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In 2006 we fell in love with Bad Boy’s leading lady Cassie  when she released her summer hit “Me and U.” Lately we’ve mostly only seen the singer cuddled up under hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs  or traveling the world but we didn’t have much insight into her career or life goals until now.

Vibe Vixen recently sat down with the New London, Connecticut native who told them she grew up in a tight-knit family in the suburbs, was educated in private school, and was supposedly never the “it” or “mean” girl.

“I always wished I was cool and could’ve been a troublemaker, but I was actually a pretty decent kid,” she told the mag.

Although she’s grown from her sexified tomboy image to a sophisticated beauty with edge, Cassie  is still humbly the girl next door with hidden sex appeal. Here she shares with Vibe Vixen  her passion for DJing, if she will have any mini-Cassies on the way and her relationship with the original Bad Boy.

How do you stand your ground as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

As a woman in the industry, there are so many things you’re up against. If you’re pretty, you’re too pretty. If you’re talented, you’re too talented to the point where people don’t want to listen to your music. And I’m not talking about Beyoncé, who is way up there. I’m just talking about people who are making the music that they love. It’s a confidence thing. It doesn’t matter what you bring out as long as you believe in it and back it up. That’s something that took time to learn. I would second guess myself a lot.

The first time I stepped out of the zone of standing behind somebody and being worried about giving my opinion was when I did “The Boys” video with Nicki Minaj. It was a trying experience, putting looks together with my team and being very, very involved and saying, “No, I’m not wearing that. This is not happening. This is how I want my hair and make-up.” That was the first time I really stood my ground and when everyone looked up, it was like “Girl, you really killed it.” It’s knowing what I want, being aware and sure of it. And not being phased by all the other bull that goes down.

There’s a saying, “You are the company that you keep” and you’ve been linked to super-talented musicians/businessmen. What’s the key to maintaining a relationship when both parties have established careers?

The key to maintaining any relationship—be it a romantic relationship or a friendship—is honesty and communication. I travel so much, host parties and I just signed a new deal with Skam Artist, who predominantly DJs in the same bookings that they do at different parties. It’s New York, Chicago, Vegas so I’m constantly going.

So you’re going to start mastering the turntables now?

I hope it gets to that. I’ve been slowly but surely learning how to DJ. I’m really interested in learning how to do the turntables and I really want to do both dance and hip-hop. Dance is easier actually to mix when you’re DJing, but old school hip-hop and finding the real beat in there is way more difficult.

Has Diddy inspired you to run your own empire? Was there an important business lesson you learned from him?

Absolutely. Just being around him is a completely inspiring experience. Starting my own empire would be great. I’m trying to figure that out. I’m still working with Cassie Enterprises right now but I think that would be something I would love to do.

Being a model for more than half your life, describe the moment you realized your looks are a means to getting what you want, whether it was attention from a certain guy or landing the dream job.

It’s so funny for you to even say “attention from a guy” because I had my funny-looking stage. I think everyone had it as a kid. I remember every star, every birthday wish blowing out a candle, I would always wish boys would like me because I used to get made fun of a little bit.

Did you ever blow out birthday candles or wish on a star to be with Diddy?

[Laughs] No, no, no it was always just for boys to like me. That was it. The other day I did. Have you ever been to the Joshua Tree in Palm Springs, just outside of Palm Springs?

Is there anything else that you feel like you need to conquer or do you feel like it’s time to settle down a bit and maybe have a couple mini Cassies?

Oh my god! Me and my friends are always talking about that. Maybe some mini Cassies or Cassiuses coming up. I’m not really sure. My new thing right now is I’m going to get back into some acting. I did Step Up 2 a while ago and I enjoyed being on set so I think I’m going to start taking classes, work with an agency and seeing where that goes as well. I’m working on a sophomore album currently so hopefully things start to move.

Check out more of Cassie’s interview on Can you see her walking around with a few Diddy Jrs.?

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