In our first installment of True Too Exclusive Interviews, we were able to catch up with the “young O.G.” Casey Veggies. Casey and Tyler The Creator grew up together with the same dream of making it in the big lights, and is predominantly known as one of the founding fathers of Odd Future before he left the group to pursue a solo career.
9 years in the game and 8 mixtapes deep, 22 year old Casey Veggies is ready to unleash his debut album “Live & Grow” to the world on September 25th. Chris got a chance to catch up with him and discuss basketball, his upcoming album, the break-up of Odd Future and everything in-between. You can read the transcript below.
Hey what’s good
CV: Whats good bro
Chillen, I appreciate you taking the time from your day to speak to us
CV: It’s my pleasure bro, thanks for having me
So let’s start, I hear your big into hoops, you follow the NBA at all?
CV: yeah I like the NBA, I follow the LA Lakers and also like OKC Thunder.
No doubt, I’m guessing you’re a big Kobe fan then?
CV: Yeah, Kobe’s definitely a role model ever since I was growing up in L.A., he’s definitely been like, a big role model for sure.
Speaking about that, you went to the same high school as Paul Pierce, did you have any pro aspirations? Did you want to make it?
CV: Um, I definitely did at first for a certain period of my life. That’s what I really wanted to do first, before I found music. When I fell in love with music, I was like… I definitely wanted to be in the NBA or at least play in college, you know?
So how old were you when you jumped ship?
CV: When I stopped? …Um, I was like 17 years old.
So you still play now?
CV: Yeah man I still play. Actually I still play now, I still try to stay active. I don’t get to play as much as I want to though, I’m not gonna lie.
Are you still nice?
CV: Ha, yeah I’m still nice! I still got it!
One thing I can’t imagine is how did you manage playing ball, going to school, and doing the whole Odd Future thing when you were growing up?
CV: Man, it was a lot. That’s what people always ask, like “how did it happen?”, “how did it start?”. Really, I was just living life and there was a lot going on and that’s what I tell everybody. I’m still a part of Odd Future, we are always doing so much. It was just a crazy time, we were just living fast. I definitely appreciate that moment though, everything was great. It was a good situation to be young and be able to share your ideas and have people with similar dreams around you.
It seems like you were really busy in that time period. Did you feel like you missed out on your teenage years?
CV: I tell people that sometimes. It definitely changes the way you grow up, or the type of things you get to experience. It just takes away from being able to live that regular life. At the same time, this is what we asked for, you know.
Yeah that’s true man. Do you think that was a positive or negative thing?
CV: It plays both ways but you gotta just take the good with the bad.
Yeah, no doubt. Let’s talk about your upcoming album. Live & Grow is set to drop on September 25, what can you tell us about it?
CV: I can tell you it’s definitely a legendary album. Coming from a young man’s perspective it’s definitely one of the greatest albums. Ever. Speaking for the youth, you know. Speaking for how we feel, how the kids feel. How we look at life, where we want to be and how we dream to be. Our emotions and the mind’s cycle. I think every 20 year old kid, 21 year old kid has that cycle that concern you and you think about. And, uh, I just want to give these kids a voice.
How long have you been in the lab with this album?
CV: Uh, been like 2 years. It’s been a long time coming.
Since you started your career at 13 years old, it’s been 9 years and 8 mixtapes later. 2 weeks away from your debut album, how do you feel right now?
CV: Man, it’s a great feeling. It’s definitely a great feeling that can’t really be replaced and can’t really be explained. It’s hard to explain, it’s such a long time coming and to work towards this thing and we’re now 11 days away from everything I’ve been working for. I’m just excited I feel like it’s a new beginning.
What inspired the title, Live & Grow?
CV: I think it was just the next chapter for my story, my brand, and everything I represent. I think it was the perfect title for me, you know, it’s like a message I wanted to put out to the world. I think Live & Grow is a message that everyone can relate to or everybody can learn from.
What are you hoping to achieve with the album?
CV: I’m just hoping to get my message across to the world. You know, encourage the people to get to know me more and my fans… I gotta please my fans. They’ve been riding with me all these years. That’s really who I’m doing this album for.
So this is for your day one fans?
CV: Yeah, it’s for my day ones.
Ok, cool. For a fan that may not know your work too well, what should they expect?
CV: They’re gonna love it. It’s a new sound, it’s something I’ve wanted to bring out. Every song ends up matching me, I’ve kind of created my own sound.
Man, I love the idea of you letting your fans design album art for the project. What was your thinking behind that?
CV: I wanted to give young creatives and artists a chance to shed light on their talents you know, so we held this design contest. It’s actually still going on, we’re about to be announcing the winner for that. I’m going to be working with a lot of the artists that submitted things.
So, have any stood out a lot to you?
CV: They’ve actually all been pretty dope. It’s kinda gonna be hard to choose the main winner, they’ve all been super dope.
I know Casey Veggies is all for the kids. What makes you hold them down so much?
CV: Um, because I am them. I think that’s what makes me do that the most. That’s who I am you know, I’m that same kid. So, it’s like that’s what I want the world to see.
I love how inspired you are. You’re trying to show the kids the real shit, instead of the bullshit they’re seeing. What made you become so focused and so inspired?
CV: I think just being young, growing up, and wanting to do something with my life. That’s were I first got that spark, that energy from. Then being in high school, being in middle school and hearing some of my favourite artists like Kanye West, Nas and Jay. Just hearing a lot of great hip hop and you know, that made me want to be a part of the culture.
You note Kanye as one of your inspirations, who else inspires you?
CV: Nas, Jay-Z, Q-Tip. Yeah… My parents… Definitely.
Man I wish more rappers had the same mindset as you! How would Hip Hop culture be if that was the case?
CV: Ha! It’s all good, everyone has their own style and they’re own approach to everything. You know the world, the world is crazy man. It’s hard for everybody.
Your music positive message is great, but what else are you doing in the community to better your people?
CV: I’m actually starting a foundation called the Give & Grow foundation and uh, we just trying to give back. Give back to the youth, and what better title than Give & Grow. The albums called Live & Grow, and we’re giving back through the foundation.
Did you come up with that by yourself?
CV: Yeah, me and my team thought it was important.
The crazy thing is you’re only 22 but you’ve been rapping for nearly a decade. Do you see yourself as a rookie, or a vet?
CV: I see myself as young vet. Young O.G! Word to Fabo.
Is it weird, since you came up when you were 13, that you have some fans that have been riding with you their whole teenage life?
CV: Yeah it is kinda weird. You know, people grew up with me and people expect things out of me. They want to see me win, and that’s who I do it for, the fans out there rocking with me since day one. They always believed in me, even when I was one of the smallest artists in the world. When I was underground… More underground than you can be, like, they always believed in me and that’s why I keep going. I just want them to see that you can take it to that next level, no matter how hard it gets
Do you have any crazy stories from one of your fans?
CV: Not really, just people that really show that they care. Like fans that come to every show that you see at every show, or you see them at the store supporting. It gets kind of weird because these people really care and support the movement. It’s pretty surreal.
In the beginning of our chat, you were talking about Odd Future. Let’s talk more about that. You and Tyler, you’ve been rapping together since 13 or 14 – how do you describe your relationship with him?
CV: I think we’re just brothers. We definitely share a lot of dope memories and we just brothers. You know, from another mother.
You still keep in touch?
CV: Yeah, definitely!
One of your first shows with him was at Hawthorn High School. How was it performing with him at such a young age?
CV: It was crazy man! A super dope experience, and one of those experiences I’ll never forget.
Was it a good reception? Did they dig it?
CV: Yeah, the crowd definitely enjoyed it. There wasn’t that many people there, but it was definitely a super dope show.
How do you feel about the recent Odd Future break-up news?
CV: It happens man. It really does happen. It’s life.
You were one of the founding fathers of Odd Future, what’s your proudest moment in that period of your life?
CV: Everything about it. What we represented, what we started and all the young kids that loved what we did and got inspired off of our movement.
Do you have a favourite Odd Future song?
CV: Um, I think… Tyler’s VCR.
CV: Just the vibe man, it’s got a dope vibe.
What was it like starring in Dope?
CV: It was a great experience, man. One of those things that I’ll never forget. It was fun man, I met a lot of dope people, met a lot of creative and talented people and just got my first chance to be in a real movie. It was different from any acting I’ve done before because it was actually a real movie and I enjoyed it.
Was that experience on a film set different to a music video set?
CV: Yeah, it’s definitely different.
Should we be expecting more of Casey on the big screen?
CV: Definitely, man! I’ve been doing some auditions and I’m trying to get into it but, you know, the albums dropping in a week man.
Last question I’ve got for you man, what’s next for you? Tours, Collabs?
CV: Yeah, we going on tour with my clothing line Peas & Carats, and we got a store in L.A. where we are dropping a lot of stuff so make sure you check out Peas & Carats online. Buy our stuff online ‘cos I’m doing a lot of new stuff with the clothing line you know, and pushing my album and going on tour.
That’s all we got for you homie, appreciate taking the time to speak to us.
CV: Alright, thanks a lot man, I appreciate it.
Good luck on the album, we can’t wait for it.
CV: Thank you my friend, have a great one.
After talking to Casey Veggies, the lasting impressions he gave to us were humbling, inspiring, and completely genuine. CV wants a higher purpose to be had through the power of his music; as his artistry isn’t just used to live to the next paycheck, it’s used to grow, and as he develops and evolves he hopes to see his fans do the same. He urges his fans to continue chasing their dreams and adopt a tunnel vision to block out the unnecessary distractions. Casey’s aspirations to spread a positive agenda of Hip-hop is unorthodox and warming to see coming from an Odd Future founding father. He is a voice of the youth that yearns to be heard, a voice that wants its people to prosper. Be sure to check out Live & Grow dropping on September 25th, as it’s bound to be a pure reflection of the young rapper’s encouraging vibes.Stay updated with Casey Veggies:
Buy/Preorder Live & Grow here
Trailer for his upcoming movie Dope starring alongside A$AP Rocky and Vince Staples.
We would like to especially thank Xposed Media for setting up the interview.