Cappadonna Talks "The Pilgrimage" And Absence From Upcoming Wu-Tang Clan Tour And Album

Exclusive: The unofficial tenth Clansman candidly explains why he is currently not part of a planned 2012 Wu reemergence and why his own rhyme revival is not a comeback.

Ten is an important number.

The number 10 has long symbolized completion: from Ten Commandments, to 10 amendments comprising the Bill of Rights, to 10 yards netting that coveted first down in football.  

While not Biblical, political, or even necessarily as theatrical as a Tim Tebow touchdown, there is one other arena wherein the number 10 should be equally esteemed: within the Wu-Tang Clan. But sadly for fans of Cappadonna, the number 9 has long stood as the number of completion for the Clan.

While not making his official recording debut alongside his childhood friends from Staten Island until Raekwon’s “Ice Water” and “Ice Cream” from The Chef’s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… in 1995, Cappadonna has come to be considered the completion of the group to most fans of the Clan. But yet and still, Cap remains officially “unofficial” when it comes to anything Wu-related.  

Recently, Cappuccino provided some candid clarity to HipHopDX about why one official Wu-Tang member is still, in 2011, having to argue on Cap’s behalf for the emcee representing the number 10 to make the Wu’s cipher complete. Dancehall Donna also spoke to DX about the seemingly revived rhyming on his just-released new album, The Pilgrimage, and why he never fell off with his darts post-Pillage but that it is “everybody catching up to me.”     

HipHopDX: I wanna start off by asking you about “Pull Your Life Together.” I was just curious if your lyrics about not looking down upon the downtrodden were inspired by your own walk in those shoes back in ’02? 

Cappadonna: It was inspired by just the general experience of not only my life, but also those around me and those who was affected by what happens in my life, like my children, my children’s mother, my brothers and sisters, my mom. So when something happens to an individual, it just don’t happen to an individual, it’s a chain effect on all those who love and cherish that individual. Yeah, so I had to take on the burden of my own fancy of being less fortunate, and then at the same time, I had to take on those who felt some kind of way that this was taking a toll on me in whatever fashion.  

But at the same time, the victory is being in tune enough to know that there’s a greater calling other than that of material wealth and gain. So there was a lesson to be learned in that. And a lot of people don’t learn that lesson.          

Cappadonna Explains Refreshed Sound On The Pilgrimmage

DX: Now, you’re back on your pilgrimage, as an artist, and from the comments to DX’s audio posting of “Cuban Link Kings” folks are feeling like you’re back “in Pillage mode.” Do you feel like you’re throwin’ them darts a little more precisely now than you had been in recent years?

Cappadonna: Well, I always been my worst – I thought that I had been my worst critic, but I find that people could be really, really critical of you…on all counts and all levels. But I just feel like I’m doing what I always done. It’s just a matter of people being able to grow with you, or change with you, or being able to identify with some of the things that you go through and how you express it … If somebody don’t have no experience or never experienced, they might not catch on till five years later. So basically, everybody catching up to me. ‘Cause I always been ahead of my game. I always been on point. The most I ever fell off point is when I tried to adhere and do what everybody else wanted me to do, trying to make things to please other people. See, that was my worst downfall right there, because you can never please anybody.

So I just keep doing what I do, I just keep trying to make the music the best way that I know how, and waiting till those who find favor in me reach out and start realizing after a short period of time or a lengthy period of time that this is something that they can relate to ….

Cappadonna Says Inspectah Deck And Him Are Connected To The Hood

DX: I noticed [Inspectah] Deck is rockin’ wit’chu on two tracks on The Pilgrimage. Is Deck who you’d say you’re closest to in the Clan?

Cappadonna: Well, I’d say that [Inspectah] Deck is more or less – he’s more in the hood. He’s more in tune with the hood than the majority of the rest of the Clan. He’s always in there. Me and him basically was the last ones to really get out, [so] it’s like our heart is there. We really have a deep compassion for the struggle. And they say the last shall be first, and this feel sometimes like we them last ones that really took it upon ourselves to act like we was on “high society.” Hollyhood, you know how they say. We never forget where we come from because we always going back.

DX: I asked that question to ask this one: You’ve spoken in the past about the relationships within the crew not being as close as people might think they are, [but] have your communications personally improved with everyone, or is it still not where you feel it should be?

Cappadonna: I still feel like we got some growing to do. We got differences, but so do everybody else in life and in families and in business and in everything else that we have to face on our regular, daily routines. But, you know, there’s always room for improvement. There’s a lot of things that have to be put aside and overlooked, and we have to allow each other to move forward. But at the same time, move forward in a way that’s … unifying to our team. We can’t forget what we built together and what we stood for, what our principles was that we stood on on the way up.

The Wu-Tang Clan Has Not Yet Included Cappadonna On New Ventures

DX: Are you gonna be present for these Wu-Tang shows they’re gonna be doing in December and January?

Cappadonna: Well, that’s just a matter on how they judge me. It’s like, they say only God can judge but it’s like, I’ve sat down in front of my brothers, with them at one end of the table and me at the other end of the table, deciding on whether or not I was down with the Clan, or whether or not I should be getting paid an equal share – just mad different discrepancies coming up over and over again. I mean, even [Ghostface Killah], this year, ramped and raged on two or three different occasions about why the majority of the Clan is not understanding, or not seeing, that I’ve been a part of this shit since day one. And he’s been voicing that for awhile. It’s different when – When I voice it, it’s just something that I should do, but when you got somebody else voicing it within the Clan, that right there raises questions.

DX: So if you’re not sure about your standing when it comes to these shows, have you been in the studio with the rest of the group for these new recordings they been reportedly doing for a new album?

Cappadonna: Nope. I haven’t been in there either. It’s like, yo, you can’t sleep on the technique though. Because remember, many have come, but the chosen are a few. And a lot of times God overlooked the multitude to find that one person. So while you might think you doing something by rising up against that, you might be separating yourself from – That’s what they did, they separated themselves from all of the prophets.

DX: Well, I don’t wanna end on a heavier note so let’s end this quick Q&A on a lighter note. I just wanna note that the video Forbez DVD shot with you for “Milk This Cow” [from The Pillage] might’ve been the video of the year. I loved how you did the Puffy in “Hate Me Now,” pouring out the champagne but with the milk thing. [Laughs]

Cappadonna: Yeah! Yeah! And you know what was funny, man? I was so clownin’ that day. It was just like … I don't know, I felt like a kid again. You know when you throw something back and then take it back it’s like you reliving that feeling? It was crazy. My whole hood was out there, man! They was buggin’ out. They felt the same way. And it wasn’t about – Nobody was like, “Aww man, I don’t got nothing to wear” and all that crap. It was like, “Yo, I’m in the hood, man. Fuck everything, don’t try to change me into something I’m not, I’m just an all-around homeboy that lived next door to you, G.”

So it’s like, if somebody looking for me to be on some commercial-ass frontin’ shit, don’t even do it, ‘cause I can’t afford it. I gotta be real with myself and be real with what’s going on so that nobody mistake me or ever try to accuse me of selling out or being something that I’m not. Yo, before any of that, I’m hood for life. And I love my brothers. And I would never, ever violate that trust fund and that line of loyalty. I proved that shit over and over again. 

RELATED: GZA Re-Signs To Babygrande Records, New Album Planned For 2012

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42 Comments

  • wu kid

    They lost the formula... This new Wu-tang album isn't going to be anything more than mediocre..sadly If there's even a question as to whether to Include cappadonna to the tour or album. Then its clear the clan has no clue what the fans are needing right now. so this new album is gonna flop because of it. Tired of you fence riding fake ass Wu/Hip-hip fans too. Wouldn't know intricate lyricism if you got beat over the head wit it. Just a few tracks where Cap SHREDS. Supa Ninjas - one of the illest wu verses Winter Warz Iron Maiden - shines over Rae AND Ghost! Dart Throwin - one of the illest wu songs I Dont' even know you - Kills it Wu-Wear Daytona 500 Heaterz For Heaven Sake Little Ghetto Boys Ice Cream 97 Mentality Run Its The Unit (off a Theodore Unit LP) Great Cap Tracks nobody seems to know about.. Love is the message Grungy Don't Turn Around Do it/Push Big Business Illest Albums The Pillage Yin & Yang The Struggle No wonder the clan doesn't know what the fans want. seems the "fans" never knew what was good! and if you can't identify quality then you can't demand it can you? I swear I h8 people. Old school Wu-4life 1993-2004

  • EvansLeslie

    my classmate's ex-wife makes $78 every hour on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her paycheck was $8804 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it on this site MakeCash4. c o m

  • wukillabee

    yo idk why cap gets all this hate from the clan whens hes been involved since the start..didnt U-god used to beatbox for donna before Rza even came up with the idea of the clan?..taught the nigga how to rap and you still gunna hate?..shit ill be mad s hell if he aint on the new album..and on sum real shit how is Cappa not gunna be part of the tour when Rza never fuckin shows up anyway??..I can already tell what type of tour this is gunna be..smh

  • Anonymous

    I'd put him above Masta Killa and U-God personally. U-God always been mediocre and M.K. has got very average lately. Cappa been more consistent since he came out and has a much better solo album than those two - The Pillage is tight

  • What

    Amean seriously Cap is not a great MC, Rapper,prformer whatever you wanta call him, dude is just another average cat doing what he like to get by, dude couldnt sell a million album if his life depended on it. too cap stay in your zone homie and try to get money you aint that GREAT

    • Edi Kajmolli

      listen to winter warz even better and more recently "black tequila" im just glad this site is finally giving real dudes some coverage man im sick of hearing bout the same bitch ass rappers time after time again his best joint is "Oh Donna" with Ghostface that track is fuckin disgusting

    • A

      Go listen to 97 Mentality

  • For_Shame

    He was up there with Ghostface and Rae doing the RocktheBells this year. Making no damn sense to add him to the lineup.

  • Tommy

    I don't think Cappadonna deserves 10th man status or that gwap. I know RZA turned his back on a lot of cats, but Masta Killa, U-God and Deck are lucky. Cap isn't as lucky. "Winter Warz" is still my shit though, and shout out to Ghost for all the opportunities he gave dude, and sounds like he's givin' dude. I'd much rather see Cappadonna open a Wu member's show than one of their fuckin' kids.

    • Edi Kajmolli

      nah dude cappa was in jail when Wutang was formed so that he couldnt join and then Masta Killa and Killah Priest had a rap off to see who would be in the Clan and MK won... for real tho guys im glad Wutang has serious rigor and doesnt let ppl in and out of the clan... this aint fucking G Unit lmfao

  • billyblue2

    for me the Wu fell off years ago and the fighting is not helping them .yo cappz always had skill and was respected on the mic just needed better producers in my opinion.. hopefully his new album is better then the wack shit ive heard from the members of wu in the last couple years!!

  • billyblue2

    for me the Wu fell off years ago and the fighting is not helping them . cappadonna always had skillz and was respected on the mic just needed better producers in my opinion.. hopefully his new album is better then the wack shit ive heard from the memebers of wu in the last couple years!!

  • mike j

    go to youtube and search blacklawrebelmusic check us out give us feedback!!!!

  • Sha

    Peace to the God... go cop the new album... peace Original Tazim Great Mind aka Consider All Poor People Acceptable Don't Oppress Nor Neglect Anyone

  • Anonymous

    He dropped classic verses in late 90s. Underrated MC

    • foekist

      I agree, totally. He lost his self-belief early 2000, and its been all down hill from there. Even with kanye west and dr dre on the beat, Capa still could shift a mil

  • Powerphi

    Personally, I never cared much for this dude, and don't consider him to be a charter member. He's an average rapper at best.

  • Gambino

    My devastating hot 97 mentality, Keep me on point for my four digit salary................................................

  • DAG

    'Run' was a crazy track. Cappa defo needs to up the quality of his producers, Pillage was his last good album

  • G

    Pillage is the most underated album ever! 97 Mentality was the sh1t as well.

  • V-Nasty is God

    Of course he isn't official, they just needed someone around to make U-God look better (didn't happen) so RZA was like "hey, Raekwon got a friend that raps, let's feature him but not put his name on the album" and that's the story of Cappadonna.

    • Roger

      Uh, like Cappa said, he's been there around the Wu from day one. U-God beatboxed for him, Method cites him as an rap influence.

  • Wu Forever

    Yeah! To me, Cappa is official. RZA should just announce it officially. It's weird because when "The W" dropped, I thought Cappa was official, and then "Iron Flag" dropped and it was like, okay, I guess he's not official. Politics aside, he needs to be officiated. He probably was the reason Ghost had the hottest joint on Iron Man, RZA and Wu-Element beats and clan involvement aside. But more importantly, I want to know when Milk This Cow video dropped. As an avid Wu fan, (and yes, before online videos, I did have the "Run" and "Black Boy" videos on tape, this totally went under my radar. Well, better late than never. You gotta love Youtube for real...

  • Anonymous

    Killah Priest is much better.

  • Anonymous

    Cap is dope but you know the real reason you aint official Wu my dude..You brought an informant into the Wu and you refuse to sever ties...keep it 100

  • Azhar

    When I think of Cap...I think Wu...so he's an official member in my book

  • Wu Da Chi Chu

    NY Rappers never get along that's why they arent relevant anymore.the wu-tang had their shine and messed it up

    • @ Wu Da Chi Chu

      YOU WANTED SOME ATTENTION, HUH? ROSS & JEEZY AIN'T FROM NY. GUCCI, LUDA, BIG SEAN, DRAKE, PAUL WALL, CHAMILLIONAIRE, GAME, RAS KASS AIN'T FROM NY. S'MATTER A NY DUDE LAUGHED AT YOU FOR WEARING FAKE JORDANS OR US POLO ASSN? TOOK YOUR LUNCH MONEY? TOOK YOUR GIRL? GO CHOKE ON A LEGO FCUKBOI.

    • Anonymous

      Can I say all Chi rappers will never get on unless they wear a blouse like Kanye or a dashiki like Common? Because that's how stupid you sound.

  • daudkee

    whats really fucked up is that i couldn't find a single review for the pillgrimage...did anybody listen to it...i did it's pretty good he needs to get some wu beats pronto tho

  • poet

    Cappa is official, listen to Triumph or Heaven's sake, in the very least!

  • Anonymous

    that's fucked up. his verse on "winter warz" alone should cement his status.

    • theIVth

      Real Talk Sometimes all it takes is for one dope verse from a rapper and you will forever check for him simply cause of that verse. Winter Warz did it for me when it comes to Capadonna. He should be made an official member for that verse alone.

    • Shamba Menelek

      I co- Sign that. One of my all time favorite verses.. Shit gets u Hype A' Time but u know its been awhile so the newer heads may not be up on that. Cap always had the voice and a canny way with words and genuine too. soundclick.com/shambamenelek

  • Anonymous

    Cap is mad under-rated, he should certainly be considered an official clansmen, his work on Ironman and Wu Forever alone earned him his place in the group The Pillage is to me,one of the last truly great Wu Related albums, they still drop dope shit to this day, but there classics to me are 36 Chambers Tical Liquid Swords Cuban Linx Ironman Return to the 36 Chambers Heavy Mental Pillage Supreme Clientele

    • Anonymous

      I dig ur list. Yeah, remember when The Pillage dropped and we were like "where are Decks, U-God, Masta Killa, RZA albums?" Cappa was hot then and they were like "shit, we need to drop his album now." I remember when it dropped, my close homie copped it before I did, and we sat there listening to it, and always rewinding "Run." The Pillage will always be a classic to me, and it was a monumental period of dope beats, and the continuation of the Wu saga! Cappa, Ghost and Rae to me were the pioneers of rocking dope street gear too, before these current artists...

    • T.O.T.

      I can Co-sign that. Plus Forever.

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