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"Golden: Good as Golden"

Golden: Good as Golden
by Toki Wright

In a city oversaturated with fly-by-night rappers you really have to find a way to stand out. Everyone has access to a computer, knows someone with an MPC (or Playstation), and you could probably get a show on any night of the week even if you just started rapping last Thursday.

He’s down with the Black Eyed Peas. He emcees and sings. He’s from Pennsylvania. He’s white. I’m sure by now you’ve concocted all sorts of assumptions in your head about Golden. He must be an underground backpack rapper. He must want to be like (fill in white rapper’s name here) when he grows up. The former S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. front man returns with a new and improved project, live stage show and all around hustle. Throw all of your assumptions to the side. The first thing that Casey Golden will tell you is that “It
Ain’t Me.”

I sat down with Golden on a late September afternoon to discuss his new frame of mind and the direction of the new 12” "It Ain’t Me/Keep It Jumpin.”

PULSE: Golden has multiple meanings. Where does your name come from?

Casey Golden: It’s my birth name. Golden is my last name. Casey Golden.

PULSE: What do you think is the biggest misconception about Golden?

CG: I think the biggest misconception is that I’m “high-post” and that I don’t involve myself in this community. The other is that I don’t fit into the box of underground hip-hop in Minneapolis by being considered too pop or too commercial.

PULSE: Of all your new material what do you believe is your most standout song?

CG: Probably “Falling” or “It Ain’t Me.” “It Ain’t Me” has good timing and it gets the inevitable comparison to other white rappers [over with] right off the bat. “Falling” is probably my most well-written song front-to-back. It’s real personal and I think it says a lot about how I feel from my worldview and interpersonal relations to how we deal with one another. It’s a song about how everybody is at the top and everybody falls sometimes.


PULSE: Who all was involved in making this project?

CG: This record was produced by Printz Board who does the music direction for Black Eyed Peas, has produced for Busta Rhymes, Macy Gray and Tre from Pharcyde. All the members of the Peas played an instrument on this record at some point. Dylan Dresdow and Tony Maserati engineered the record. Oasis Mastering. DJ Squeeze is on the cuts.

PULSE: This 12” has standout material. How does this project differ from your others?

CG: The only other project has been S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. records. It’s a lot less moody. Jay (Jayechs) would be the first to tell you that. The 2004 Local Mixtape was just some verses over jacked beats.

PULSE: What do you think this project contributes to hip-hop, especially to the local scene?

CG: In general, I think it contributes 1,000 more pieces of vinyl and 1,000 more pieces of paper that need to be recycled [laughter]. Locally it means every DJ gets two free records if they come up and talk to me. You ever see “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?” I’m Wyld Stallion [more laughter].

PULSE: A lot of local stars seem to be hitting the road lately. Do you have any tour plans?

CG: Yes. Plan A will be to go all over the country and hit different college radio markets. Right now I’m looking at Boston down to Atlanta as opposed to spot dates in the Midwest.

After the interview Golden steps out of the room just as he stepped in. It seems that he is a man on a mission to make major things happen with this album. Golden also adds his name to a short list of locally based emcees to have released vinyl. His time away from the local spotlight has helped him to restructure his craft and hit the pavement hard with a brand of hip-hop that is rarely seen around these parts: hip-hop music that is tolerable to the pop consumer. The best part is that he has no shame in saying that some of his music has a pop feel.

Oftentimes, you find local artists are still trying to prove themselves and “keep it real.” What Golden is saying is that this is “real.” There is nothing wrong with living outside of the parameters set up by the local or regional style. Yes, he makes catchy hip-hop. Yes he’s down with the Black Eyed Peas no matter what anybody thinks about them. Yes he’s down with underground music. Now that he’s got that out of the way he wants you to know that whatever false impression you had of him before, “It Ain’t Me.”

For more info on Golden, check out
- Pulse

"Golden Path"

Golden Path
By Emily Legener

Born in Reading Pennsylvania, home of the Monopoly famed Reading Railroad; Stuart “Casey” Golden once watched Lancaster television with the aspirations to becoming a weatherman. Coming from a musical family, he soon realized that high and low pressure systems could not sway him the way that the beat does. As a youth in the Murder Capital, he was often threatened for being a white artist practicing what has been known as a predominantly black expression. Rather than shrinking under the pressure to be accepted, he developed his lyrical wordplay. He learned to treat raps like music rather than words, allowing him to cross musical boundaries and erase the gradients of color. While attending middle school he met Jayechs, and in 1993, the duo S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S was born.

Three years later, Golden moved to the Twin Cities to play basketball for and graduate from Macalister College. Jayechs joined him in 1999, and S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S was reunited with the addition of DJ Squeeze. Now a trio, this Souls of Life collective crashed into an atmosphere that was no longer defined by race, but rather seemed to deny it. “People forget that race is an issue, and Minnesota seems to have a less divisive view of race altogether”, Golden states candidly. “Class and Race are not the same. You can wash class distinctions away, but ethnicity remains.” Welcome to the Twin Cities, where love it or hate it, white people appreciate hip hop and rappers listen to MPR.

When “Delusions of Grandeur” was released in 2001, the album was at the top of everyone's list. It was during this time that Golden met his Prince. Although he has balled on the courts made infamous by Dave Chappelle, I am not speaking of the doe eyed Midwest prodigy. In the winter of 2002, S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S was slated to open for The Black Eyed Peas at Golden's own Alma Matter. It was during this performance that The BEP's musical director, Printz Board (who has worked with heavy hitters Dr. Dre, Nikka Costa, Macy Grey, Busta Rhymes, and Xzibit) saw the “raw talent” and subsequent “star quality” in the blue eyed Golden boy. As quickly as they had risen, S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S had disbanded. Silent Suspicions were confirmed by a mournful obituary courtesy of the City Pages.

Recording began on Golden's solo debut in 2003, and one year later, he was signed to a production deal with Printz's label; Beets and Produce Inc. Golden has been solo for nearly three years, and feels that his show now is what S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S could have been.


Jayechs joins him onstage as a charismatic hype man, and Squeeze mans the wheels. Once wide eyed and anxious, Golden is as confident in what he has to say as he is comfortable with what he can say and the way in which he says it. “You have to get them to nod their head before they will ever listen to your lyrics” he says, a lesson learned through battle. He knows now that if he feels it, his audience will as well.

“It's difficult being independent, because it's hard to get people to listen to what you have to say unless you beat them over the head with it the way that MTV or Clear Channel does. Turn off your radio and start supporting real people!” challenges Golden, all the while thankful for his rotation on the beat of the Twin Cities, B96. This is where Golden shines amongst his contemporaries. He admits that the scene has a lot to do with his sound, but recognizes that he doesn't sound “like the scene”. His beats don't bang at 98BPM and B96 loves him, yet he stays on his grind and garners the respect of his peers. Golden walks the line and bridges the gap simultaneously.

On his first single, “Its Not Me”, Golden approaches preconceived notions and dismisses them with his craft, playful lyrics working towards a memorable hook punctuated with a striking flow. This truly “ain't no Slim Shady shit”. The catchy up tempo track is a sunny day cruise around the lakes dismissing comparisons predominant amongst white rappers and shouting out local hustlers. For those of you that prefer to stand in the back of the club head bobbing, he offers up “The Picture”. In this throwback to the moody east coast sound, subtle piano and violin cuts hint at WuTang sensibilities, and made me miss my Wallabees.

East coast swagger meets west coast influence and finds a home in the Midwest, and Golden MC is the conduit. Genuine and intelligent, as an artist he truly claims his craft and appreciates those with the same drive and diligent work ethic. He recognizes that “the local scene needs some work”, and that many have come to feel that “local hip hop is like high school”, but he has respect for “anyone that can see past that”. Golden understands the struggle and speaks thoughtfully on the subject, at times lamenting the thoughtlessness of others. “If you only thought / right before you talked / then we wouldn't have to go / through all the bullshit” he announces before holding it down for Nagasaki. On A Typical Saturday Night, he explains the process as such: “I fight the urge / to commit words / to the beat before I feel it in my nerve”. Perhaps if others would follow in his example, we wouldn't have to turn our radio off.
- Industry Minnezine and

"Golden, It Ain't Me"

It Ain’t Me
(Beets and Produce)

Golden’s humorous chorus lists all the people who he’s not: “I’m not Pete Nice, MC Serch or Mike D. MCA or Ad Rock from the Beasties.” Not to Worry Golden, with a fat bumping track by Printz Board and cuts by DJ Squeeze, you won’t be mistaken for fellow Twin Cities rapper Slug forever. Comes complete with instrumental and bonus tracks.

steve "flash" juon

""Peddling Medicine" Album Review"


Holy crap, this dudes from Reading, PA! Its Golden, and hes a hip-hop artist whos got a flow that sounds as sweet as anyone coming out of Chicago right now. (Like Kanye West, for one). Its a solid style that doesnt break, skip, or stutter like some of the other local PA rappers.

His newest record, Peddling Medicine, is a solid hip-hop record with super-sweet samples and Goldens unique style.
Goldens definitely got his own thing going and, with features from Fergie and Farenheit and
Sy Smith, hes got a foot in the door of the industry as well.

If you havent heard of Golden, thats a shame, I have a feeling youll be hearing about him very soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars - Pulse Magazine March 21, 2007

"The Furure Looks Golden"

Tunde Abe vs. Golden I
It's rare in today’s hip-hop world to find guys who are just trying to get their message out
minus jewels and a giimmick. Pennsylvania transplant Golden is trying to change all that
with simple messages about complicated things. He took some time in the comfortable B
room of A440 Studios to talk about growing up, the Minneapolis hip-hop scene, and what
it's been like to open for some of the music industry biggest stars.

Tunde Abe: First things first: When is that single that I help produce going to drop?

Golden: (Laughing) I’m working on it. It will probably come out on a mixtape or web exclusive. There is a bunch of places where the sh*t can go. You tryin to big up your production ability and sh*t?

Tunde Abe: That's right man! That's right. You know me!
Tunde Abe: I know that you're originally not from here. Can you talk about where you came
from, and how that changed you?

Golden: Yeah, I came from Reading, Pennsylvania, which is a small city. You know, 80 thousand people, and it's 45 to 50 miles west of Philadelphia. It's a real urban city, kind like a model of urban decay, like if you took a shitty part of Brooklyn, and put it in the middle of
Pennsylvania. It was cool though, I didn’t grow up in the hood, I grew up in a nice part of town, but a lot of my homies grew up in the hood. How it shaped me is kind of twofold:
Driving with my white friends from the good side of town, when you get pulled over, you get let go. When you walk through a store, you don’t get eyeballed. But with my other homies, when you get pulled over, everyone gets ripped out of the car and searched. Know what I’m sayin? Or security comes up to you in the mall. I was in this group called S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S and security comes up eyeing us, while were looking for a register to pay for sh*t, and they
pulled us over and accused us of stealing, and that how we got the name S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. I got this weird insight into how it worked and why it worked, and being like this is f**ked up, and I see it from both angles so why can’t I change the system from within the system?
Then I started to write aboutit.

Tunde Abe: When did you start rapping?

Golden: I started rappin with my boys from Lank (Lancaster) and Reading when I was 13. It was like this Bell, Biv, DeVoe and Easy-E type of thing, it was weird. I was listening to Kool Mo Dee, but I was also listening to Hall and Oates.

Tunde Abe: That's a wide range.

Golden: Yeah, and Pearl Jam, and Guns & Roses, and LL Cool J, and N.W.A. Know what I mean?

Tunde Abe: How did you get to Minneapolis?

Golden: I wanted to go to two schools: Ithaca because that where my brother was and because I could play baseball there, and then I wanted to go to Macalester just because it was way the f**k away from where I’m from, and also because I could play basketball there.
I was recruited to basketball there (Macalester), and it was dope. The Cites were dope, and it was far away from the East Coast. So I came here to play basketball, but then I had
reconstructive wrist surgery. I convinced my man J, who I was in a group with, to come out here, and he came out. I am thankful for an opportunity to get on stage here and develop. My group, S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S, released a couple of albums that did well, but outside influences and problems made me feel like I had to do my own thing.

Tunde Abe: How did you hook up with Printz from the Black Eyed Peas?

Golden: We (S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S) opened up for them at Macalester, and they were mad cool; they were laid back. It was after their first album when they were doing "Joints and Jams,"
and they were performing in front of 300 college kids, but they killed it. We had a party at my house later that night, and they (Black Eyed Peas) all came and kicked it. But who I really linked up with were the musicians: George and Printz. I got their numbers, and Printz would keep in touch with me everytime he would be in town—basically, I think, for me to set him up with some girls—but I would show up and want to work on music. Eventually I got
his ear, but then he left the Peas to play with Nikka Costa. He came back on the Nikka Costa, Saul Williams, and Blackalious tour, and we cut a song in the kitchen of the Quest. A
month later, I was done with S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S, and Printz said that I could come out to LA and work with him. So he flew me out to LA, we cut a couple of tracks, and he signed me to his production company.

Tunde Abe: Let's talk about the Minneapolis hip-hop scene. Do you like it, or is it kind of like "whatever" to you?

Golden: No, I like it a lot. There was a time when I would have said "no," because I felt like it was all carbon copies of what the Rhymesayers were doing. Now, the Rhymesayers are dope—don’t get me wrong,--but when you got 10-12 dudes that are dope, and, since 8 Mile, 950 other dudes trying to sound like these dudes, there's a lot of bad music being made. But there's a buzz about this place. You have other people doing their own thing now, and it’s great.

Tunde Abe: What do you think of hip hop nationally?

Golden: It seems to be about movements nowadays. Quote, unquote New York is dead. Know what I'm sayin?

Tunde Abe: But it kind of is.

Golden: I mean I'm just sayin quote, unquote New York is dead. Then the West Coast had it. Boom! Atlanta had it, then chopped and screwed. Houston had it, then Hyphy. Now the sh*t poppin in Baltimore coming up. We need to make a movement here in Minneapolis, like a certified movement. Know what I'm sayin? And I think it can happen. Nationally, I think there is a ton of ill stuff out there, but I don't think there is any balance. It's not like people aren't making great music; what sells records and what the industry is set to push is what is makes money, and until that changes, they are not going to take a chance on anything else. So rather than having it be represented on the radio; rather than having your gangsta rap mixed with your concious rap, mixed with your dance rap, mixed with your
political rap and your backpack rap, you only have one, two things. The music is out there, the communities are out there. But what is being pushed on a mass, MTV, Viacom, Clear Channel level is just not balanced. I feel like it could be, but it's going to take somebody who
packages their real-*ss message in some glossy-*ss shit, and gets in there and kind of fools

Tunde Abe: Talk about opening up for the likes of Mary J Blige, Ne-Yo, and the Sean Paul in Chicago.

Golden: That sh*t was crazy! Truthfully, that sh*t was crazy! The stage was bigger than anything I've seen. First of all it's in Chicago, there's 10 million people in the area of Chicago, it's in this soccer stadium that was just built, with a stage that is four times bigger than the one at First Avenue. I'm looking at it like "how the f**k are we going to cover all this ground?" Me a hype dude, and a DJ? We were like ants; it was just crazy. It was cool: We opened up when there were 5,000 people there in the beginning, but later on in the evening, it was crazy. You had Bow Wow come out and do his thing, the Dem Franchise Boys came out, then 30,000 people in the stands are doing "lean wit it/rock wit it," all at the same time. It was a crazy thing to see. But out of all of those artist, guys like Sean Paul (I'm boys with
his hype man Fahrenheit), are cool, down-to-earth people. Ne-Yo is a cool cat, and Mary J —obviously you can't get to her. She comes off stage, puts on her bathrobe, and goes straight to her tour bus. There is no access. But it is crazy, it's crazy to see, you see artists like T-Pain or whatever on (Laughing) MTV doing his f**king dance and kind of looking ridiculous in the back just like you would at any Minneapolis show, because he not up in the upper-echelon with all of these mothaf**kers. It's the same thing, but it's just eighty times bigger, and there's a ton of suits around all the time. In the end, it's all the same: Instead of me giving pounds to the Guardians of Balance and Dessa, it Rihanna giving pounds to Sean Paul and sayin what's up to Ne-Yo. But it's all the same thing; they're all trying to make a dollar.

Tunde Abe: They got plenty of it.

Golden: You would think. But unless you're selling a million records, you're not making any money on a major.

Tunde Abe: Talk about artists that helped you become who you are today.

Golden: Outkast, and Goodie Mob—particularly Cee-Lo—music-wise.
Tunde Abe: Why is that?

Golden: Cause, even in Goodie Mob—now he's in Gnarls Barkley and it's evident what he does—but, even in Goodie Mob, he found a way to inject this constant soulful presence and
intelligence into everything they did, but package it in a way that mothaf**kers can nod their heads to and understand. He didn't make things too complicated. That's the one problem I have with underground Hip Hop in general: everyone wants to make things so complicated, and so crazy with the wordplay. If you say what you mean and make it simple, your message will go a lot farther. Just because factory rhymes with daiquiri, doesn't mean you have to use daiquiri in the rhyme, because it has no meaning. I don't know if that made sense?

Tunde Abe: No, it made sense.

Golden: First and foremost, Goodie Mob and their production company, Organized Noize, weren't afraid to put rock sh*t and whatever on their records back when it wasn't cool to do it. Nas, first and foremost, was the reason why I wanted to be a rapper. Illmatic is just ridiculous. Poetic man, he was just so poetic. Then, obviously, the Peas on many levels. One because they helped me out by putting me on tour with them, and working with the band and getting beats, and also allowing me to study stage performances. Professionally, Will (Will.I.AM) is kind of inspirational, because I see that dude is a genius and he masterminds everything that they have done. They went from owing the label a million dollars to never having to work again if they don't want to. Also, I've seen him in the studio
personally grinding for twelve hours every day, making beats, recording solo albums—so he's inspirational in that way.

Tunde Abe: Can you talk about things going on with you right now? I know the album is coming out. Are there other thing that are poppin off for you right now?

Golden: There is so much stuff in the works. Hopefully, this record comes out, we sell 10,000 records, we co-label with a major, or a minor/major distribution company like Koch.
Then, hopefully, we sell more records. I'm working on sponsorship things. I'm also working on putting together a band, so that the product we put on stage is ridiculously ill. I hope to be producing for more people, I kind of want to do what Will did here (Minneapolis): write, produce other artists. I just moved my whole rig into the B room of ----; that's where we are right now. I guess I'm trying to keep busy. - IPR

"Golden's Opportunity"

What's a rapper from St. Paul doing with Fergie on his CD?
By Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
Last update: May 24, 2007 – 4:54 PM
To hear Golden explain how it happened, she wasn't any big-name star when they
originally made the recording almost three years ago.
"She had just joined the group, and most people didn't know who she was," the St. Paul
rapper recalled. "There was no way of telling she would go on to become one of the
biggest female pop stars in the world."
He's referring to Fergie, the ultra-deeelish sex-kitten pinup girl of Black Eyed Peas fame,
who's out flaunting her first solo CD. She is, indeed, one of the hottest things in pop music
today, for better or worse. Which is all the more reason it's surprising she'd have anything
to do with a little-known white-guy rapper from Minnesota.
Fergie appears on one track on Golden's new CD, "Peddling Medicine," which he's touting
tonight with dual release parties at the Fine Line.
The song, "Elevator Music," and the entire album are the culmination of the real-life
Casey Golden's nearly decade-long relationship with L.A. musician/producer Printz
Board, behind-the-scenes bandleader for the Black Eyed Peas. They met when Golden's
former group, S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S., opened for the Peas in 1998 at Macalester College,
where he was a student.
"They all came to our after party," Golden, 29, recalled. "While the rest of [the Peas] were
trying to get with the college girls, Printz was listening to my records and talking all about
music. We hit it off and kept in touch."
Talking by phone from a stop on Fergie's solo tour, Printz Board said, "It's been a long
time coming because I've been so busy. But I always thought this guy was dope."
The duo has been working on "Peddling Medicine" off and on for about four years,
oftentimes working long-distance through e-mail or snail-mail. Early on, a demo of
"Elevator Music" caught Fergie's ear, and she offered to sing on it. It all happened so
nonchalantly, her vocals were recorded in a classroom at the University of Minnesota
Duluth when Golden was again opening for the Peas.
"I just happened to have my recording rig with me, and we set it up wherever we could a
few hours before the show," Golden recalled.
Loading “Local Music: Golden's opportunity” 05/29/2007 12:23 PM Page 2 of 4
In the end, Fergie's backup vocals are just a small part of Golden's album. However, just
having her aboard tells you a lot about the rest of his music and ambitions.
Golden is a rarity in the all-indie, all-the-time Twin Cities hip-hop scene. He's a rapper
who's unabashedly poppy and clearly wants to be on the radio -- and not just urban
"Elevator Music" is one of many tracks on "Peddling Medicine" frothing at the commercially
Pavlovian mouth. The bubbly love song "It's Magic" samples Scottish one-hitter Pilot's
1975 single "Magic" ("Wo-ho-ho it's magic!") for an incredibly catchy/corny Uncle Kracker
sort of appeal. The moody rocker "Falling" comes off like a lighter and funkier Linkin
Park. And the be-bopping title track has Printz's prints all over it.
"I love the content of underground rap, but I also love the production value of mainstream
music," Golden said last week, hanging out in his basement studio in St. Paul's Midway
area. "I can't lie. What I do is pop. I'd love to be played on every station in every state."
Originally from Reading, Pa. -- which he somewhat dubiously calls the state's "murder
capital" on his CD -- Golden attended Macalester on a basketball scholarship but was
sidelined by a wrist injury during his freshman year. That's when he formed
S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. He started performing solo around 2001. Even though he never really fell
in with one local clique or crew, he has earned opening gigs with most of them.
Being a white rapper in Minnesota is about as controversial as being a homosexual in
West Hollywood. Nonetheless, Golden makes race an issue in both the CD's opening and
closing tunes, "It Ain't Me" and "Mourner's Kaddish (Prayer for the Dead)." The latter is a
riff on his Jewish heritage. "It Ain't Me" name-checks fellow pale-skinned rappers Vanilla
Ice, the Beasties, Eminem and even Slug, praising them all (save the obvious one) while
also trying to distance himself.
"I wish I had updated it with Paul Wall," he joked last week.
Said Printz Board, "I think that was really smart of him to get that out there and just say,
'Hey, don't judge me on that.' "
No matter how he's judged nationally, Golden said he's proud to be a Minnesotan. His CD
includes a homage to his adopted home state called "MN Living." These types of tracks
are commonplace among local rappers, but suffice it to say Golden's is the only one that
features one of Sean Paul's cohorts, Farenheit, as a guest vocalist.
That's right: The St. Paul transplant has a Jamaican rapper guesting on a track about
Minnesota life. Hey, stranger things have happened in the quest for mainstream success.
Like the writing of "My Humps," for instance. - Star Tribune

"A Golden Opportunity"

A Golden Opportunity

Posted by bigced on May 19th, 2007

Maxine Achille
It seems like the Reading Railroad from Monopoly jumped the tracks straight out of the board game to bring a Midas touched sound all the way from
Reading, PA to the world community. M.C. Golden, whose moniker is Golden, is hitting the Hip Hop community heavy with his dose of Peddling Medicine that hits stores May 15th, 2007. His first single, Elevator Music, has already been downloaded over one hundred thousand times by fans in little under a week on the infamous This artist is definitely ready for the next stop on his train to fame while he takes his career to the next level.

Max: Tell me about yourself. Where did your name come from?

Golden: So at this point anything I say can be held and used against me in a court of law…well I’m a Sagittarius and I enjoy-just joking-my real name is Casey Golden. I was never really clever enough to come up with some cool rap boy name. Growing up my friends used to call me Golden; so it just stuck.
Max: Where did you grow up?

Golden: Grew up with
Reading PA. It’s like the N.Y outlet mall capital. It’s about a 45 miles west of Philly. It’s the Reading Railroad that’s in the monopoly game, except that the rail road got shut down a long time ago. All the industry went out of the city. I then came out to
Minneapolis and began doing music here out here.

Max: How does the diversity in your background influence who you are individually and as an artist?
Golden: Hanging out with all types of kids gave me a real different perspective on the average American “white experience”. Being 6 and asking your mom why Santa didn’t come to your house on Christmas break and being involved in city sports and athletics, and riding around in a whip when your 16 and getting ripped out of the car with your black friends and getting pushed up against a wall as opposed to being with your white friends in the same situation and getting joked to and let go…gives you a real distinct view point into how and why things work. My different experiences made me question why things are the way they are. Hip Hop always helped me to answer some of those questions and let me know that I wasn’t the only one thinking about that stuff. So that really influenced me…and being on the east coast lyrics are important…Nas is the rapper that solidified that for me on Illmatic. It was intelligent and poetic at the same time. Even though we grew up in completely different worlds I was able to take something away from that record and try to relate my experiences in my music. Then coming up in
Reading as a white kid rapping, I’ve been threatened to be killed every show I did. And then when I came up to St. Paul,
Minneapolis clubs accepted me as long as I had the skill to hold down the craft.

Max: Do you practice your religion fervently?

Golden: No…I’m like the type of Christian that goes to church on Easter. My customs are still there. Knowing that my skin is white but I’m still different…that’s engrained in you from the second you’re born in a Jewish family. I identify very strongly with culturally being Jewish.

Max: What do you have to say to and how are you proving to all those who have to say that a white Jewish rapper has no skills?
Golden: It’s not even about the skills…come to the show and I’ll give you the microphone. In terms of my place in the culture, being a white Jewish kid in a day in age where Hip Hop is like what happened to jazz and rock and roll. Hip Hop is being heavily appropriated by white kids. It’s to the point where you ask black kids about rock and roll today and they think its “white music”. They don’t fully understand the history of it …so I fully understand that we are in a day and age where Hip Hop is being appropriated by white culture and corporations and what I focus on is to fully understand the culture and the history-understand that it’s a culture born out of struggle and pain to effect change and if I could get that through to some of my peers to help them understand, then I can bridge some sort of gap. If I can change a couple minds and affect people in the process then I’m doing my job.

Max: How have people been reacting to you?

Golden: It’s been positive so far. I’m used to it any way it comes. I’ve had the reaction of being threatened to be killed and I’ve had the reaction of “oh your so cute…we love you” and any where in between. I’ve had the reaction that “this isn’t your music” and that reaction mainly comes from white people saying you should be doing white music. This isn’t a color issue at this point; this is an understanding and a cultural issue at this point. I’m not that dude who is going to change who I am based on who I am talking to. I speak the same for everyone and I give respect until that respect is not given back. I hope that I am received well.

Max: What is Peddling Medicine?

Golden: The name stems from the concept that the rap game always compares itself to the crack game. Throughout my life music has been a cure for whatever ailed me. There was always a song that helped me channel my feeling. Peddling Medicine is an attempt for me to say that this is my medicine; this is how I feel. I hope that I can provide that medicine for you. Peddling because it’s a hustle; it’s a grind especially now with music sales being where they are. I had to get out on the street and peddle my product.

Max: What inspired you to make this record….why now?

Golden: It’s been a three year process. Everything came together when me and Furgie cut that record a couple years ago. Back in the day there was more balance. For every ignorant rap you had a public enemy for politically challenging rap, you had your party rap, your love music-now you don’t have that balance-I think it’s out there, but you don’t get the same attention from the media for one reason or the other. I think this record fills that void. This album is not violent, or misogynistic, and if you listen enough times you can peep the message without breaking out a dictionary or being preached to. It’s acceptable enough where the medicine is candy coated and kids ain’t gonna mind swallowing it.

Max: Cool…tell me about elevator music track.

Golden: I did that with Fergie 3 or 4 years ago. I slid it to my man Printz, who is the music director and a touring member of The Black Eyed Peas. He re-worked it with live instrumentation. We had a woman singing demo vocals and it was cool, it had a neo-soul kind of vibe to it…and when we where working on the Black Eyed Peas tour bus and she heard the song on the ride up and wanted to get on it. We recorded it in the athletic department of a university with the words on a dry erase board. It’s cool because with where she is at right now its cool that she could’ve asked for a whole gang of money but didn’t.

Max: What’s your favorite song on the album?

Golden: It’s hard for me to say-Peddling Medicine because its 100% my production-most well written is Fallin’. I feel all the tracks for so many different reasons.

Max: What do your family and friends think about your chosen career path.

Golden: When it first started they were like, “aww you’re trying to be a rapper” and they were cool and when I went to college they were like, “okay when are you gonna get a real career?” I had no problem living in a basement out of an apartment complex and eating rice and beans and tuna and doing what I love-

Max: We’ve all had to do it.

Golden: Word…I’m blessed with having a family that understood that Hip Hop was my passion. Once they were able to realize that it’s not violent music then they were on board.

Max: Where do you hope to be in five years?
Golden: My goal in music to affect people on a mass level in one way shape or form. I want my voice and place. I would love to be traveling the world and connecting with people.

Max: So how has your life changed?

Golden: It hasn’t…I’m still in my backyard cleaning up. Except the problem is that I go on the internet and click on Myspace and it’s a different world.

Max: How has myspace been influential in this whole thing?

Golden: To go from the low 10, 00 to 100,000 listeners in a week is crazy. Just the exposure it provides lends legitimacy to what you do. It’s gotten so easy to hit the artist up. You can tell people all you want but it lets you know that people do enjoy your stuff. It’s a great tool and there’s no way that I could have got the word out that quickly before this. Hopefully it will translate to sales. - The Source

"A List"

Golden (CD-release)
Fine Line Music Café
No, that's not a typo on the back of Golden's new full-length, Peddling Medicine, and no, it ain't the Duchess of York—that's Fergie and her genuine humps on "Elevator Music." The track is built around a couple of chords plinked out on a Rhodes and a brace of punchy brass led by a tipsy, New Orleans-style trumpet line; the spare, chunky instrumentation leaves plenty of room for Golden's dexterous but unflashy flow. Fergie's honeyed vocals on the hook are a perfect foil for Golden, whose goal isn't to prove how hard or wounded he is. He's out to make effervescent summer jams you can bump in your car, like the string-driven, Pilot-sampling "It's Magic," or "The Hustle," which isn't about cruising for tail or unloading bricks—it's a how-to about selling tapes on consignment. His album's DIY foundation belies its pop polish, but the one-two, yin-yang combo makes for a compelling debut. - City Pages

"Golden Peddling Medicine"

As if we didn't have enought home-goran rap talent in this town already, not it seems we have to import it from Reading, Pennsylvania--not that we're complaining when an album as listenable as Golden's debut comes along. Formerly the leader of S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S., Golden has been solo since 2003, and made some big career inroads by opening on a tour for the Black Eyed Peas and scoring a producer in Printz Board of the Peas' backing band--not to mention getting vocalist Fergie to lend her pipes on the track "Elevator Music," recorded on a tour break in an empty classroom at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. (Pleasently, there's nothing as cringeworthy as Fergie's inane "My Humps" on Peddling Medicine.) Golden shares an upbeat musical attitude with the Peas, but he has more on his mind than calls to party--most obviously, the Holocaust memorial "Mourners' Kaddish." Golden is weakest on the leadof track "It Ain't Me," a self reflexive boast/apology that heads off potential critics by admitting his upper-middle-class-white-guy status up front, and anme-checks just about every important white rapper (and also Vanilla Ice) in an attempt to define who he is by who he's not. Whatever, dude, just rap already. Once Golden gets down to business, the rest of the album mostly glitters. A.V. Club Rating: A- - The Onion AV Club

"Urb Album Reviews"

ust the other day, we overheard someone wishing, lamenting really, that there needed to be a "more whiter" Pigeon John with a major label deal. Well, that semi-racialist lamenter may get his wish once he hears Golden. The Minne-snow-tan MC rides populist production from the Black Eyed Peas music director Printz Board on his new record Peddling Medicine and the results are catchy as hell. But just because Fergie is on his single--true story--doesn't mean that he's some poser...just listen to the shout outs of white MCs on the self-affirming anthem "It Ain't Me." Pigeon John not included. - URB


Bucky Johnson, BAND BEHIND THE FRONT, 2007
Golden, PEDDLING MEDICINE, April 17th 2007 FreeFlo Records
Airpushers , THEMES FOR THE ORDINARILY STRANGE, 2006 Sarathan/Fontana
Jupiter Rising, JUPITER RISING, 2006 Chime/Universal
Interlock, CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT, 2006
Golden, IT AIN’T ME 12”, 2005
Twisted Linguistics, WHAT I’VE SEEN WHAT I’VE DONE, 2005
Cheap Cologne, SOMETHING RANDOM, 2005
Out Of Bounds, HEADPHONE MUZIK, 2005
Bobby Hatfield, HOLLYWOOD HILLBILLY, 2001
Jacques Ku’ Sto, ONE DAY..., 2000



Peddling Medicine

In the immortal words of Rakim, “It ain’t where you’re from; it’s where you’re at.” And while hip-hop hometowns like New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston have long been the norm, you’d be foolish to underestimate an MC named GOLDEN simply because he’s from Reading, PA.

Yes, that Reading. The NY metro area’s outlet shopping mecca is also the birthplace of one of hip-hop’s newest talent. While Reading may not be the South Bronx or Compton, the inner-city was a resting station for the drug trade going up to New York. GOLDEN credits the city’s economic “diversity” for giving him a better perspective on life. “I didn’t live in a bad part of town. I lived in a section called Hampton Heights, which is in northeast Reading, but while I lived in a nice house and firmly in a middle class/upper middle class community, three blocks away were Section 8 and the projects.”

Like most kids his age, GOLDEN fell in love with hip-hop through music videos. “The first real hip-hop record that I fell in love with was Kool Moe Dee’s ‘Wild Wild West.’ I ordered that thing on [music video channel] The Box like a hundred times in a row. I remember my parents bugging out when they got the phone bill because it was like x amount of cents per call.” However, it wasn’t Kool Moe Dee, but rather another MC from New York that led young Casey Golden to his chosen profession.

“When Nas put out Illmatic, that record literally changed my life. Right then and right there I was like, ‘Wow, I want to rap forever. I want to be an MC.’” GOLDEN says Nas taught him that rhyming about what he lived and believed was most important.

The Jewish youngster was always active in various city sports programs, so it was natural that he had friends of various ethnicities. And with his love of hip-hop growing, it only made sense the he and some of these friends form a rap group. Now all they needed was a name. “We were walking through the mall, looking for a cash register to pay for something and a security guard stopped us, accused us of stealing and the whole nine. We walked away from that wondering why is it that kids who dress the way we dress, in baggy clothes and everything else, are always suspected of doing some wrong shit.” Hence S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. was born.

GOLDEN’s sole focus was not always hip-hop, he was also an avid athlete. In fact, he was recruited to play basketball at Minnesota’s Macalester College. However, his hoop dreams were dashed after he had to undergo reconstructive wrist surgery. Although ballin’ was out of the question, GOLDEN stayed in Minneapolis and even convinced his S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. crew to move out there with him to try their hand at making music. “Back in Reading, we’d do parties and I am the only white guy rhyming and the only white kid in the crew, and regularly I would be threatened to be killed because Vanilla Ice ruined it for a generation. But coming to Minneapolis, it seemed like the biggest group up here at that time was Atmosphere and white cats were allowed on stage—and they were actual stages in actual venues instead of just some party where you rented out the V-Dub [Veterans Hall] and waited for a fight to break out.”

While S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. eventually disbanded, after attempts to form an indie label failed and personal issues caused division, GOLDEN’s time with the group did yield personal dividends. He connected with two members of the Black Eye Peas’ backing band Bucky Johnson—Printz Board and George Pajon, Jr.—after his group opened for the Peas at Macalester’s Spring Fest. GOLDEN and Board kept in contact, and eventually recorded the MC’s first track together in the kitchen of The Quest, a Minneapolis club once owned by Prince. Two weeks later, S.U.S.P.E.C.T.S. disbanded and he called Board, who flew him out to Los Angeles so they could continue working together. In L.A., GOLDEN cut four more tracks with Board and then was signed to his production company, Beets & Produce.

With Board behind the boards, GOLDEN crafted his debut, PEDDLING MEDICINE, over the next four years. A collection of thought-provoking, lyrically inspired tracks, it has something that most hip-hop albums are missing—heart. From the upbeat “Elevator Music” featuring Fergie (“She cut the vocals in a classroom right there on the spot because she liked it.”) to the white MC anthem “It Ain’t Me” (“No matter how you think you’re going to define me, whether it’s by what you see or what your preconceived notions of what a white rapper is, I am going to change your mind.”), PEDDLING MEDICINE has the cure for what ails you.

And if you still don’t believe this Jewish rapper from Reading is for real. Just ask him.

“If you’re going to put a record out, it’s going to last hundreds of years. It’s a record of what you believe and what you think. So, whatever you put down on record you’re going to have to be proud of that for the rest of your life. So for me to just rap some bullshit over a dope beat really doe