ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue56

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Mistah Wilson slams exclusive interview with Kapone as he discusses his alias, music, and what Pasadena needs to bring a unified music scene into fruition

Mistah Wilson slams exclusive interview with Kapone as he discusses his alias, music, and what Pasadena needs to bring a unified music scene into fruition

Mistah Wilson: So Kapone whats good wit cha my brotha?

Kapone: Doin lovely at the moment bro, cain't complain!
Mistah Wilson: Cool cool. Nice to be able to score this exclusive time with you. Can you explain the whole alias thing? What made you settle with such a common name as Kapone?

Kapone: Well, my name is common but I doubt the way I came up with it was. Back when I started making music I went through MANY stage names but none stuck. I've always been a big 2Pac fan and so one day I was listening to 'Me Against The World' while pondering what name I should use. While listening I heard Kadafi's verse come up and he said something like, 'Can somebody help me? I'm out here all by myself seein- ladies in stores, baby capone's livin' wealthy'. And there it was, I liked the name and it stuck. I heard about a Capone from Capone-N-Noriega so I went with 'Kapone' instead.

Mistah Wilson: Understood. Yo, we hear you are active on the music scene. What type of role would you say you play?

Kapone: Hmmm, you know. I see myself as the go to guy for information. I don't see myself as an active part of the scene, I'm just active myself and that leads me to running into a lot of cool cats such as yourself and attracting others.

Mistah Wilson: Dope. Much appreciated. Though we haven't seen much of you on ThaWilsonBlock, we've always kept a close eye on your progression. What all do you do besides rap?

Kapone: I know…. I'm horrible lol. I've been doing so much by myself its hard to accept help sometimes. Don't hold that against me though, my inactivity is my personal hang up, not a diss towards ThaWilsonBlock, nothing but love for your organization! Well…. All that I do beside rap….. Musically speaking I produce, sing, play keys, engineer, play talk box and design album covers. Other than that…. I'm a student at PCC, a video gamer every blue moon and a full time shit talker.

Mistah Wilson: Haha word word thats wassup doh. Check it out, back in January you helped organize an official pasadena RAP meeting that was suppose to take place at Memorial Park. Of course ThaWilsonBlock supported via online promotion but we didn't make an appearance as planned because of some last-minute incidents. Some of the feedback received online wasn't that great would you like to clear some of the air on this subject?

Kapone: Well, Pasadena will make a unified movement once everybody is ready to be united and strong leaders steps up. I don't understand how there was ANY feedback about the 'Official Pasadena Rap Meeting' as I can count everybody that showed up to the meeting on my two hands. When it comes down to it, we are in a rat race and some artists feel probably feel that they only have time for their own careers. This isn't bad but it certainly keeps the realization of a united scene from coming into fruition.

Mistah Wilson: Makes sense to me. So tell me what drives you as an artist?
Kapone: Hunger, passion, purpose….. I LOVE music, GOOD music and being a musician allows me to constantly feed my addiction. Also, I feel like I can touch more people and spread my vision of life further using music as a platform. Finally, I see music as a means to take me further towards my other dreams and a better life

Mistah Wilson: As a young artist whose involved in the politics of pasadena indie music, what would be your views on the underground scene not only in Pasadena but collectively?

Kapone: I don't like the term 'underground'. I don't think its a term we as artist came up with, I think that labels created that term as an excuse to not pay a lot of talented cats. "Your a good rapper/producer but you should be doing music for the love, not the money! You need to be more 'underground', more 'real'" I think a lot of artists in the 'underground' scene are EXTREMELY talented but my outlook on the music game is all or nothing. If Imma make music, Imma set my goals as high as I can or I'm not gonna try at all. A lot of cats think that you HAVE to be underground to make good and truthful music but I've seen so many examples of cats being themselves and STILL getting paid so I'm inspired to do the same. I mean, if we could all sound the way we want and get paid Jay-Z money wouldn't we all?

Mistah Wilson: Not too many underground cats are digging where mainstream is headed and how it is sounding these days? What is your perception on that?

Kapone: You know…. I'm a little split. I've grown to like mainstream Hip-Hop but mainstream R&B is still a little too dummied down for me. I think that a lot of guys that ABSOLUTELY DO NOT like mainstream Hip-Hop are stuck in a time warp, only feeling cats that came out in the 90's. And all do respect, as 90's baby, the 90's were BOMB so I understand how they feel but there has been ALOT of good music to come out in the last decade or so in the mainstream, you just have to search for it and open your mind. Now, I don't like EVERYTHING mainstream, there's just some rappers/producers/etc I WILL NOT stand for but overall, I don't think we're in a bad place to be making music (From an artistic standpoint). The indie scene is KILLING the game and I'm proud to see cats that I liked 4+ years ago starting to become more widely known names on the mainstream circuit.

Mistah Wilson: Coming up, what artists, or icons, in the game inspired you to make music?
Kapone: Maaan…. My tastes
 are pretty diverse but uhhh… I liked 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Outkast, De La Soul, Mos Def, Common, Busta Rhymes, J Dilla, Pharell & The Neptunes and an endless list of cats other from New York…. I was also into Nujabes and his affiliates. But uhhh, thats just rap. I was also into Parliament Funkadelic, Zapp & Roger, Prince, D'Angelo and many others.

Mistah Wilson: Do you feel like the messages you put in your music is a big deal whether good or bad?

Kapone: My message is one of the main focuses of my music. I've grown up through a lot and my music is a means for me to share my life and the lessons I've learned with others. I hope my music and my message will help others lead a more enjoyable life by learning from my stories or even just putting them in a better mood at the moment. But I wanna make the distinction that the message a song portrays isn't just based on the lyrics of the song, the production and the overall atmosphere of the song contributes to what the listener takes away from it.

Mistah Wilson: Would you consider yourself something like a conscious rapper?

Kapone: Nope. Not at all. 'Conscious', 'underground', 'mainstream', ETC, these are all terms that were invented to hold us back from expressing ourselves as artists. To assume that any rapper is 'conscious' means that other ones are asleep lol. For me to assume that I'm conscious would mean that I have the answers, the 'right' answers but I don't. I'm human. All I know is MY experience and the experiences of those around me and through my music I share those experiences but I don't have everyone's answers. If being a 'conscious rapper' means that I can think and use my mind and my words, than I guess I'm conscious. But if 'conscious' means that I have to always be morally correct and rap about 'the struggle' and starving kids in Africa, I'm not conscious. I rap about the struggles I know, about the reality around me, whether that has to do with shakin' ass or dealing with racism.

Mistah Wilson: What are some industry cats you'd like to work with as far as rappers/producers or artists from other genres?

Kapone: Hmmm…. You know…. Thats a good question… It would be cool to work with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins….. Hmm…. I'd work with Cee-Lo and it would be dope to work with D'Angelo….. This goes back to what I was talking about earlier, I don't really like what they're doing to other genres. It seems like everything but Rock and Hip-Hop are getting turned into Electronica and Techno…. Not that I dislike either one of those genres, I'm just not familiar with them.

Mistah Wilson: What are some of the things you don't quite agree with when it comes to both mainstream & underground music today?

Kapone: I don't like the lyrical content of both mainstream and 'underground'. I feel that music should reflect one's life and mainstream lyrics are a little to fluffy for me and 'underground' lyrics are a little to deep for my tastes. Subject matter in Hip-Hop period is starting to get a little redundant and predictable period though… Also mainstream fashion sense is CRAZY… In a bad way lol. I know we gotta stand out as artists but damn…. Lil Wayne in Cheetah tights and Uggs…. Really?

Mistah Wilson: Are you independent or with a management team?

Kapone: Currently, its only Kapone…. lol. I do everything but I have people to advise me whenever I need it.

Mistah Wilson: Drop some names of some people you've worked with on the music tip?

Kapone: I've worked with Dying Breed (Jay Kasai & Stevie Dub), Jayy Starr, Craig Gillespie and J-Dash, Fitz Taylor, Edgar Sosa & Chief 909, Aspect The Great, Insight, Natestolgic, Young N Dominant, Matt Deason, Anagrams, J-Realz, Money Greene, Lance Green, Money D, Kush Tha Producer, Jay-O and DJ Foci.

Mistah Wilson: Drop the names of all your current & upcoming porjects and who you might be working with...

Kapone: I'm making a beat tape with a producer named Nabeyin, I got 8 tracks on Insight's new project, a couple on T-Ran's new project, and I plan to work with De Major, Stevie Dub, Fitz & Laylow Ent., ATG, Quasje, TeX, Eng from The Roses Grew, Mike Ant, and my sophomore album No Sleep Till I Reach My Dreams

Mistah Wilson: Come to think of it, how exactly did you hear about ThaWilsonBlock?

Kapone: The magic of myspace lol. Back in the days when I was trying to reach out and connect with every artist from Pasadena, I came across ThaWilsonBlock page and reached out to link up.

Mistah Wilson: Some MC's never make it in the game usually either because they don't really understand the business or their ego's get the best of them. What would you say it takes to make it not only in the game but in music period?

Kapone: RECENT knowledge of how the music game is because its changed so dramatically in the last few years. Beside that every cliche anyone else would tell you, talent, perseverance, originality, commitment, passion, dedication, courage and just a lil luck!

Mistah Wilson: Would you say ThaWilsonBlock Network has put somewhat of a stronghold on the indie underground music scene in Pasadena, Ca?

Kapone: I DEFINITELY would! ThaWilsonBlock Network is one of the FEW united strongholds for Hip-Hop in Pasadena period. Every one that raps in Dena has their own little click but ThaWilsonBlock Network is FAR beyond a 'little click', it is very much its own entity and one worth recognition.

Mistah Wilson: Well thanx for coming through and showing some love to ThaWilsonBlock! Got any shoutouts & links you wanna drop real quick?

Kapone: Shouts out to every one who supports me and my music, my friends, family, loved ones, y'all know who you are, a shout out ain't nothin but a thang! The love is real, and y'all have had it since day one! Shouts out to all my collaborators and future collaborators, and last and certainly not least….. Bing Bing for hookin me up with this interview! Appreciated fam!
- See more at: http://thawilsonblock.net/forum/topics/mistah-wilson-slams-exclusive-interview-with-kapone-as-he-discuss#sthash.KEgA1GZ2.dpuf

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