Although Casey Veggies (born Casey Jones) is only 22 years old, it feels like he's a veteran in the hip-hop game. The Inglewood, California-born emcee started dropping jewels at 14. And he hasn't stopped since. For years, he was most notably known as one of the founding members of the Odd Future Collective. But after a string of five successful mixtapes (he's recorded seven in total), Veggies signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation in 2012. He's been going by Casey Veggies since he was 12, when he also started his clothing brand, Peas & Carats.
Casey is part of a fantastic flock of emcees in their 20s all making dope music. However, he's managed to weave through the traffic and shadows to stand out. "The thing that separates my sound is my story and where my head is at, where I come from — my age," he says. "I try to create my own lane when it comes to my musical direction."
By staying in his lane, Casey has avoided being pigeon-holed into just boom-bap, trap, or conscious. And he prides himself with the rare ability to be all things to all people. "I think it's a mixture of everything," he says. "As an artist, you should give people variations of different things — it's definitely a mixture of hip-hop, rap, and is conscious."
Casey's new album, Live & Grow, was released in September. The album highlights Casey's wit and lyrical explosiveness in front of production work from heavyweights Tyler the Creator, DJ Mustard, Iamsu!, Hit-Boy, Top Dawg , THC, and others.
Casey plays St. Andrews Hall with Dom Kennedy on Nov. 11, but is not a stranger to Detroit or Detroit hip-hop. "One of my earlier shows was in Detroit and it brings back a lot of memories of my beginnings," he says. "I've had about three shows in Detroit and they've all been great shows. One of my biggest shows was a sold-out concert with Mac Miller at the Fillmore Detroit," he says. He also cites Eminem, Big Sean, DeJ Loaf, Danny Brown, and Doughboyz Cashout as some of his favorite emcees from the big axel.
Casey promises to bring all the energy from his album and raw vigor to his Detroit performance. "You can expect a lot of energy and a lot of passion onstage. You can expect to see a kid rapping about his life and giving it his all," he says.
Casey Veggies performs at the St. Andrews Hall with Dom Kennedy on Wednesday, Nov. 11; Starts at 8:30 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; saintandrewsdetroit.com; $20.