Casey Veggies – Life Changes – The STiXXclusive Review

            Customized Greatly 1-3, Bum Ass Shit, Sleeping in Class, and now – Life Changes. All mixtapes, and quite possibly with no album due in sight, the fans will have the luxury of more original (and free) music. CG3 doesn’t seem to have been released that long ago, when in fact it’s almost been a year since. Having been on tour and selling his ‘Peas & Carrots’ merchandise, Casey’s life has definitely changed for the better in a matter of time. This mixtape (technically – free album) is a reflection of where he’s been and where he’s at right now. Only time will tell as to where he will be in the near to distant future.

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Right off the bat, Life Changes starts off smooth with the hook provided by Phil Beaudreu. Emphasizing my first statement, Casey addresses his current state and what things in the past have made him change for today and how he’ll move on from that point forward. Already, the album sounds like it’ll be a stretch different from what we’ve been used to hearing from him – in a good way.

My Vision reminded me of an Ace Hood song, because of the similarities of flow that he had on it, but everyone uses it, so I shouldn’t even be surprised. This is definitely a party song, despite the title implying to some that it would be deep and soul touching – complete opposite. I’m not mad at Young Veggies for this one, the beat is crazy. The instrumental coasting for the latter portion of the song gives it a lot of replay value, but what caught me off guard was the ‘ATCQ-esuqe’ jump-cut transition to Young Winners – it was so seamless. At this point, you can get an idea of where the direction of the album is going with regards to lyrical content and production: Success and Entertainment are the focal points, but I haven’t had the urge to skip any songs as of yet. This was definitely a good song, and the whole project (so far) was good already as the songs blended well with each other. It continued the long line of trends as far as mixtapes sounding like albums (although this is technically an album). Hopefully that trend will die out, but I’m not betting my money on it.

When I read the tracklist for LC and I saw She in My Car was going to have a feature from Dom Kennedy, I pretty much knew that I wasn’t going to like it that much. My thing with Dom K is that his flow & voice annoy the hell out of me, and he can only be tolerated for so long. I gave it a shot, but after From Westside with Love 2, I couldn’t be bothered. Listening to this song, and based on his line of work and what he’s known for, it was suitable for him to be on it, whether I like it or not. It wasn’t terrible, it’s simple enough and catchy to groove to, and who knows, maybe I’ll grow to like I more.

Faces refers to green faces (or American Money – Canadian $20 if we’re being more technical), and I always think of the Kanye West line from ‘Who Gon Stop Me’:

Heard Yeezy was racist, well, I guess that’s on one basis
I only like green faces

This song has that luxury rap appeal that the likes of A$AP Rocky deliver well, and others who just like to flaunt about their money and riches that us regular folk don’t have quite the luxury of having. This is catchy too (I’m telling you, production is EVERYTHING) and it will make you look at your bank account in shame – in shame!

Life is yet another good one (I don’t think I’ve heard a bad track yet, and it’s halfway through). Life changes means that there’s a new lifestyle that comes with it, and sometimes the people change for better or for worse, but he’s living his life and keeping it (or trying to) the same. As for Team, the beat was distracting because it overpowered the vocals too much for my liking. This would probably be the first song I didn’t like as much as the others. That ‘ratchet rap’ style works for some, but not for all. This is one example of a rapper that can’t pull it off. Whip It is essentially a continuation of Team, but only as far as sound goes – it got personal on this one, because with success and growth of self, you influence others around you to grow as well (at least the ones that you choose to roll with). When you’re in a rap career and in a relationship, you have the struggle of dealing with fans demanding music, and holding down the one you’re with. It’s about finding balance within oneself. It’s a dope track, and the thing with Casey is that his bars aren’t hard to decipher or understand, but you can sense growth in his ability as an artist. It has shown on this project.

BJ the Chicago Kid could (could) pick up where Nate Dogg left off, with the ability to add a dope hook to a rap song. He’s already budding as an R&B artist with the continuing popularity of his supremely underrated debut album, Pineapple Now Laters. However, before we could hear BJ on this 2 for 1 track, Casey broke down some fresh rhymes on Love = Hate. Both concepts need attention: you have to constantly show attention when you love someone or something, and when you’re a passionate hater or you hate something devotedly, you have to show attention towards it. In the scene or away from it, a lot of people want the same things. Whether people have your back or stab you in it, it goes hand in hand with getting by in life. Ulterior Motives comes right in and the soulful bounce that it brings is dope. The definition of an ‘ulterior motive’ (provided by Wikitionary) is:

An alternative reason for doing something, especially when concealed or when differing from the stated or apparent reason.

Basically what that means is, given what you’re used to doing (or used to do), you move on from that direction and head in another one that only suits you in the best way possible. Casey’s friends went in a direction that wouldn’t have turned out well for him, so he chose his path and now he’s benefitting from it. It’s something that many people (especially myself) can relate to. Basically Casey wants to do better to help others who can’t help themselves. It’s fitting that he used a Kanye West sample from ‘We Major’:

Asked the reverend was the strip clubs cool
If my tips helped send a pretty girl through school
That’s all I want, like winos want they good whiskey
I ain’t in the Klan but I brought my hood with me

This is probably my favourite song on the album, because it gets into his personal life more and it takes the listener through his thought process on why he chose the path he did. Keep in mind folks, he was probably 18 when he made this album, and is now 19. He’s still a young kid making big decisions. That’s something to marvel at. Great song.

The opening hook of Everything Wavy sounded like the hook of Future’s ‘Magic’, and even had the ‘Skrrt’ adlib. Maybe he’s paying homage to him? I have no idea, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who picked up on that. Emphasis on swag and the wave movement, this one isn’t all that special, but it’s catchy, as is a good majority of the album.

I Love Me Some You is a nice ode to that somebody, but seriously folks, rappers have got to stop trying to sing their hooks if they don’t have a good voice for it. Good attempt, but this is why you have R&B artists to fill the void. I blame Drake for the amount of rappers trying to play both roles and make something great out of it. Not everyone has that skill, but that’s the only thing I didn’t like about the song – it’s still pretty good. These Days is a continuation of ‘Love Me Some You’, but he ties it in with his music career (using music as a girl – double meaning perhaps).

Take My Life – the last song, and the last message to be delivered by Young Veggies. Saying that he’d sacrifice all of his worth and wealth to have his love of music with him shows his devotion to it and that the material things don’t make him as an artist (he says this now, but let’s be real – no one wants to be broke). I like the song, and it serves as a fitting end to a great album.

What Detroit was to Big Sean, I can say that Life Changes is for Casey Veggies. A rapper who has a lot of mixtapes has a bunch of hits and misses, but with time and experience, you have that one project that makes people open their eyes and say ‘now, THIS is what we’ve been waiting for’. A lot of people (including myself) were skeptical of Casey Veggies, and there are people who still don’t know a whole lot about him or his music. I know that many people don’t even know that he was affiliated with Odd Future, and that’s how he essentially ‘got his name’. But it goes to show you that he’s been dedicated and focused with developing that he puts out a project like this and it’s overall enjoyable. It builds an audience, and hopefully a real album will follow suit. If this were on iTunes, I’d probably buy it, but it’s free, so you can’t go wrong with that. Take a listen and enjoy, but for now, this is my opinion; this is my review

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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