Artist: Casey Veggies
Album: Sleeping In Class Deluxe Edition
Label: Peas & Carrots
The world came to know Caesy Veggies as an Odd Future associate-he was a frequent collaborator on their pre fame albums and just short of being a member. Think of Cappadona and the Wu-Tang Clan. So when OF blew up he caught a ton of collateral shine. The weird thing is, this was simultaneously the worst and best thing to ever happen to him. While he now has the attention of the blogs and music magazines he bears the misfortune of constantly being compared and contrasted with his homeboys in Odd Future who happen to count two of the most dynamic personalities in rap amongst their ranks. This puts Casey in the position of being Screech to OF’s collective Zack Morris. Yeah, if Screech doesn’t hang out with Zack he never gets involved in any crazy adventures. But, at the same time Screech never gets cock blocked constantly because any chick who might give it up is so immediately blinded by Zack’s pretty boy swag they never notice Screech’s nerdy attributes.
Casey isn’t a nerd, nor is he a bad rapper. He’s also not an Odd Future clone While you’ll be tempted to approach Sleeping In Class expecting the “f*ck everything” snarl of those dudes Casey brings a much more conventional flow and attitude to his work. He works clever turns of phrase, setting up decent punch lines and flowing with a decent amount of energy. On “Get Through” Veggies hits you with lines like “My motto full throttle I’m Picasso with the pen, my dreams 3D and I don’t think they ever end” and “I ball like Chris Paul, the shit he did in high school was so damn raw”. On a basic level both of those lines are “good”, they have an internal rhyme scheme along with end rhymes, but, a the same time they come across really rap by numbers in a post Wayne and Fabolous world. For a dude who’s so young it’s impressive to see that he’s already got the tropes of pop rap under raps. You can imagine what he’s going to be able to flip lines like that into given two or three more years to work on his style.
On “DTA” featuring Tyler, The Creator shows up for a guest appearance and demonstrates the differing styles the two dudes use to approach rap. On this song Casey hits us with lines like “They all up in my face when I walk up in the function, them girls wasn’t dancing now they all jumpin”. It’s a great showcase of the airy, lighthearted sort of swag rap that Casey is coming up with right now. The type of shit a young LL Cool J might’ve dropped if he was a 90’s baby. Tyler on the other hand comes through with an odd tale of punching nuns and offending lesbians “Oh, you’re a lesbian, so, I’m guessing you don’t really like to put your trust in men/ Who do I trust? Ummm, heroin addicts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yeah I can count on them…”. The effect of the two of them on the same track kinda gives you a chance to see what a LL Cool J ft Bushwick Bill collabo might’ve sounded like. Oddly enough it’s pretty good.
The strong point of the album though has to be the production, with more than a few songs on here that go pretty hard. “30,000” has heavy drums and an alien sounding synth line that sounds like a spaceship’s theft deterrence alarm. “Ridin Round Town” has a string section sample and bounce that reminds you of Lupe’s “Kick, Push”. With a slightly different chain of events this song could’ve been a chill jam for summer cruising. “Go Ahead” bumps in a way that’s perfect for about 12PM at a club, right around the point where people actually start to show up and DJs begin to transition from standing behind the decks text messaging to actually mixing songs.
Sleeping In Class serves as a serviceable album for a younger dude like Casey to get his name out into the world. He’s been grinding super hard since he hit the spotlight to carve his own lane and you have to appreciate that. You can’t help but wish that he would move into showing some more individuality in his work, but, listening to Sleeping In Class you get the feeling that’ll come with time. If he borrowed a lil bit from his Odd Future brothers and let his freak flag fly just a little bit he could be an interesting pop rapper considering his on point ear for beats and work ethic. While there is room for improvement, the young rapper seems to have already accomplished creating a core fan base. One of the the key first steps towards developing a long term career. Sleeping In Class may not be Casey’s defining moment, but it could be a key character builder leading up to that moment.