#HumpdayHymnal: Customized Greatly Vol. 3 [Review]

Our man Law is back again with his latest review. For this week’s #HumpdayHymnal, he takes a look at 18-year-old Casey Veggies’ latest mixtape – proving that there’s a lot to be said for youthful enthusiasm.

Man oh man, it’s been a minute, let me get to it. First things first, ignore the new school at YOUR OWN peril. For a true music head you gotta keep your feet grounded in all eras and your fingers in all the pies – keeps you relevant and interesting.

No, Hip Hop is not dead – that was a concept that might have proven true before the interwebs went mainstream in Africa with its somewhat limited versions of  “unlimited bandwidth”  but yo that’s not the topic here (I know I’m jumping around like the scatterbrain I am). My point is music is everywhere and accessible and some of us spend sleepless nights searching the black hole to feed this addiction and if you have been following ODD FUTURE you should know a little something-something about Casey Veggies.

A young buck that left the Wolf Gang to pursue a solo career basically. Born in 1993 he dropped his first mixtape at 16, Customized Greatly Vol 1. Didn’t really appreciate till the second one came out; only then I learnt that the kid is from Los Angeles, Inglewood (WHOA CALI?). That’s right, the west is on a level I can’t even begin to explain right now. This mixtape might not be the next chronic or whatever and he might not have reached his full lyrical potential but the raw potential can be heard in every track, even the tracks you might skip and shrug off as being too new school. The dude got that untapped flow that even got Jay-Z flying him out from L.A to “meet” in NY… Rumours of joining ROC Nation blah blah… There has to be something here and yes there is.

‘Customized Greatly (intro) (prod. Uncle Dave)’ – A beautiful intro, beat and samples used are just amazing, so much so you’d swear Nas is about to jump on it. Casey does his thing maintaining “still shining, still growing , still customised greatly” and yes he is still growing – exponentially, I might add.

An alarm similar to the one heard on the first track after the intro on Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia tape interrupts this melody to be met with a more grimy beat by Preme Beats on a track called ‘Garden’, the sickness of the horns and a beautiful cacophony of jazzy elements that work well together have Casey Veggies riding like a headless horseman holding a mic in one hand and a saxophone in the other.

Woody produces ‘Toe Tag’, which is not very west if you know what I mean. A lot of Wolf Gang influence and killing somebody with the swag. Not my kind of track but for those that are into it, they will appreciate it.

‘Roses’ produced by Roosevelt brings me back to that amazing laidback production Casey kills so well.  “ So inspiring, like love that expired/And them drugs they acquired to fulfil certain desires/I’m rolling till the tires off, hoping I can fight it off/Scoping through an opening, trying to take it to a better spot/I’m something like, when you come from nothing with that hustling/My chick bad, ass look like muffins out the oven”

Too many tracks to go into them all but there is a lot of really good stuff here – the production is superb. Of course I have to mention the track with my girl Jhene Aiko because her voice is butter, although she just lends background vocals. Fresh Chuck came through with that beat and Casey pours his heart out.

There is a track with the Wolf Gang’ PNCINTLOFWGKTA ‘ (feat. Tyler, the Creator, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Earl) produced by Tyler himself; a confused confusing track that Tyler somehow manages to bring together. Wolf Gang does it only how they would do it! [Update: I’m beginning to feel this track… damn it!]  A track with Raheem Devaughn and a very thoughtful heartfelt last track ‘Maybe, I should Go’ produced by Fresh Chuck.

My track is ‘Nobody’ where Jhene lends a hand on the hook, produced by Kyrsshun. The homie shows that potential fire we have been talking about. The beat is just crazy but the lyrical content is murderous. This somehow has that NY state of mind feel. Hey you just have to listen. “Yo, Them same stuck up girls gone be ugly when they grow up/ I Spent 4 years grindin’ in hopes that ima blow up/ And remained humble/ get a new chain but stay with the same hustle/You say you love me but I can’t trust you, Man this game ugly/ I stayed high just tryna stay above it/I’m in the streets just tryna stay in touch with/Everything that I grew up with, That’s how I make my money / YOUNG NIGGAS ON THE RISE AND YOU CAN’T TAKE IT FROM ME/ And I put that on me, keep my circle nice and small I gotta couple homies/ That’s on my day to day, I know a lot of people but I just stay away/Cause ain’t none of them gone get me paid”  *goosebumps*

The mixtape came out just over a week ago (9th April 2012) but I had to share the resources since they are free anyway.

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