Sometimes I feel as though I don’t put on for my city enough – well, I’m going to work on ending that. I wanted to introduce you all to Capeech Cappucino, a talented brother hailing from Toronto. A devout student of hip-hop, and an obvious comic book head, Capeech has been on our radar for a minute now, so it was great to finally sit down and chat with him. In the Q&A below, we talk about how he got involved in the game, his upcoming project, and more.
Give him an ear, and check the interview.
How long have you been making music?
Going for about ten years. It started as a hobby of mine; but, I’ve been doing it serious for about a decade now.
How did you originally get into hip-hop? What made you make that change from just having it as a hobby to taking it seriously?
You know, things were going on in my life. One of my homeboys got popped, and when he died, I started looking around and thinking how many more of us are going to get popped. In the back of mind, I knew that I wanted to follow through and make music; so, I said let me go ahead and do that.
So what do you currently have out now?
I have a single I just put out, 6 UP, which is a prelude to this new album I’m currently working on.
Let’s talk a little bit about that album.
Right now I’m calling it Secret Wars, you know what I mean? There is a lot of BS in the industry, and a lot of talented MC’s are overlooked. It’s less about being passionate about the artform and more about who knows who. I am going to confront all the BS; I want to speak from the heart and show that if you represent the culture, you should be able to get over. And that is what I am going to do.
Where do you see your career going?
Well, I mean that’s a real question. I think everything is building up. I’ve been getting some serious love for my projects on the CMJ charts and the Earshot charts know what I mean? My last two EP’s started in the top ten – and that was just me introducing myself. I think with this next album, I’m going to cut through and begin to build a name for myself. My music is being felt from all the way out in Paris, France, to San Diego, California. I just think at the end of the day if your music is good enough, no matter who else is out, I think that you’ll make an impact.
I like that! So, how would you describe your music?
Well, with me Capeech Cappuccino, I’m from the boom bap era, but at the same time I don’t limit myself. Golden era hip-hop is always going to be in my heart, and I’m always going to feel it, but I’m the next generation of MC. I’m doing it for the love of the art form, the same way that Miles Davis and John Coltrain held it down for Jazz. The way Robert Nester Marley, Bob Marley, held down reggae, I’m saying the next foundation of artists is strictly pure, and speaking from the heart you know what I mean? I’m not in it to get rich. If the money comes, the money comes; but, first and foremost I’m seeing issues In the culture that bother me, and I think they should be addressed. I grew up in a neighborhood where selling crack was as fundamental as learning how to play basketball. Unfortunately, for a lot of my friends their consequences were not the best – so hopefully my music can point some young ones in the right direction.
I like that you’re building an organic career, and putting the music first. For some artists, it is like completely the opposite; the money comes first. It’s like they want the fame before they even put in the work.
I was always taught that you have got to put in the work first before you reap any of the benefits so I think that with my next album that I am going to drop in the New Year, I want to show the work I’ve been putting in. I’ve been building up to something and people have been waiting. My name is on the tip of their tongues, but their not quite getting to digest what I give them. So with this new album, I’m going to give them a full plate.
That’s a good look, and it’s a harder way to do it. A more organic approach is slower, but when you do things that way you end up with the bonus of longevity.
I will give you an example. When Jill Scott’s first album came out, it wasn’t on a big record label. Slowly but surely people started listening; she was on the tip of everybody’s tongue like “yo, this new girl Jill Scott is incredible.” You know what I mean? The rest is history, right?
I mean, look at El de Sensei. Like El’s out there working! He’s dropping albums, touring, and selling artifacts gear. El isn’t a mainstream artist – if you don’t know Artifacts, you’re probably not going to learn about them. But he has been the game for like 20 years?
He’s a vet; he’s a vet you know what I am saying?
He just makes good music, and he does not waver from it. People who like him, love him; and he’s very personable like, like if you go to his show, you could probably go on stage and rap with him you know what I am saying?
If you build that foundation slowly, they will ride with you forever yo. Like KRS said, I’d have a couple of hundred real heads by me, than one million fake ones behind me.
To be honest, with you one of the things I have been doing is expanding from the outside in. You dig what I am saying? The track that I just put up, “6 Up,” the reason I put it out was that a DJ from Ohio, DJ Quest, was like “yo, Capeech we need some new music from you.” I had no intention of putting anything out until the album was released, but I decided to get this off. Right now, a lot of the blogs are showing me a lot of love. You know what I mean like yours.
We have a cool position – and I know from making music down in Jersey and New York. Everybody thinks we have funky accents, and they’re more open than ever to our music; however, we’ve [Toronto artists] been out there forever. Just the other day I was listening to some Stretch & Bibbito tapes my buddy digitalized. It’s crazy, you go back to ’95, and they were playing Thrust, Choclair, Saukrates…
I was in Florida, and then I went to New York, and then I came back home. What I found out is that there are so many artists in Toronto, but what happens is that they don’t get the initial reaction they thought they might have gotten, and eventually they burn out. So it’s like a marathon and what I have come to understand is that Canadians are tough people. I met lots of heads in the US they were all trying to hear me, see what I am saying?
So I made it a point, I said to myself I am going to build from outside in as opposed to going from the inside out, and I have had much more success that way. I would love to get the respect and the love in my city, but you can’t beat a brick wall down with just your fists, so I decided to use my hammer – my hammer is my microphone – and I build from the outside in and then go from there.
And it’s a good time for us, I mean, for example, look at somebody like Frankenstein; like, if he came out today his shit would pop so hard in New York City, I mean the time is right for that, everybody is tired of all the other shit.
No doubt, timing is something that no one can predict, but when you’re in the moment, you have got to make the most of it.
At the end of the day, it will get you where you need to go, but you have got to put the work in.
That’s just it, and I mean there are cats out here that have put out like 33,000 mixtapes, and then poof, they disappear.
How good is the music? That is the thing too.
Yeah, but it’s tough. It’s very easy to make music these days; it’s not as it was back in the day. People had to work hard to get the music made; you know what I am saying?
I know what you are saying.
Anybody can make music now, I mean if you look hard you could probably find studios for as cheap as $50 a session.
It’s funny when I first started out, I was going around to different studios and so forth, and a lot of people have got the pro tools and the logics, and they were recording tracks and vocals, but truly when it comes to building the artists, they can’t do that.
You know what I am saying? And I think for a lot of artists, a lot of times, are lacking those things with the music. They have got nobody in their corner saying you need to change that up, or you didn’t do that right. I can’t tell you how many times people come on the radio, and they sound like Drake.
People always say that the older artists don’t like to pass the torch. They don’t like to share and mentor and stuff, but they do man you know what I am saying? A lot of the lower profile OGs do. I also think if you took an artist to an analog studio, the way they think about making music would change.
Yeah, that is a good point, I just saw an interview on that with a producer by the name of Louis Parker. My man was just saying he still records his stuff analog wise, and I was like wow that’s hot; I didn’t think anybody still did that, but that is hot.
Well Capeech, thanks for taking the to chat with me – and AAHIPHOP – today.
No, thank you. I wish you guys all the best for 2016; I know you guys are going to have a great year!