Planting the Seeds: Rapper Casey Veggies was once a shooting guard for his high school basketball team. He began making songs for fun and posting them to his Myspace page. He soon started taking his talent more seriously and released the mixtape Greatly Customized Vol. 1. Veggies would go on to become one of the founding members of the popular hip-hop collective Odd Future, a group fronted by the popular Tyler, the Creator. Veggies had an amicable split with the group after he graduated high school, stating that he had a different vision for what he wanted to do with his career.
Harvesting the Crops: As he's moved forward, Veggies has often found himself working alongside some of the bigger names in hip-hop, including Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy to name a few. "Getting to meet Jay Z [was one of the highlights]," he says. "I got to chill with him and play some tracks. That was pretty dope." In addition to Jay Z, Veggies cites Kanye West and Q-tip the Abstract from A Tribe Called Quest as his biggest influences. After his 2013 mixtape Life Changes, Veggies inked a deal with Vested In Culture and Epic Records. He released his first album, Live & Grow, in September of last year; it features appearances from the likes of Dom Kennedy, Dej Loaf, YG, BJ the Chicago Kid, Tyler, the Creator — and even Veggies' parents. "They've had a big influence on me as both an artist and a person," Veggies says. "They've always encouraged me to just be who I am and I've always done that."
Why You Should Hear Him: For such a young artist, there's a duality about Casey Veggies that comes across in his music. On his latest album, there are tracks like "I'm Blessed" and "Sincerely Casey" with the former being an ode to the many people who've helped Veggies become a success and the latter being a heartfelt dedication to his mother. On the other side of the coin, tunes like "Backflip," "Tied Up" and "Aw Man" are ones that can get the crowd moving. "I think it's just about me expressing myself the way I want to," Veggies says. Never one to rest on his own laurels, Veggies remains busy. "I'm working on the new album and some new pieces from my clothing line, Peas & Carrots. Just working on creating the Casey Veggies sound."
Where you can hear him:
Where you can see him: Casey Veggies performs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.