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Cover Story

Baking with Caskey

Orlando rapper cooks up a video that gets him signed to Cash Money records

Photo: Legit Looks, License: N/A

Legit Looks

Photo: , License: N/A

Caskey with the Avengerz at the "Keep It On the Low" video shoot

"I don't want everything to sound generic, like my voice is always the same on every beat, you know, so I try to really sort of just capture whatever emotion the beat pulls out," Caskey says. "You know, I never really start writing until I have a beat to write to. I just let the beat determine the emotion that's coming out of it."

Orlando fans and onlookers can catch Caskey playing his first solo Orlando show on Saturday, Dec. 1, at BackBooth, doing songs from No Complaints, and connecting, finally, with the people who he previously felt secluded from while working exclusively in the studio. He says the energy's gonna be real huge.

And, of course, you can always go the Birdman route and find him online, where he posts videos as part of his series Baking With Caskey, including behind-the-scenes footage, Q&As and his latest music videos. This channel offers an opportunity to explore how Caskey filters his personal experiences and opinions through his work. For example, the laid back subject matter of "Keep It On the Low," which follows a promiscuous neighborhood girl's infidelities, contrasts severely with the socially conscious music video for "Words," which addresses the lack of actual substance left behind go-to racial and social slurs. Much of what comes from Caskey lyrically provides commentary derived from living in the information age, where he says it's harder to remain ignorant. This leads to a lot of charged statements, like, say, in one song, where he controversially states: Fuck Obama. (Disclaimer: Caskey explains that he isn't against the President but, rather the government system that Obama stands for.) These songs strike a different sort of chord in listeners, which Caskey feels is important.

"You know, people like good music, but I think the stuff that sticks is the stuff that's thought-provoking or [where] people are like, 'Damn, I haven't heard a rapper put it like that,'" Caskey says. "I think that's why my response has kind of been like it is with all these – to me, it seems like they're just diehard fans 'cuz they are on the same page as what I'm speaking. You know, I'm not just trying to put together words that rhyme. I've got a message."

To the likely delight of anyone in this community, his message continues to be draped in Orlando swag. In his videos, you'll see Caskey sporting Orlando Magic apparel. The Amway Arena makes an appearance in "Keep It On the Low," as does iconic downtown signage and the City of Orlando Police Department. In fact, the whole video takes place in a neighborhood we've probably all driven through countless times to cut through Winter Park. For Caskey, who continues to be based out of Orlando and tied to the Maitland studio where he first cultivated the sound he's gaining fame for, it's a way of showing off the City Beautiful and, hopefully, signaling to others that this town is worth paying attention to.

"It's cool 'cuz there's a lot of talent [in Orlando], a lot of good people down here that just haven't got the shine they deserve yet, in my opinion," Caskey says.

Caskey with special guests

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1
37 W. Pine St.



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