that was originally written for DJ Diplo. Cazwell begged producer Richie Beretta for the track, because its hard twerk beats, sex-fueled lyrics and killer drop were crucial for his album.

“I needed this vibe,” explains Cazwell from his Manhattan home, “and I can be pretty convincing when I want to be.”

Cazwell’s “Downtown” is available now. He performs it live, along with other songs from “Hard 2 B Fresh,” at Snug Harbor’s SHIPROCKED! party on Thursday, Aug. 13, two days before Charlotte Pride kicks off its annual festival and parade, Aug. 15-16.

In a town long known for its Uptown, Cazwell’s “Downtown” will be a welcome treat.

“To take it ‘downtown’ means you’re gonna turn up and not give two fucks about the repercussions,” continues Cazwell. “There was a time I was ‘downtown’ bougie. I was spending way more money than I could afford, and on dumb shit, not caring about what happened next.

“It took me some time to realize that if you spend the last of your savings on a bottle of Goose at the club so you can impress your friends, you’re just dead wrong bougie.”

Cazwell can trace his attraction for street flash to a youth spent listening to classic ’90s rap. “I remember the legendary MC Lyte singing how she was ‘funky fresh, dressed to impress, ready to party.’ That line always resonated with me.”

A Massachusetts native, Cazwell has been described as what would have happened if Eminem had grown up on Madonna’s front lawn. He became a You Tube sensation after a million people viewed his “Ice Cream Truck” music video in a single week. He has since earned hipster cred (credibility) with a steady flow of danceable hip hop tracks that impressively showcase his hypomanic take on pop culture.

Earlier this year, Cazwell released “Hard 2 B Fresh,” his first full-length album in four years, on the Brooklyn indie, Peace Bisquit label. The album includes 17 tracks including “Dance Like You Got Good Credit,” “Spicy,” “Don’t Get It Twisted” and his next single, “The Biscuit.” : :

— Cazwell performs at SHIPROCKED! at Snug Harbor in Charlotte on Thursday, Aug. 13. For more information, visit, see our list of Charlotte Pride Week events at or visit