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Interview: Maryland Rapper Casino-Damerino

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Casino-Damerino is a rapper and producer based out in Maryland. The Virginia Union alum is known for his never-say-die attitude and lyrical ferocity. During his time in Richmond, Casino was at every possible event he can perform at from Tuesday Verses, the Melodic Mondays open mic platform, along with events for Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University.

Like his rap GOAT, Lil Wayne, Casino has recorded approximately one thousand songs since he began rapping in his teenage years. His consistency in music in recent years be reflected in his works with a string of numerous EPs and singles the past two years. Some of his popular hits include his song Sha'Carri, his collaborations as one half of the Godbruvas with rapper Jxtt, and his extensive Hoodie Muzik project. When he's not performing at shows, he is usually in the shadows consistently working on his musical crafts and mixed martial arts skills. Fortunately enough, we here at TheMSQShop managed to catch up with the emcee and learn more about him.

Jay: Being a native of the DMV, how does Go-go music influence your creativeness? For those who aren’t familiar with it, what is Go-Go music?

Casino: I’ll answer the latter part of the question first. Go-Go is a style of music most widely played in DC. It was founded by the legendary Chuck Brown (RIP) in the early 1970s as a sub-genre of jazz, blues, funk, and later hip-hop. Go-Go is to D.C. what hip-hop is to New York. Go-Go influences my beat-making process the most; a lot of my bounces come from the New Bounce beat which emerged around 2002 as well as the slow bounce beat which emerged around 2008. Chuck Brown has influenced many of my songs just himself alone. Whenever I make a jazzy type or “boom-bap” type beat I listen to Chuck Brown for hours. Oftentimes, when I make beats Pax says “Put some Mumbo Sauce in It” since all I ever talked about was Mumbo Sauce and Go-Go.

Jay: What producing software do you prefer?

For beat making, mixing, and mastering I prefer Fruity Loops. However, for recording my vocals I prefer Mixcraft considering that it's basically a "ProTools for Dummies". What I mean by that is the vocal recording is just as good as ProTools, but it’s more affordable for those balling on a budget. I use FL for mixing and mastering because I can really dig into my vocals and the VST Plug-Ins are better.

Jay: Knowing your rap style, you tend to rap on beats faster than 100 BPM, such as your Bop Remix but in your albums, you have slower beat speeds. Are you stepping out of your comfort zone on your albums?

Casino: Well, it’s actually quite the opposite. The slower-mid tempo of 90-130 is my comfort zone. While 130-180 is outside of my comfort zone. I am a bar dominant rapper and sometimes it’s harder for me to line up the correct syllables and provide the correct stress on each word when rapping on faster beats.

Jay: What are some of your favorite bars you’ve said and why?

Casino: This is a hard one considering I’ve written well over a thousand songs but I’ll give you three.

“I been beasin’ heavy, thinking deadly, wild thoughts this the Serengeti.” - Boom Trap

“She told me that she love me; should I believe her. I really need her. I can’t trust her but I can’t leave her.”- I Can Feel It In The Air Remix

“In the kitchen, I been whipping’ Tso’s. Get a couple zones and I hit yah soul. You can hear the scrapes when I whip the bowl” - Pushin’ P (Freestyle)

Jay: What was the best no you have ever received and why?

Casino: Well, I had an opportunity to sign Star Squad 7 Ent. to a major label I will not name. It didn’t fall through not because they said no but because I said no. The deal wasn’t what I was looking for and the conversation on the phone started weird from the guy who was trying to bring me. It was the best no simply because I wouldn’t compromise my art, faith, or beliefs.

"It was the best no simply because I wouldn’t compromise my art, faith, or beliefs."- Casino Damerino

Jay: Talk to me about Star Squad 7. Who’s in it and what do they do?

Casino: PaxTheCollector is a God-tier lyricist. Jxtt is the holy lyricist. Nush Kush is a God-tier producer. Ace Deuce can be described as a poetic spitter and he is also a member of the U.S. Army. Andre the Poet is an abstract artist. Lil Sasquatch has a strong musical ear and is a vastly skilled cameraman. BloodMoneyChris is a good rapper and insanely gifted cover artist. He is a root member of Star Squad 7 before the entertainment part became a thing for SS7.

Jay: Outside of music, what are some of your influences?

Casino: Nature, love, family, food, and most importantly the most high Yahweh Elohim Hayyim, The True and Living God.

Jay: Who are some indie artists that you would want to shout out?

Casino: PaxTheCollector going dummy up there in Connecticut. I wanna shout out Jxtt (Jet) go dummy in Jersey in the most Christian way possible. Special shoutout to Una the Uno that’s my dawg for sure. Big Shoutout to Big Dame I’ve been enjoying watching her growth.

You can find Casino on Instagram and TikTok @raplandlord. Check out all of his works.

Written by: Jay Guevara. @justinhisprime on all social media.

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