The Faces of the Teen Swag Movement

Casey-Veggies

Ronzo’s Word is a big fan of the “Teen Swag” movement.  Yes, this is a term that I came up with, but I can’t really think of a better way to describe the new young rappers rising up the ranks.  These guys are exuberant, confident, and ready to swag out all of the time.  Lifestyle raps at its finest.

Not that this is a new thing to happen to the music industry, as young artists have always pushed the creative bar and artistic movement forward.  The OG’s have consistently been trying to catch up to the flavor of the week, whether it was twenty years ago or yesterday.

But the thing is, this is our time.  I wasn’t grown enough to see a young Nas prosper with a groundbreaking lyrical masterpiece, and I especially was too young to see NWA’s brash, rebellious attitude shocking the nation.  While those experiences must have been brilliant to witness, it’s exciting to see the new waves of Hip-Hop evolution as they roll in.

Name’s like Sir Michael Rocks, Dizzy Wright, Vic Mensa, and Chance the Rapper all come to mind when trying to pinpoint this style, but don’t exclude many of these other artists following right along with them; And the best part is, all of these names listed vary in what their music sounds like, but come together through one idea: “hey we’re young, and it’s time to live it up before it’s too late”.  I say more power to them, what else are you supposed to do when you’re young and rich?

Over the next couple weeks I’ll be breaking down the previous work from all these artists, as well as what there is to look forward to in the near future!

Young Veggies

One name that stands out to me in particular is a man named Casey Veggies.  Casey is a very savvy, entertaining rapper from Inglewood, California.  Originally part of the highly eccentric OFWGKTA crew, Casey ventured off on his own path as a solo artist.  Often overlooked by casual Hip-Hop fans and radio tastemakers alike, it’s time to take a second look at this man’s music.

The collaboration Fresh Veggies was touched upon by me back in December, when I listed things I wanted to hear from the “Teen Swag” duo of Rockie Fresh and Casey Veggies.  The mixtape certainly did not disappoint, providing heavy spin records that go just as hard now as they did back when it first dropped in December.  Rockie and Casey have made excellent collaborations for years, as Rockie’s  laid-back style goes perfectly with the turn-up attitude of Casey Veggies.

2013 was a breakthrough year for Veggies.  Life Changes, a mixtape that basically was a debut album, made quite an impact.  As his style continues to change, the sound becomes more defined.  I don’t have much experience with pre-Life Changes Veggies, but his previous work on the mixtape Sleeping in Class was highly lauded among blogs and critics alike.

However, after listening to Sleeping in Class recently for the first time, it’s clear that the music is evolving at a very fast rate.  The delivery has become a little less aggressive, and the style is a little bit more about riding the beats, creating mood music.  Here’s a comparison of two songs, one from Sleeping in Class and one from Life Changes:

The thing is, this cut from Sleeping in Class is probably one of the songs that sound the most like some of his newer music.  There is a big difference, however, and you can hear it in the delivery.  His voice is powerful and spoken with a higher energy.  Almost like he’s attacking the microphone.  It’s clear that he was incredibly hungry, understandably so.  This is truly a banger, and definitely the gem of the mixtape.

Alas, it worked, and everyone across the underground Hip-Hop scene immediately took notice of the high school “Teen Swag” visionary (yeah I’m liking this term quite a bit).

“Everything Wavy” is most likely the highest energy track from Life Changes.  The looped sample, repeatable hook, and head bobbing drum beat all have significant similarities to “Ridin Roun Town”.  The difference is, as previously mentioned, mostly in the delivery.  Casey sounds comfortable with his sound over the highly sophisticated beats, there’s no denying it.  Life Changes has a significant beat quality improvement than any previous projects, from talented producers such as The Futuristiks, DJ Dahi, and Harry Fraud.  No need to attack the microphone anymore, creating the mood is most important.

Life Changes is a fantastic step in the right direction for Young Veggies, as he becomes a staple in the Hip-Hop world.  Plus, the fact that he recognizes the supreme talent of the artists around him in the same lane, and collabs with them, shows how business savvy he can be as a musician.  The rest of 2014 and beyond should be more than helpful for Casey Veggies.

-Ronzo

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Mobb Deep – Taking You Off Here

mobb deep taking you off here

New Mobb Deep album? What, what, WHAT?

Coming this April, The Infamous Mobb Deep will be a new album full of scrapped tracks, with previously unreleased verses from Nas, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon.  These 10 extra tracks were recorded during The Infamous sessions, and were not chosen to make the final cut for one of their most famous (and one of my favorite) albums.

This is all part of a 20th anniversary celebration of the original release, an extremely special treat for Mobb Deep fans everywhere.  Here’s one of the cuts from the April release, called “Taking You Off Here”.

In addition to this awesome project, Prodigy and Havoc are already on a tour that began in January.  The Infamous Mobb Deep Tour will be continuing all the way until May, so be sure to check the dates and order tickets ASAP.

mobb-deep-tour-dates-Ronzo

Dopamine Knights – Steve Smith

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Sunday Meds 2 continues to move forward, as each track gets more dope as the weeks go by.  This time around, we made a song that represents mic athleticism all wrapped up in sports metaphors.  Steve Smith is the influence, as his memorable quote to Aqib Talib, “ice up bitch”, is chanted during the hook.

Perfect timing, as the NFL Playoffs are moving along to the Conference Championships.  Unfortunately for Steve’s team, the Panthers, their special season is coming to a close after a loss to the 49ers in the Divisional Round.  Enjoy the track, regardless, because it goes in.

-Ronzo

Ronzo’s Word Update 1/4/14

Hello everyone,

I can safely say that the holidays are a great time to get real lazy for most people.  Being a victim of this myself, it’s lead to a little bit of a lack of productivity from over the past couple weeks.  However, that time has come and gone, and I’m back on track, ready to grind.

This new year should be a great one from Ronzo’s Word and the Dopamine Knights, with plenty of Hip-Hop world coverage and our own Knights updates.

The end of year 2013 articles should be out this week, so look out for those.

Keep it real, ladies and gents; and stay true to those New Year’s resolutions.

-Ronzo

Happy 2014!

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Here we are on New Year’s Day, the day infamously known for being full of long hangovers and great college football.  I’m surely enjoying it so far (even though I’m nursing a hangover), and I hope the rest of you are as well!

I got into a conversation with a friend last night, discussing the feeling of introspection that I usually get this time of year.  Thinking about the various things that happened in the past year, mixed with the expectations based around the clean slate opportunity that the new year gives you.  I think of it as almost like a soul-cleansing experience (if that makes any sense).  While I can’t say I’ll stick to a resolution I make, I can say that it’s time to make moves and create opportunities for myself, and move forward in life.  Get your hustle on, make this next year your greatest.

Anyways, here’s my favorite song from 2013.  It was a tough decision, but this Dom Kennedy track goes hard.  The perfect song for the grinding mindset.

All in all, have a great New Year’s Day, ladies and gentlemen.  All the best to you, your family, and friends.

-Ronzo

The Hiatus Post

Dopamine Knights

Hello everyone, been quite awhile since I’ve been on here.  Due to the whole Dopamine Knights movement, including the shows and the Sunday Meds 2 releases, the focus has been moved slightly.

However, what you can look forward to now is the re-emergence of Ronzo’s Word, in a whole new fashion! The site will be redesigned shortly and in the meantime, former writers including Froond and S. Dot should be making their way back as well.  Here are some of the other things you’ll be seeing this week and from now on:

Up-to-date music releases, including songs from multiple genres (R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, Electronic)

Ronzo’s Word previously lacked an even amount of different category posts.  The focus will still be on Hip-Hop of course, but attention will now be paid to the other categories just as frequently.  It is important to us to be a well-rounded news source.

-Dopamine Knights news, releases, and updates on the regular.  Ronzo’s Word is one of the first places you should check in regards to Dopamine Knights updates!

Also, feel free to submit music to Ronzo’s Word! I am always looking to support rising artists, and if I think the music is worthwhile, your name will be heavily advertised.  Join us as we continue to move towards being nationally known!

So all of you loyal fans that stuck around while there were no updates, this is for you.  We’re back, baby!

-Ronzo

Knights Update 10/18/13

Ahh feels good to be back on the grind.  Sure does.

A big thank you to everyone who made it out to The Crofoot a couple weeks ago.  The whole night was a blast, and that venue is surely quite dope.  I come bearing good news for all of you that didn’t make it out though, as we have another show coming November 23rd.  More information will be provided as the days go by, but for now, mark it on the calendar and get your ticket ASAP! The destination is Romeo, MI at the High Octane Lounge.  Hope to see you guys all there.

There are also plenty of other things currently going on at the Crunk Table, lemme break some of it down for you.

Sunday Meds 2

The fan favorite Sunday Meds is coming back for a second dose.  Expect a lot more from this one, as we’re taking it to the next level.  While still staying true to a new song release every week, videos, more shows, and fully comprehensive coverage will all take part in taking this thing to the next level.  Trust me you won’t want to miss this one.

Youtube Videos

The newest addition to our repertoire are the videos on Youtube we’ve been putting up steadily.  “Ronny P”, “Get Up”, and “Words Don’t Matter” have already been added, with many more to come.

These aren’t official music videos of course, those will also be coming shortly.

Above & Beyond, The Ronzo Show

Above & Beyond has been out for a little bit, so it should’ve already made it to your playlist by now.  But for all of you still not in the know, this project bangs.  Take another listen right here:

The Ronzo Show is coming soon (within a coupe weeks type of soon), and a single from it will be coming even sooner.  

-Ronzo