Labor day weekend marked the 3rd annual Hieroday festival in Oakland, California. A free festival put on by the Hieroglyphics crew and a recognized holiday in the city. With 28 performers taking 3 different stages over the course of 6 hours, there was a variety of artists ranging from veterans in the game to the industries rising stars. And after his crowd moving set in the east bay, I had the opportunity to catch up with rising star, Casey Veggies. We talked about his decision to leave Odd Future after being a founding member, working with artists like YG and Juicy J, and where he feels his debut album stands in comparison to Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. Check out what he had to say in the interview below.How does it feel to be performing here at Hieroday alongside the Hieroglyphics, a crew that’s been making waves in the game for over 2 decades?
Casey Veggies: It’s a legendary feeling. IamSu! Called me one day to come perform out here, and once he told me I was honored. I was like, you know what it’s a great look to come out here and perform for the city you know what I’m sayin’, and give back to the community and just really get my name out there in Oakland. It’s an honor.As one of the founding members of Odd Future you contributed to their first project, The Odd Future Mix Tape, but after its release you branched off from the group stating that you had a different vision for your own rap career. You’ve found a lot of success recently; do you feel like you’ve found more success going the solo rout? Or would you have found more success in staying with Odd Future?
Casey Veggies: I think it would have been real mutual you know? It all depends, I think either way I would have been good.Your mix tape Sleeping In Class came out in 2010 and is credited as being you break out success, what do you think attributed to that success?
Casey Veggies: I think it was just great timing and I think the music was really ahead of its time. It really spoke for my generation you know what I’m sayin’. And I always try to speak for the youth and for the young kids of high school growing up with dreams and I think I just spoke for my culture, I spoke for everybody that related to how I was feelin’.You inked a deal with Sylvia Rhone and her label Vested In Culture, she’s aided in the careers of Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder, Missy Elliott, and Fabulous. How do you see her fitting in with Casey Veggies and building your career?
Casey Veggies: I think she’s definitely trying to make me a super star. I’m a few hit songs away from making it all the way official. So I’m just trying to make sure I make the records in order to meet the expectations of the industry, but still stay loyal to my fan base you know what I’m sayin’, and never change my sound and my direction. So I think it’s a great look for me and you never know what’s gonna come from it.You’re currently working on your major label debut. I know you’re working on a few tracks with Hit-Boy, how did that come about?
Casey Veggies: Oh man, me and Hit-Boy have been friends for a long time. He produced a song for me about three years ago on the Sleeping In Class Deluxe Addition and we recorded the song in his bedroom. We’ve been working since he was livin’ in like 510 and so just to see his success and to see how far I’m going It’s only right that we be working together on my debut album. You know we got some songs together definitely. It’s gonna be interesting.Is he producing the whole album?
Casey Veggies: No not the whole album, but he’s definitely working with me on the album though.What’s the difference you’ve seen so far recording independently as apposed to recording a project with a major?
Casey Veggies: It’s definitely a different mindset but you gotta keep the same mindset, keep the same grind. You know, don’t let it change you.You’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with artist like YG, Earl Sweatshirt, and Juicy J. What kind of collaborations can we expect on your debut project?
Casey Veggies: I’m keeping this a surprise but they all gonna make since, and they all gonna be dope you know what I’m sayin’. I got some dope records on the album, and it’s a real inspirational album. That’s all I can really say about it.Any tracks in particular you’re excited about?
Casey Veggies: I’m excited about the whole thing. As a body of work I’m excited about the whole thing.In an interview with XXL you said you were hoping to put out your debut project by the age of 20 like NAS did, but you went on to say you were ok being past 20 because Jay Z didn’t put out his debut project until 26. That being said, where does your debut project stand in comparison to Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt?
Casey Veggies: I mean, I think I’m right there in the middle man. I’m like a rare case you know what I’m sayin’, I’m Casey Veggies. I’m the first Casey Veggies ever that’s how I feel right now so I gotta create my own history. So that’s what I’m about to do, I’m gonna create my own history.That being said, where is Casey Veggies one year from now?
Casey Veggies: He’s ten steps ahead. He’s gonna be somewhere further than where he is now for sure.If you could talk to yourself at ten years old, what’s the one piece of advice you would give yourself?
Casey Veggies: Know what you love early. You know find what you love to do early and just focus on that and grind hard, and then by the time you’re eighteen you’ll already be ahead of the game.
Keep up with Casey on Twitter at: @CaseyVeggies