John Owens, East Oakland, California, USA. This USA-based rapper made his name in the mid-90s as a specialist in old school lyrical battles. Casual was the latest product of Del Tha Funkee Homosapiens Hieroglyphics enclave, alongside Souls Of Mischief. He retained that spirit of combative rhyming that Hieroglyphics have done much to reinstate: I think that MCing should be a competitive thing, almost like a sport. The only way an MC can keep polishing and sharpening his skills is to test them against the competition and the up and coming young bloods. Likewise, there was plenty of old school braggadocio, tempered by an occasional foray into more serious matters (Chained Minds and Loose In The End being good examples from his 1994 debut, Fear Itself). The musical backing was the province of jazz funk breaks from Roy Ayers and others. Casual has continued to work with the Hieroglyphics while also releasing the occasional solo cassette on the crews Hiero Imperium label. His comeback album proper, He Think He Raw, was released in 2001.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.