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Artist Spotlight: Cas Uno

by Travis on October 11, 2008

There have been a couple artists over the last year that I’ve somewhat “befriended” (however close folks can be through emails and over the internet) a few artists. Storm Davis happens to be one of those cats. Back in August, he sent me a bunch of CDs, stuff from him, from Poorly Drawn People, and a bunch from this collective, called Labeless Illtelligence. I’ll be the first to admit, I wasn’t up on Labeless Illtelligence, however I did recognize one of the cats from the PDP’s Shoot For The Stars, Hit The Ceiling mixtape that dropped earlier this year. Cas Uno had grabbed my attention on the couple songs he appeared on the mixtape, so I was curious to see what the dude sounded like on his own.

One thing you won’t be able to say about Cas and the rest of the Labeless Illtelligence is that they aren’t original. Cas is “true school” before the term was necessary to use. Armed with opinions galore, deep thought provoking music, that takes more than one listen to decipher, Cas Uno bringing quality music to the masses once again and has brought along friends. We talked to Cas, who drops one of the deepest spotlights that we’ve ever done….

Intox-I-Rox Solid “Stink Talk”

WYDU: What’s up Cas? Can you shed some light on who you are and a bit of history for those of us not familiar with your steez?

Cas: Peace yall, C.hris A.ndrews S.till U.nimpressed N.eeding O.riginality, emcee, C.E.O. (Crappy Exucitive Officer) of Labeless ILLtelligence, former host of Rhode Island’s longest standing and most infamous open mic showcase (Unity), opinionated loudmouth extraordinaire, extreme Hip Hop aficionado. I Reside in New Bedrock, MA, the heroin hub of the Northeast with the largest HIV per populous statistic in the nation. Rockin in a public context since 2001 when I was Multiply Complicated and we released “St.ART” to initiate our independent contribution and upholdment of Hip Hop tradition and culture. My steez is ‘ignant extra, with nathan but reality uncontrollably emanating from my essence, the other, other light meat, practitioner, participant, and preservationist. Contributed to the existence of 7 released projects, 4 of which were my own musical concoctions, and the other 3 being Vocab’s debut, AmsUno’s (of Clokworx) solo debut, and my main homepiss Esh’s recently released debut “The of an E.ccentric S.uper H.ero” on sale now where fine(r) Hip Hop music products are sold…

W: As you just mentioned and its also in your bio, you describe yourself as a “snobby Hip Hop preservationist” and a “opinionated loudmouth extraordinaire, extreme Hip Hop aficionado”, which I think is absolutely great. How important is it for an artist to be a fan as well of the culture? Why do you think a lot of cats aren’t anymore?

Cas: I don’t know, for me, IF? Hip Hop didn’t spark my interest in wanting to listen and absorb it, I’d have no real reason to want to contribute to it. I think once cats lose interest and look at Hip Hop as an escape from a 9 to 5 reality or an excuse to live a lazy, crooked, false, or otherwise negative lifestyle, they should really check themselves and realize no scapegoat could excuse such exploitation and degradation of self, especially not a musical art form. But this is why you find more people being less of a fan and more of a business plan participant. Hip Hop isn’t a cheezy scheme on “what the people want” audibly.

Also as a buyer and avid connoisseur of finer Hip Hop offerings I have the option to not support (listen to) sh!t I don’t like and support (listen to) sh!t I absolutely like. I think somewhere along the lines so-called fans and artists alike St.ARTed judging music with their eyes not their ears. IF? you’re a Hip Hop artist and don’t have the ability to distinguish authentic right now Rap from some ‘ole make you hate music sh!t then you really should go find another interest to put all of your is into. Cats is desperate for a so called “easily achievable” false version of reality I guess….

W: Everyone is claiming the “death” of hip hop. As someone who is still “attached” to the culture, what is your view on the current state of health of the culture?

Cas: Fully exploited, raped, watered down, misrepresented and yest still there are people out there who strive by any means necessary to uphold and practice Peace, Unity, Love, and Having Fun. Easy “game” to “become apart of” by way of a myspace page, cdbaby account, and your local open mic, so easy that those who abide by the true continuum of Hip Hop culture feel embarrassed of being affiliated with far too many clowns giving Rap a crack at it right quick. In a traditional sense, not passed down properly. In
a stereotypical sense, “these kids” sure do listen to some ‘ole bullsh!t nowadays. Existent in all forms, from pure to cut hard with baby powder and a 2nd grade education comprehension equivalent.

W: You hail from Massachusetts, outside of Boston. That region isn’t always well known for its hip hop scene across the rest of the nation. What was it like coming up in the region and what is it like currently?

Cas: I think Mass, more so now and the last 5 to 10 years, has been a major Hip Hop scene with decent sized name artists originating and currently residing within Mass still, UGHH.COM world headquarters is here, touring artists and major tour artists have the opportunity to rock out in 4 to 5 portions of the entire state due to regional outlets and interest plus we border other states with cities that get fed from the same tour tree, major indy powerhouses EMERGEd from here.

I gotta disagree homeboy, Mass been on the map before it been on the map. Rhode Island, being so small of a state, might as well be apart of Mass’ contribution, and RI gets it in too! I think personally I’m still struggling right now to “come up” in this region and back when I first St.ARTed to struggle to “come up” in the region it didn’t suck nearly as bad as it does now to struggle to “come up” in this region….

W: As an artist, you offer a lot of support locally and regionally to the scene, that’s evident in your blog, site, and myspace page. Why is that an important thing to do for you?

Cas: Because I live here (mostly) and when a certain standard or angle of existence isn’t accounted for, someone HAS TO account for it on some pide pipe the rest of the same type of preservationists, participants, and practitioners into a publicly recognized part of the population. People usually get stuck on recognizing Rap’s regions of prominence (and existence period) that we often forget within those regions there’s different levels of understanding and practice. Without that, we’d all shop at WalMart instead of Mom & Pop shops and indy chain stores alike. It’s the true and living as opposed to the unrecognized. General populous verses the true underground society, quality control. Make sure those who we recognize are deserving of attention in certain capacities get the opportunity to be recognized on a larger scale than around town. Because we actual enjoy, like, and support unconditionally those we make mention of. No politics attached. Pride, yo, hometown (regional) pride, like most cats…

W: Labeless Illtelligence is the crew you run with, can you go into depth about the what, when, and who’s involved with the movement?

2001 Multiple Complications “St.ART” CD

2002 Vocab “On The Rock” CD

2003 Labeless ILLtelligence CD Sampler “Priveledged Promotional Can’s Have Its” (official inception of the more reknown Labeless, Missing Ellaments, AmsUno, DJ Orator, Gibran, DJ A Tom Called Cooney, Vocab, Esh, Rock Solid, D Mott, myself, some other cast when they felt like being down by law….

2004 CasUno “The Art of Pissing People Off!!!” featured vocal stylings and production from a culmination of local celebs including Joe Beats (from NonProphets), DJ Mekalek (Time Machine), Shawn Jackson, Romen Rok, etc…

2005 AmsUno 7 inch vinyl single

2005 AmsUno “The Day of Devotion” CD

2006 The IF? “Promotional Left Hand Daps” CD

2008 Intox-I-Rox Solid “Stink Talk” free digital d/l

2008 Esh “The of an E.ccentric S.uper H.ero” CD

…Through and through, the team known as Labeless Illtelligence has changed faces and roles so many times. Lately it’s like Esh, DJ AlBums, and myself. There’s been some recent interest from aforementioned parties to possibly get down again, but we’ll see. Life isn’t always a box of chocolates, sometimes it’s a flaming hot bag of sh!t on ya doorstep…

W: If only Forrest Gump would have said that instead…As you noted, you’ve dropped several projects yourself, from “The Art of Pissing People Off”, to a part of the IF?, can you touch on some of the projects you’ve been involved in?

Cas: MCN “St.ART”, initial yump off, allowed we to present an audio business card for the initial inception of what was to become Labeless (for money sometimes). “The Art of Pissing People Off!!!” my restless solo release that had to be recorded twice due to some unforeseen circumstances (which in turn burned away time allotted to attempt to bring forth our musical standpoint and position assertion). The IF? “Promotional left Hand Daps”, the highly anticipated, slept on stylings of Gibran and myself (finally). Intox-I-Rox Solid “Stink Talk”, my tribute to get trashish’ed in D flat. Some cameos and collabs with much, many a person that never got to exist publicly (hint, hint, will they ever be? mwahahaha). Guest shots on my Peoples Poorly Drawn promo projects, my Canadian peoples Hand’Solo’s compilations, former Single Minded Pros the Hylandaz “mixtape” joints. My man Intrikit’s new free download project “Concepts”. I appeared on Esh and AmsUno’s projects and co-executive produced all Labeless projects….

W: How would you explain your sound and style to someone who has never heard you before?

Cas: I always tell cats they don’t wanna hear my sh!t but for the sake of actually answering your question I’d say progressive B Boy intellectual stimulation (pause) with a bitter twist of angst and aggravation. Wordy not nerdy. Over your head and a spot on representation of I.

W: On the Labeless myspace page, you dropped a free album with Rock Solid. What is the deal with that project?

It’s my personal tribute to gettin Crunky Brewster with it, intoxicant style. I just took the many discs my man Rock gave me from like 1999 to 2006, picked out what caught my ear, wrote and recorded over the exact sequences that were presented on said discs, packaged it up (thanks to Storm Davis with the cover art styles), and laced heads for free. I recorded the whole thing around a month before I got married so I’d keep busy (musically) and not get overwhelmed by the whole getting married thing. Therapy IF? you will, whilst trashed….

W: As mentioned, you released it for free, an increasingly common practice. How do you view the changes that are happening in hip hop as far as promotion, sales, and just how music is released in general?

Cas: Sh!t makes it hard to exist on some deserving context ish. Anyone and everyone gives away free music to the point of over saturation. Cats is overpopulating the kiddie pool and sh!t. There were points in time when stripes and shines hadda be earned. Free digital music takes the feeling special out of gettin’ blessed. To be honest, we just release our ish the best way how not abiding by what’s socially right or wrong (thus Labeless), so my opinion is nill on the subject as I don’t practice common forms of unnecessary marketing, promotion, sales methodology, and releasing music. The vinyl single consumer is dead and what’s consider an actual “single” nowadays is nothing more than a youtube video, free d/l song, and wording for promotions. Standards have been redefined yet, I could give a sh!t cause abiding by standards is for those who don’t think outside the box. Good music will exist in the context it exists within and gets to those who desire it by any means appropriate, feel me?

W: What is on the future horizon for CasUno and the Labeless Illtellegence?

Cas: Who knows. Being so minuscule-indy, running off a bunch of sh!t that might or might not happen is foolish. There ARE things in the works as well as the constant question of what’s officially gonna happen next. Interested parties shall just wait and see (IF? they are truly interested). Stay tuned. We’d love to continue to venture out and about to showcase our live stylings for all those who wish to take a chance on actually being entertained. Hopefully a tradition of stellar music released, rightfully recognized or not.

W: Any words for the future CasUno/Labeless Illtellegence fans out there?

Cas: We do solemnly swear to uphold and contribute only quality representations of our now skool Hip Hop interpretation. We hope to live up to our music truly being the best sh!t you never heard. Buy Esh’s recently released debut project, and IF? you dig on that, go back and buy something else Labeless or gain an interest in our future offerings. Or don’t. What we have to offer is what we would want to be offered.

Downlaod Intox-I-Rox “Stink Talk”
IF? ya tired of music that lacks substance, enthusiasm, tradition, and pride. Check for we. It might be exactly what you been missing. 30s not the new 20, it’s 30!!! Grow the f*ck up!

W: Thanks for your time!

Thank you for the opportUNITY yo, check and keep hope having alive….Peace and respect…

CasUno’s Top Ten Hip Hop Albums Ever (In no particular order)
1. Biz Markie “Goin’ Off”
2. Show & AG “GoodFellas”
3. BeatNuts “Street Level”
4. De La Soul “Buhloone Mind State”
5. Pete Rock & CL Smooth “Mecca & The Soul Brother”
6. Public Enemy “It Takes A Nation of Millions…”
7. Kurious A Constipated Monkey
8. Black MoonEnta Da Stage
9. Run D
“Run DMC”
10. Company Flow “FunCrusher Plus”

Honorable Mention:
Souls Of Mischief “93 ‘Til Infinity”
Black Sheep “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”

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