Nearly 20 years after his classic debut album Fear Itself, Hieroglyphics emcee Casual is a certified Bay Area hip-hop legend. Now, he’s joining forces with veteran beatsmith J Rawls (producer for Black Star, J-Live, Stalley, Count Bass D, John Robinson, and more) for a brand new album, Respect Game Or Expect Flames. The project will be released physically and digitally on August 28th via Nature Sounds.
Both Rawls and Casual agree that the album came about organically. “He had a lot of beats that moved my pen,” explains Casual. “We worked on a couple tracks together and decided that our chemistry warranted an album’s worth of material.” On the production, J Rawls wasn’t afraid to test his limits. “I changed my style a lot for this album,” he says. “I’m known for having a jazzy sound, but some of these tracks are more edgy. It fits Casual’s style and attitude.” The result is an album that stands out in Casual’s already impressive catalog. “This project is different because of the production. J gave me a more universal sound than I’ve had on any of my past albums,” says Casual. “I think it’s my best work to date,” adds Rawls.
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