Cappadonna Interview (by Timid)
Added to the Wu-Tang Clan roster during the recording of “Wu-Tang Forever”, Cappadonna seemed to appear from nowhere and put it down on several of the most important Clan cuts. However all was not rosy in the garden, and after the release of his solo joint “The Pillage”, there were rumours of an acrimonious split. Cappa’s sophomore album “The Ying And The Yang” struggled to match the success of his debut, and many thought he’d slide into obscurity. The man has other plans however, and shortly after the release of album number three, “The Struggle”, Cappadonna sat down with Timid to discuss life, the universe, and everything…
Congrats on the new album. How’s everything going with it?
Cappadonna: [sighs] Well right now I need to shoot a video, I don’t think that the advertisement was really reinforced to the best of its ability, you know. Considering the circumstances and the lesser resources that I got though, I figure, you know, that I did everything I could do in my power to get it out you know. But like I said, limited resources and limited funds sometimes can be a burden on sales but I mean that’s what the struggle is all about. It’s about making the best out of a fucked up situation.
So I didn’t get any notes on the album when I got it from the promotion company, is this an independent release?
Cappadonna: Yea, independent.
Oh so you got it hard then, you gotta push it… hit the street to do that.
Is there anything specific you’re trying to say with this album?
Cappadonna: Yea, it’s the struggle. That’s the album title, ‘The Struggle’ ya know.
About focusing on what you doing now trying to get it out, trying to make do with what you got?
Cappadonna: That’s right. It’s about the struggle, it’s about where I come from, you know… it’s about the hood man.
True. I hear that. What’s going on with the Wu?
Cappadonna: Yo I couldn’t tell you that, you gotta call the next person.
Cappadonna: Yeah I don’t know, niggas don’t support me and shit and try to call me and see what’s up. Ya know, (laughs) that’s why I’m struggling ya know? I got Raekwon on the album, I got Deck on the album you know but that’s it. It’s like communication levels : everybody’s doing what they doing, I guess everybody’s struggling right now but don’t ask me about me it though.
OK, I want to ask you about the track on there ‘Season of Da Vick’, you’re spittin’ at Beans. I didn’t know y’all had beef.
Cappadonna: Me neither, until he blurted out my name on some mixtape or some shit. I guess he was battling the next person and took it upon himself to use me as some kind of fuckin’ outlet for him to diss the next person like saying, “Yeah your style suck like Cappadon”, you know? And I’m like yo what the fuck? You know what I’m saying, it’s like I don’t fuck with nobody. I don’t say shit about nobody, I don’t fuck with nobody, you know what I’m saying?
Yeah that’s kind of “out of nowhere” type stuff.
Cappadonna: Exactly, so now it’s like, you know, I felt like it was my duty to holla back… like my fans was discrediting me like, you know what I’m saying, it’s like I got punked (chuckles) if I didn’t holla back…
Yeah I feel that, definitely.
Cappadonna: It’s like I had to do that shit to keep my fuckin’ face up the place man.
Ya man even had something on the ‘Money, Cash, Flows’. Ya man was spittin’ at it too.
Cappadonna: Yeah, my man but see I told him to take that off because I really didn’t have a problem with the Roc, you know what I’m saying? Or Freeway or Jay-Z or none of them dudes, they ain’t never said nothing about me. So, you know, that might raise a few questions right there. But if they confront me with it I’m gonna be like “Well maybe that’s how my man, the white boy, felt on my album and shit, you know he said that but I don’t share those same feelings.”
Sounds like you just trying to do your thing and not get into that B.S. that everyone else is getting into.
Cappadonna: Exactly, exactly you know? I holla’d back at who I had to holla back at and now it’s like I’m ready to move on. But don’t get me confused with that, I told the nigga to take that off, he chose to fuckin’ keep it on there, now it’s like he needs to assume full responsibility for his words and actions. So you know if they want to know who did that, I’ll tell them who did it, I’ll tell them where the fuck he at and all of that because it’s like I told the nigga to take it off so you just went against my better judgement so you’re going to take full responsibility, I’m going to point you out and let it be known, you know what I’m saying? Especially that you a white boy too and you chose to try to get me mixed up in some bullshit. You know what I’m saying? It’s like that’s a no no in the Hip Hop era. I mean he just shitted on the whole Brooklyn yo. The Roc is Brooklyn yo. Philly is Freeway and you know what I mean. And Damon Dash, what the fuck Damon Dash do? What are you fucking doing? These dudes never said nothing about us. I was fucking mad. I was mad as shit when I heard the shit. He’s like, well you know when I press up the next copies maybe I could take it off. I’m like yo man, you fucked up.
So did that go out on the final project?
Cappadonna: It’s out there, you heard it on the album right?
Cappadonna: Aight then [laughs] what do you mean is it on the final project?
Oh I didn’t know if I got a promo version or whatnot from the company.
Cappadonna: Nah, you got the album. He said he’s going to take it off the next batch that’s gonna be pressed up but yo you’re kinda late man.
Word the streets are already gonna be talking.
Cappadonna: Your kinda late and you’re gonna assume full responsibility for your fucking bullshit.
So who is doing production on this joint if it wasn’t like from the Wu?
Cappadonna: Um, like I said man, I’m not all caught up into production. I’m not looking for no Swizz Beats, I’m not looking for this and that person because they fuckin’ make a hundred thousand and eight thousand dollar beats. That’s not the struggle.
I hear that.
Cappadonna: That’s not the struggle that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the struggle where you only got bread and syrup in the house, no lunchmeat and cheese and that’s your sandwich right there. I’m talking about that struggle. You know what I mean? So I got beats from people around my way, people who don’t have nothing just trying to get on. If I was paying 80 or 90 thousand for a beat then what am I struggling?
Yeah that’s true.
Cappadonna: [chuckles] Ain’t no fucking struggle.
So you think, now you’re doing this the independent way and you know a few years back, the Wu was everywhere. Y’all were just like all over the spot. You kinda feeling like people are like sleeping on y’all now?
Cappadonna: There’s no y’all in me right now. This is me and my album, I keep telling you that man. Ask about me. I don’t know what the fuck the Wu is doing. I’m not a member of the Wu Tang/Loud Records. I’m not fuckin’ :I don’t have no RZA beats none of that shit on my album man. Pay attention.
Aight I got you. So you, you think people are sleepin’ on you from how it was before and now?
Cappadonna: Yea they sleepin’ on me ever since my last album. My last album was “The Yin And The Yang”, my first album was “The Pillage” which did very well, you know, it went Gold in 3 weeks and I was grateful. “The Yin And The Yang” didn’t do so well, the concept wasn’t appealing to the people. Mainly the people in the struggle because it wasn’t a reality to them, it was more or less a fantasy or, you know, you start getting spiritual and talking too much about God you might as well be a gospel singer after that you know. [laughs]
Yeah. How’s people receiving this one? “The Struggle.”
Cappadonna: Well it’s still early in the game right now. It’s still a bit early you know, let’s give it some time, see what happens and you know drop a video and if we lucky and the time is right and the motivation is good we can take it off to the next level. I’m hoping that the people embrace it, I like it : ya know?
Yeah, What’s the video you’re going to shoot? What track?
Cappadonna: I was kinda open for suggestions but at the same time I was thinking of going along with ‘Blood Brothers’ and maybe ‘Push’ – the little R-n-B track whatever you want to call it. That was just a thought, then I got another thought about droppin maybe ‘Role Of A Lifetime.’
So you’re just kinda in the planning stages right now?
Cappadonna: Yeah yeah, I’m open for some suggestions man you know I don’t have all the answers to everything, you know what I mean? I’m always looking for some help outside of what I do… to, you know, enforce what I’m trying to do[chuckles].
True. So what are you feeling about Hip Hop right now?
Cappadonna: What am I feeling about the music right now?
Yeah what are you feeling in it? It’s like because I was just up in New York and a whole bunch of Dirty South stuff is up that way too now, like Ying Yang and Lil’ Jon and all them are up there now, coming up through New York now. Things are opening up for down there to come up to New York. How you feeling about that?
Cappadonna: Well the way I look at it, I mean it’s a market, man… and the masses who control the market really control what you listen to and as long as that stands, its like its always gonna be a struggle for those who are trying to come up and do what they do best. I’m just hoping that the fans embrace it, you know, and more so than the market because if the fans embrace then the market is going to have to somehow be apart of that.
Yeah you get the people then everything else has to follow.
Cappadonna: Exactly and I’m looking for that kind of support right now. Without that, I mean, I have nothing.
So what are you doing in the terms of promotion, you doing shows and stuff and getting out there, promo things for the album where people can get at you or where people can see you and what’s going down?
Cappadonna: Yeah, well I just got through doing a few shows outside of town. I just came back from a little tour. I was all up in Michigan doing my thing, like the mid east or something , I was out there promoting. I’ve had a couple articles up in the source or the XXL. I did, you know, the MTV thing, I let them know that the album was coming, you know just the basics and whatnot, you know with the budget that I was working with, the little independent budget. The people I’m working with, they don’t really know too much about music and perhaps they may think that I’m trying to get them for money. They don’t know that these are the necessary steps that need to be took have a quality produced album [chuckles].
So you’re working with a relatively inexperienced staff?
Cappadonna: Yeah you could say that, sure. Yeah, exactly.
So you gotta kinda take two roles here. You gotta kinda lead as well…
Cappadonna: Exactly, and it’s a struggle because you know especially when there’s the second party thinking that you’re trying to muscle them out [chuckles], you’re trying to hustle them out of something.. when you’re just doing what you do best and you know how it’s supposed to be done. You know?
Yeah that’s true. I think labels should listen to the artists a little bit more. I mean it’s their product they’re trying to put out.
Is there anything else you want people to know or anything you want to say to people?
Cappadonna: I just want them to know that, you know, the album is out there man and the struggle is real. Everybody in life is : nobody is excluded from the struggle, I mean even if you are a rich mufuckah man it’s like you gonna still go through the struggle like everybody else too. I want them to know that the struggle is official, the album is out and I hope that they help support my independence man and embrace my struggle so that I can proceed to make some more quality music.
Aight, well that’s cool then. Much success on the album, I hope everything comes out good, we’ll be checking for the video too.
Cappadonna: I appreciate it man, I appreciate it.
A big thanks to Greg Trani at Room Services Inc for coordinating the interview.