He’s been one of the most consistent Hip Hop artists that this shore has ever produced, yet Cappo still doesn’t seem to get the recognition by the masses so many years in the game he deserves.
I remember years ago hearing a soundbite of a young Notts emcee on Disorda’s original suspect-packages page, long before he sold anything other than mixtapes. That soundbite blew me away and I’ll never forget it. Yet consistently that feeling rushes over me every time I hear a new Capps tune. It’s about time Capps got the props he deserves and it’s about time UKHH.com caught up with him again to talk about past, present and further detail on the mystery of the metal detector guy!
UKHH.com hasn’t heard from Capps since halfway through ‘04. What’s he been up to?
Since ‘04 and finishing promotion for “Spaz the World” I’ve been behind the boards working on my production technique, honing my craft. I’ve been writing constantly and preparing for the release of my new album as well as working in depth with artists from Nottingham, Rukus, Regardless & Midnyte. I produced albums for both of them; 3 for Rukus called “Code of Practice” and Midnyte’s “Revision”.
I’ve been working with Ed 209 for tracks on his “StayExstatic” EP and I featured on the Herbaliser album “Take London” with 3 tracks. Me and Kon have been working on some tracks for his forthcoming release and I’ve been on a few guest spots here and there, basically just keeping myself busy with production for the new LP; searching for vinyl and planning everything out.
The last time we spoke, you said you wanted to try and take “Spaz the World” over to Europe. Did that ever happen?
I was lucky enough to take “Spaz the World” throughout the UK and had some good experiences which has helped my live performances ten fold. One of my best memories of touring with “Spaz the World” was in Bradford, the reception I got there was amazing, sometimes it’s good to hear peoples opinions on the music I’m making and the live shows are always something that keeps me on point lyrically.
So far as touring in Europe I got the chance to tour with the Herbaliser and perform the tracks I’d made with them across shores. Places like Switzerland, Belgium, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, Scotland and extensively in France. Seeing different parts of the world and the reception of the crowd helped me to realise how a major tour is put together and how many people it takes to make it work.
Now you’ve had a few years to reflect, were you happy with the success of the album in the end?
When I look back on the work I put into “Spaz the World” I feel very proud, I’m grateful for having the chance to build a product that was timeless and highly respected. I feel as if the album was very successful and has opened a lot of doors for me in the industry, being able to work off that critical acclaim is very important for me. It gives my new album a solid foundation to build off and sets a high bench mark for me to reach if I want to make something as good as “Spaz the World” was. I pride my self in making music that is innovative and detailed, I listen to “Spaz the World” when I need to focus and having the chance to release it is something I will never take for granted.
It’s been a while since “Spaz the World” album and “The Get Out” EP, how come the new mixtape “Directors Commentary” has been so long in the pipeline?
I’ve been working towards my new album for nearly 3 years now and I felt that it was time to put something out there to show what I’ve been working on from past to present. “Directors Commentary” spans from ‘99 to the present day and features all my releases that I’ve been on since then. I got the “Akai Professionals” on there, “The Get Out” tracks, Styly Cee exclusives, Ed 209, tracks from “The Codex” and “Cap 3000”, unreleased and original versions of well known tracks and also “Spaz the World” demo cuts that didn’t get on the album.
It was an idea I came up with to prepare for my new album like a new chapter. So I can take all my past music and put it together then use all the experience I’ve taken from it and put it into my new LP.
“… live shows are always something that keeps me on point lyrically …”
“Directors Commentary” covers 10 years of Cappo as an artist. That’s pretty impressive! So in those 10 years what’s your favourite release and why?
Out of everything I’ve released I don’t have a favourite, but one of my best memories I have is recording the Cap Tape Series 1, 2, and 3 which I first got signed for by Son records. The first one was a 15 track demo that I sent out. The rest I never released but when I listen to them it brings back the hunger I had and takes me back to the days of recording on my Tascam 424 in Ruddington, Notts, where I had the fire that burnt down my studio. Luckily my MPC 20000xl survived the flames and I’m still using it to this day. I haven’t got a copy of the Cap Tape 2 myself, because the only existing copy was sent to Son Records just before releasing my first EP “Cap 3000”.
“Spaz the World” is the pinnacle of my releases to date and also the “Resilience’” EP on Main Rock records (shouting Apoc) which I solo produced is a favourite, I was able to get Lee Ramsay and Mr 45 to feature on it and I felt it was a great accomplishment at that point in my career.
10 years from now, what do you see Cappo doing?
In 10 years I hope to have had my production recognised and to be working on the beats on a full scale. My goal is to complete my new album and to use it as a catalyst for future projects and to create my own production company.
I would like to be able to work with other artists of the same mind frame and focus to create timeless music. I know I still have a lot to learn about Hip Hop and I hope that I’m able to be still working towards bigger and better things. My perfect situation would be to be a part of a production team making music for successful artists and having a vast catalogue of influential music.
Is it true that the mixtape will fund the new album?
The tape was originally thought about for monetary purposes but as it was actually put together and compiled I realised that it was going to be used towards the build up of my new album.
This tape is like a piece of time for me and I’m using it to remind listeners of how I’ve worked from the beginning, I never quit or sold out during my career which is something I’m proud of, my rhymes from the start have been as complex as I could make them. I never changed or let anything change me, my music is hard and timeless and since working with so many gifted people I’ve realised how lucky I’ve been to be taught the correct way to do what I do. I believe that’s why my music is still so relevant and undiluted.
If you don’t make the funds, is there a back up plan? Or will we be left wanting?
My new album will definitely be released on as larger scale as I can get it. I’ve never been the one to use the media as a tool for sales, I’ve always tried to let the music speak for itself. Now I’ve learnt from experience on how to handle the media I hope to make the album something that influences as many if not more than “Spaz the World”.
Too many artists are left out of the circle because they stay true to what they believe and keep honour in their way of handling business. I plan on doing the same but at the same time I want to get this album to as many listeners as possible. I believe I have a concept for the LP that could benefit a lot of people; I just want to make the illest beats and throw up the illest bars this side of New York.
“… I haven’t got a copy of the Cap Tape 2 myself, because the only existing copy was sent to Son Records just before releasing my first EP …”
I take it you’re no longer on Zebra Traffic or indeed Son? What happened with that?
Me being the artist foremost and only being concerned with making the music. I think there was a lot of confusion and lack of communication on my behalf as to being signed to a record label.
Everything is a learning process for me and both these record labels taught me a lot about how they work and how I should respond to what is being asked of me, both labels gave me power to release my own music no questions asked and that’s something I’m grateful for. If it wasn’t for these companies I wouldn’t have been heard on such a scale.
I don’t claim to know about the business side of the industry and I only concentrate on continuing the music, but after so many years in the game I understand it all comes down to communication.
What’s happened to “The Get Out” series? I was hoping Volume 1 meant there would be more!
After we finished “The Get Out – One” I brought a whole lot of vinyl back from Florida that I had not used for my own production to the Get Out studio, we just began building tracks from there, Theorist is a master craftsmen with the Ensoniq 16 plus and we made 12 tracks in a short time, then released it all with a picture of the Ensoniq on the cover.
After that it got picked up by Breakin’ Bread (shouts to Rob Life and Skeg) and a selection of tracks was put out on 12”. We had planned on making a third instalment called the “Got Out” and it’s something that’s still in the pipe line. Right now were both working on solo albums but all we would need to do is get a new batch of vinyl and start working, its something that could happen at any time.
Did you ever get those mystery 13 tracks back off the man with the metal detector? (As revealed in the last Cappo interview)
The story goes that after we finished “The Get Out – One” me and Theorist had tracks left over that we decided to put in an air tight box. We put discs, tapes and lyrics in there and buried it by the River Trent close to the Nottingham Forest football ground. We were going to put a map on the CD inlay of “The Get Out – One” but before we had chance to release it we went back to the spot were we buried the tapes and it was already gone. We left it at that, then a few months later I started getting anonymous phone calls from someone claiming that they had unreleased material they would release over seas if we didn’t pay them to get it back.
We decided to meet up with them and sort out the situation and arranged a time. When we got there we waited for about 45 minutes and a black Audi A4 pulled out of the car park and slowed down next to us, when we went near to the car it peeled off at a high speed and clipped a curb, flipped 360 degrees across the road hitting a railing and stopped dead, the car was totalled. A man got out of the car and walked away like nothing had happened, we checked the car after he had gone and found one of the discs theorist uses for his Ensoniq in the glove box. We have heard nothing about it since.
“Directors Commentary” is mixed by Styly Cee. That’s a friendship that’s been going for time, how did that come about?
Legendary Styly Cee is my mentor; he brought me into the game when I was first starting out. After I sent my demos off to record labels across the UK, Son Records got back to me and arranged for me to meet up with Styly. We hit it off and began making tracks from then, he was there to mix my first two EPs “Cap3000” and “The Codex” and we’ve done many shows and tracks since then. Recently we’ve been working on some new material that’s sounding to me like the best tracks we’ve made so far; we’re looking to release it as an EP in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled for the return of the Legendary Styly Cee and Cappo with the “H Bomb” EP.
The Nott’s scene, from the outside at least, appears to have gone a bit quiet compared to the noise it was making 3 or 4 years ago. What’s going on up there?
Nottingham is brimming with talent, there’re new artists arriving all the time each working on their own projects, a lot of mixtapes are getting released and lyrically Notts still has a reputation for greatness.
As far as nationwide releases it’s a different story. I see Nott’s like this; there is a handful of scientists working in the labs and they’re all working on the same thing, to split the atom. It’s like a cold war and it’s a race to see who does it first. In Nottingham we take our music very seriously and competition is what we all thrive on. It’s a power struggle and I see a new era for Nottingham on the horizon. It’s just a matter of time to see what will happen next.
“… I never quit or sold out during my career which is something I’m proud of …”
Are the P Brothers still down with Cappo? What are they up to?
I haven’t seen the P Brothers in a while, I know they are always working on the beats and they are still heavily involved in the music scene in Notts, working on that Heavy Bronx sound they created and that’s brought them so much acclaim.
They have worked with many artists from New York such as Sadat X and the Money Boss Players which is something I would like to emulate in the future. I learnt so much from them that it’s hard to say how much my own production method is influenced by them. I remember how the true essence of Hip Hop was so important to them and I try to keep the same ethics as they did when I’m working. Last time I saw DJ Ivory was at the launch for my “Directors Commentary” mixtape. I didn’t get chance to speak to him but it was an honour to see him there. The music that was made for the Heavy Bronx series and “Spaz the World” still amazes me when I hear it.
Cappo isn’t a name us southerners see on flyers much. How come you don’t gig down south that much?
Because I’ve been working on the beats for my album for so long it’s been difficult to concentrate on keeping my shows to a regular regime. When my new album is prepared I hope to inundate the UK for radio, media and reach as many shows as possible.
It’s very important to me to try and get this new album to as many ears as possible so as soon as the new LP is nearing completion I’ll be working with booking agents to make sure I’m there at the shows all over.
Any final words of wisdom?
Keep a lookout for new material from Cappo & Styly Cee coming soon, look out for the Weight Bench compilation “Crucible Status” early next year featuring Rukus, Regardless and Midnyte.
I got a new track with Mr Scruff he’s working on right now and I’m working with Ed209 on a new track that’s sounding off the radar.
Definitely cop the “Directors Commentary – Authorised Mixtape” CD at www.cappomixtape.com and comment on it at the myspace.com/cappomixtape.
Shouts to the future; Sandman & Humble hustler, Weight Bench Pavillionaires , Rukus, Regardless, Midnyte, Konny Kon and the Theorist. The legendary Styly Cee. Shouting the 1st Blood fam, Ed 209 at V.R.D, Labels and Stryder, Ste and Sean at Dealmaker records, all in Nottingham City that never sleeps, shouting UKHH.com for the opportunity. My new album is “The Weapon of Mass Destruction” – Nott’s is back in the plaza.
Be sure to check not only Cappo’s extensive back catalogue, but also by the looks of things his extensive forthcoming catalogue! All that remains is to thank Cappo and Ste for their time. Much love from UKHH.com.