Casey Veggies Talks New Album, Roc Nation and Being Solo

Casey Veggies’ continues to rise since signing a management deal to Roc Nation. The 19-year-old rapper released his free album, Life Changes, this week that captures his growth as a local icon, channeling his laid-back style into something fans have gravitated towards. The L.A. native possesses a newfound energy, as shown in the solid contribution from producers 1500 or Nothin’ and The Futuristiks. XXL got on the phone with Young Veggies to talk about the project, the Peas and Carrots International brand, why he chose Roc Nation, and what we can expect from him in 2013.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)

XXL: Who shot the cover art for Life Changes?

Casey Veggies: A friend of mine, Ryan Mayle, he was my photographer on tour. On the Big K.R.I.T. tour, we did “Live from the Underground.” That’s pretty much one of the main stories about the cover. During the tour, Ryan Mayle shot the photo. We were at iHop and there was a cornfield next door to the hotel in Colorado. I didn’t even really want to take the photo. I was tired. We had a show coming up; it’s like a cornfield over here. I’m like, “What? Why would I do a photoshoot in a cornfield?” before I even took the time out to really understand what a cornfield represents, the things that it connected to what I am doing and the music that I am making. It was just something that I didn’t want to do. Anwar Carrots kind of talked me into it. Ryan was talking me into it. When we ended up taking the photos, they just kind of came out distinctive, like classic to me.

The Futuristiks and 1500 or Nothin’ did the majority of the production. How did you link up with them?

Shout out to The Futuristiks. They helped me bring a lot of the music together. They brought the homie Dawaun Parker on board and he brought his artist Phil [Beaudreau], which is featured on the intro. I felt that whole section brought a whole new element to the tape. The intro just brought the tape out and really told the story that I was trying to tell. The Futuristiks played a big role. 1500 or Nothin’, they came and they played keys. None of the music is sampled. It’s all original music played by 1500 or Nothin’. “Take My Life” is original samples. Its sounds like real samples, they brought the singers in. The Futuristiks and 1500 or Nothin’ collaborated on the beats all the way. They definitely played the big brother role for me. The Futuristiks definitely saw where I was trying to take it and they really wanted to help me.

How did “She in My Car” with Dom Kennedy come together? You two have worked a lot in the past.

Yeah, we worked together a lot in the past, but we really haven’t worked together lately. Our last track, we hit people with “CDC,” which is more like a banger, straight like a rap track. I wanted to give people a song with me and Dom that was a real West Coast record that people can vibe to. I feel like both of our music represents that smooth sound. So I kind of brought it out together, recorded the song one day. I did the song by myself and hit him to get on the song probably a week before the tape dropped.