I dropped Cappo a line a few days ago asking a few questions, here's what he had to say.
Cappo, you've been rhyming a while, what caused you to pick up a mic?
I was a graf writer and student of Hip Hop before I started writing lyrics, I remember hearing Mr 45 on the radio and that gave me the realisation that Nottingham city was getting heard on a nationwide scale. I used to write bars and keep them to myself until my girlfriend at the time heard some of my verses and encouraged me to record.
Working with the p brothers must have created some special times, was
there anything you recorded with them that didnt get released?
Plenty, I remember around the time of Spaz the World I put a cassette together that had 50 or 60 tracks on it, some of my own production and some P Brother’s production. I remember once we recorded the Nottingham Bronx track over a break beat that had a vocal on it saying ‘the Gibbon’ at the end of every four bars. We were scientists in the lab mixing the Jekyll and Hyde chemicals until the drums sounded louder than themselves. Literally.
Whats different, for you, in terms of work flow and creative output, working with a producer like styly cee compared to doing your own beats or working with someone like the p brothers?
Working with the P Brothers or Styly Cee is similar in the terms that I would write the bars and they would make the beats, the main difference comes when I’m producing and writing the tracks myself because this is a time consuming process. One thing I start doing when I’m making the beats is over producing them, meaning I won’t leave the beat alone even if people tell me its finished. This can lead to my production sounding over polished and thats why I prefer to work with producers cus then I can just concentrate on going AWOL with the bars.
From cap 3000, to spaz the world to the get out theory and your last release, Gusto Grizwold, International Vacation you've offered constant elevation with the music, in my eyes, and seem to always step it up, how do you feed the fire?
I try to stay relevant and true to what makes me inspired. I follow hip Hop like a hawk and I know what is ILL - I might not hear everything that’s being released but I know a good song when I hear one so I just keep my focus on the grand prize and spit for the trophy each and every time.
continued after the break….
Speaking more on Gusto Grizwold, International Vacation, the production on that is pure inspiration (reign drop is icy cold), and adding to the question about fueling the fire, how did you go about recording it, I see a p brothers beat on there from the gas, but don’t recognise any of the other instrumentals/samples on it.
I had been keeping a mental list of tracks from outside of Hip Hop that I was inspired by for years and I realised it was time to put a tape together that was mad different from my previous work. My whole style is changed now and the Gusto tape was a precursor to my new album in order to let my core supporters know what’s happening. I asked Dj Rattomatic to cut up the breaks that I would spit on and recorded them at the 1st Blood Empire. I was dealing with some stuff at the time and this was catharsis in the form of booth therapy. When I’m in the booth my only true competitor is myself. There is no place to hide when the record button is pressed.
How did the start up of Son Records occur?
I had put together a 15 track demo called the Cap tape that I put on 30 cassettes and sent round the UK to labels I had respect for at the time. Son records contacted me and hooked me up with Styly and from there I started recording for the e.p’s and building my rep in Notts. When you are young you are invincible and I was still cutting my teeth when Son Records gave me some light and I’m very grateful for Alastair nicholson’s time, money and effort that he put into the Cappo brand. Having a label behind you that backs you up is the illest way to release music cus you don’t have to worry that some A+R or label boss is gonna instruct you to sell out or make music you dont feel. I was lucky in those terms cus I was able to release the music I wanted to hear, the hardcore shit.
Do you tend to go digging a lot these days?
Me and Styly still dig in and around Notts, he has got a couple of classified spots that are dope and there is nothing like diggin for some eye of the beholder breaks. I can guarantee to you that all the new production you hear that sounds orchestrated and synthesised was developed from the old crate and MPC technique. The MPC is still at the helm of the HQ and always will be.
What is the idea/concept/transition behind your metamorphosis from
Iron Condor to Isatope flow glider?
I was making sure to let heads know that I was changing up my flow as well as my production. I consider myself an MC that works best under pressure and in extreme conditions. Thats what Ive been told. I am a spitter to the enth degree and theres nothing much more to it. When I am busy with my outside life is when the ideas start flowing and I also push the creativity too. I don’t sit back until something grabs me I force the issue. I make sure that my work ethic is high cus I’m a perfectionist and can’t stand it when I’m not building up verse structures or patterns cus I feel useless.
Have you read much Franz Kafka?
No I haven't but by the looks of his Wikipedia his work sounds sick, sounds like he knew what he was doing, it happens often that the artist doesn't get recognised for their work until they have passed away. I will read his work this week.
The 7" with Kista, thats some serious shit, did he just hit you up
with the beat?
Yeah Kista is a sick graf artist and producer and he’s been doing this for a while just like me. We hooked up for a show recently and that was a sick night. The 7 is dope and he is a true professional it was an honour working with him.
Doing a release like the 7" with kista, it kinda feels special when I listen to it, whats the feeling like these days when you finish recording something and you know its gonna be out there on a piece of wax for people to pick up?
Its the greatest part of the process when I finally hear and see the vinyl. Its akin to nailing the take in the booth or the completion high after the song’s recorded. It means closure for me. So many burned c.d’s in the car and mp3’s strewn across the desktop but when the vinyl hits you know that it’s a serious release.
I think its safe to say you're standing in hip hop and the way you carry yourself is a testimony to those who strive to keep doing what they really want to do and you'll be gripping a mic until the end of days, what are your thoughts on the mc's who seem to just come and go?
I see it like this, Hip Hop is a multi billion dollar business and it’s greatest lyricists are the creative force behind modern culture full stop. Many business minded people have made a mint from Hip Hop music by treating it like a business and not a creative force, which I can understand and respect. Music is heard and repeated and the knowledge that’s given is intellectual property. Its when you try to leave with your winnings that the culture will disrespect you cus you are not built to last, you are in the business to get some shares and sell them on when your product is at its highest value. I am in the business because I can’t leave even if I wanted to. The process of writing bars has become part of my DNA and spitting bars is my life force. I havent made a million yet but my intellectual property is high up on the NasDaq and I plan on keeping myself fresh from the proceeds of music till I’m Kafka.
Salute man thanks for the opportunity. I’m heading back to the attic to perfect this craft once and for all.