Building off the success of last spring’s “Customized Greatly Vol. 3,” West Coast emcee Casey Veggies returned to the forefront of the hip-hop scene by dropping his latest project, “Life Changes,” last week. The mixtape is slightly shorter than Veggies’ last, with 13 tracks that stress quality over quantity. True to his previous material, the Cali rapper does most of the heavy lyrical work on “Life Changes,” relying primarily on R&B singers for his features. Dom Kennedy is the only rapper, other than Veggies, to drop bars on any of the beats found on this mixtape.
Casey utilizes smart production on ‘Changes’ by teaming up with producers that fit his style and flow like a new Fendi belt. The Futuristiks and 1500 or Nothin combine and supply five of the 13 beats found on the mixtape. The Futuristiks produced the openet and title track of “Life Changes” in conjunction with Dawuan Parker. The track has a smooth and laid back feel that is amplified in the chorus by the whimsical crooning of Phil Beaudreas. Once the beat drops, Veggies spits his lines with an earnestness that tells the listener that the Inglewood artist is confident that this will be his breakthrough project. “This gon’ change everything, like a child, a funeral or a wedding ring.”
The third track, «Young Winners” produced by Dynamic Duo, turns the energy of the tape up several notches with Veggies rhyming over piano and string samples. The track is a celebratory romp primarily about Casey’s upcoming success. He chants on the hook: “I’m poppin’, we on, she playin’ my song, I’m rightin’ my wrongs, it took me so long,” DJ Dahi continues his streak of quality beats by facilitating the Casey Veggies and Dom Kennedy’s joint track, “She in My Car” that follows “Young Winners.”
The highlight of ‘Life Changes’ is undoubtedly “Life$tyle,” a Cardiak-produced beat that fits Casey’s rap niche like a silk glove. Veggies brings his A-game on the five-star production with lyrics that pay homage to the luxury his rap career has bought him.
The middle of the tape rolls out Casey’s most party-friendly tracks. These include beats like ‘The Team,’ “Whip It” and “Everything Wavy,” a substance-induced, materialistic anthem produced by the aptly named “Price Tag.” That’s not to say there still aren’t artistic moments on the second half of “Life Changes” that represent a break from the rap norm on Casey’s part. These include tracks like the seven minute, two-part beat produced by Rahki titled, “Love = Hate, Ulterior Motives.” The first half is held down by Veggies while BJ the Chicago Kid lends his vocal talents for the second half of the song, titled “Ulterior Motives.”
«Changes” certainly has its shortcomings. The Harry Fraud beat is ruined by a cringe-worthy chorus sung by Casey Veggies and other tracks like “My Vision” and “Faces” are more than a little lackluster. However, Veggies clenches the tape with two characteristic beats from 1500 or Nothin that feature some of his most authentic lyrical content on the whole project. Overall, “Life Changes’”earns three out of five stars.
Photo courtesy datpiff.com