Kid Capri celebrated his 55th birthday on Monday (February 7) with the release of his first album in over 20 years. Titled The Love (which also happens to be his surname), the 19-track project was written, produced and performed by the legendary New York City DJ/producer.
During a recent interview with HipHopDX, Kid Capri talked about the motivation behind the project and how Lil Pump’s diss toward Eminem actually helped fuel his passion for creating the album. In December 2020, the “Gucci Gang” rapper randomly targeted Slim Shady in one of his Instagram videos, saying at the time, “Hey fuck Eminem, you is lame as hell. Ain’t nobody listening to your old ass. You lame as fuck, bitch. I woke up on some bullshit. I’m back on my fuck shit.”
As Kid Capri explains, that’s just one blatant example of the younger generation not having respect for the Hip Hop architects and pioneers who blazed a trail for the Lils of the world to walk down.
“That was just one of the things that did inspire,” Capri tells DX. “I got tired of seeing the younger dudes thinking that the older people ain’t capable. Like we ain’t been here building this business from the ground up from day one. Sometimes, it is the truth. A lot of older people, they get out of touch. They don’t want the younger people to come in and do their thing, and it be just back and forth exchange.
“But when I watch Little Pump disrespect a dude that became the Elvis of Hip Hop, this dude that sold millions and millions of records, created opportunities for so many people and is one of the greatest MCs on the planet, for him to just disrespect him like that, we losing our respect level.”
Time and time again, new rappers have illustrated just how little they respect their predecessors or care to do their research on the culture. In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Lil Yachty famously admitted he couldn’t name five songs by Tupac Shakur or The Notorious B.I.G. — two Hip Hop titans. He dug himself a deeper hole when he later called them “overrated” during Pitchfork’s “Over/Under” YouTube series. Although he chalked it up to a lack of “media training,” Lil Yachty never really cared enough to do his homework.
When Lil Yachty was asked if went back and studied their music in a 2021 interview with DX, he replied, “I wouldn’t say study up, but I definitely went back and listened for about … 30 seconds. I’m good. If you’re good at what you’re doing then … art is art. Do you need to study Picasso to learn how to paint? No. If you care then yes, but if not, who cares?”
Kid Capri wanted to address Lil Pump’s comments — but in a constructive manner. As he explains, “It’s starting to get a little bit too crazy where people think they can just say whatever they want and I felt like I needed to approach it. And what I said to him was, in a dad son type of way, let him know that, ‘Dog, enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, enjoy your money. Don’t disrespect people that you know you couldn’t handle the pressure of being on any stage with no Eminem or myself.’
“So why would you even go at somebody like that? Let’s keep it respectful. You want the respect from the older people, why you disrespecting the older people? And my thing is, I’m with everybody, my radio show is for the young and old, my album is for the young and old. Everything I do is for the young and old, never no one sided thing, but what’s right is right. You can’t disrespect people that have been here before you and laid the groundwork and open the doors for you to walk through. It’s just crazy.”
“Who?” he said in response to Joe’s question. “I don’t remember that.” But the Terror Squad OG continued pressing Pump until he delivered a semblance of an apology. But it sounded like he was apologizing for sleeping through Fat Joe’s initial request for an interview — not dissing Eminem.
Kid Capri clearly understands the only constant in life is change, and Hip Hop has to evolve with the times, however respect for Hip Hop’s elders is still paramount.
“Change is going to happen,” he says. “That’s inevitable. Things are going to change. You have to be able to move. You have to be able to move with the change, or you don’t have to, you can stay where you at, but the where you at may not be beneficial for you. So sometimes you have to change and be able to learn new things and dibble and dabble, and be able to stay relevant in certain things in order for people to stay at attention. But at the same time, when you work, you done your thing. The respect level should be there for you. It should always be there.”
The Love is currently available on all streaming platforms. Check it out below.