Exclusive – Pioneering Bronx turntablist/producer Kid Capri catapulted to international notoriety in the 1990s as the first DJ to appear on major television networks such as BET and VH1. Often heralded as “The Guru of Mixtapes,” his imprint on Hip Hop culture rivals that of any early architect.
Some of his producer credits include Snoop Dogg, JAY-Z, Madonna, Heavy D and 50 Cent — and that’s just a sliver of the work he’s put in over the years. In 1999, Capri took home a Grammy Award thanks to his contribution to JAY-Z’s “It’s Like That” from Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life, further solidifying his status as a bona fide Hip Hop legend. On February 7, Kid Capri will release his first official solo album in over 20 years. Dubbed Love, the project is titled after his surname and features his daughter Vina, Lovel and Mr. Lexx.
But aside from those modest additions, Kid Capri wrote, performed and produced the entire 19-track effort. As one of the track titles suggests, it’s also 100 percent “sucka free.” During a recent interview with HipHopDX, Kid Capri spoke at length about his extensive career and revealed the DJs who make up his own Mt. Rushmore.
“Jazzy Jeff, [Kool DJ] Red Alert, Grandmaster Flash and Kid Capri,” he tells DX. “But I ain’t got no ego [laughs].” Ego or no ego, Kid Capri does have one thing — confidence in his craft (and rightfully so). Speaking on the forthcoming album, he couldn’t pinpoint a favorite track and instead, opted to explain why he had a bigger focus in mind while piecing it together in the studio.
“When I made this album, I didn’t make it thinking about, ‘Let me make the best record,'” he says. “I was thinking about, ‘Let me make the best album. Let me make the body of work.’ And when they hear the body of work, let the public decide the best thing and what they like out there. Just like any other album, it could be The Chronic, it could be Illmatic. It could be like that. Any other album, you’re going to like some records more than the other, right? But one thing you would not be able to say, that not one record on my album is whack. Not one record on the album is not good.”
Working with his daughter Vina also added a sentimental element to Love, but he admits he initially didn’t want her to take the artist route.
“When she first wanted to get the business, I didn’t want to put her in it,” he explains. “I didn’t want her to be a part of it. Because I didn’t think she was ready yet. But I knew how she was as a person, so I knew she would be able to handle how the industry moves. I just didn’t know if she was really talented yet, and I didn’t want to put her out there just because she’s my daughter.
“I wanted to make sure she was right and she grew into something really good. She could really sing. She really do it. She really works hard and she’s great on stage. She makes great records, so she’s doing it. To sit there and watch and put her on shows and concerts and stuff like that always made me proud. And now, I made this record with her. We putting this out together. It’s just a special moment right now.”
Kid Capri is currently the host of “Kid Capri’s Block Party” on Sirius XM FLY, which airs every Saturday and Sunday. Check back with HipHopDX for Part II of the Kid Capri interview soon.