UPDATE: Casey Veggies is no longer on the bill for Saturday's Dom Kennedy show.
Casey Veggies is not a new name. The 22-year-old rapper popped up on radars as a member of the Odd Future crew in 2007. According to math, he was 14 when he began releasing mixtapes, and he stayed heavy buzzing through 2013, releasing seven hot tapes.
In 2014, he made inroads on national radio. His single "Backflip," featuring fellow Californians YG and Iamsu!
Now he celebrates his greatest accomplishment to date: the release of his first official album, Live & Grow.
"It feels good to put something out for sale," he says. "It's been a lot of love, and I'm appreciating all the response... I've been working on it for a long time. I just did it for my fans
Live & Grow builds on Casey's near-decade of experience, with 13 tracks that capture a range of feelings and styles. It's a perfect debut in the sense that it introduces the listener to the artist's
In between is a myriad of smart clips, funky flows, and booty beats. He raps about the importance of following one's dreams, and he bemoans the fake and fickle world of fame. One minute, he's starting the party with a track about strippers; the next, he's waxing poetic about lives lost through police brutality.
"I think I'm a well-balanced person," he says. "That's why I have records like 'Backflip' and 'Actin' Up'; then I got songs like 'Aw Man.' I just got different elements to me as a person, so I just want that to come across in the music. I want people to get everything. I think as a rapper, as an artist, you should be able to give the listener every element, every emotion. That's what I wanted to do on this album, just express myself, and every song is expressing something different."
Casey snagged guest verses from Dom Kennedy, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Tyler, the Creator, plus a shout-out from Cali god Snoop Dogg, though the most memorable and meaningful moments on the album are when Casey's parents get on the mike.
"My dad was around me the most on this album, and I got his opinion on a lot of songs," Casey says. "He's a real visionary kind of guy. He was able to express himself and how he felt, and I think it took the album to a whole 'nother level."
Just like his mixtapes, Live & Grow was recorded in Casey's home studio behind his dad's house. It's a clear driving force for the rapper, who regularly mentions family as an
"I got a lot of things from people along the way, and everybody knows who they are," he says. "Shout out to all the homies and all the positive people I met, whether you gave me a ride to the studio or gave me $20; whatever it was, I appreciate everything."
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Live & Grow is a strong start, even for a man who's been in the game for years, but Casey knows it's not the start that matters — it's the future.
"I just want to make sure everybody gives the album a chance. Take it. Listen to it. Don't believe the hype. Give