HHK: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us guys. Endemic you’ve spoken to us before; however can we have an introduction from Cappo for the readers who may not be familiar?
Cappo: I go by the name of the Grand Imperial 30,000 foot colossus condor in flight aka Cappo. Born and raised in the city of Nottingham I have been steadily releasing solidified Hip Hop music for over a decade. I have concentrated on lyrics and production for nearly half my life and my production tool is the Akai MPC 2000xl.
HHK: Needle drop has been labelled as one of the most anticipated U.K releases of 2009. Given both your track record, it’s surely something that’s going to be groundbreaking, and favourable amongst everybody. How did the collaboration initially come around? And how long did it take to make the E.P?
Cappo: I have been working with Endemic for a couple of years now, we originally hooked up through a mutual friend and I started writing towards a track for the ‘Terminal Illness’ LP. When the track was finished we agreed that we should keep collaborating towards a project that eventually led to the ‘Needle Drop’. I knew from when I first heard Endemic’s production we were coming from the same place so we started completing tracks then picked the best ones for ‘Needle Drop’.
Endemic: It took around 8 months to complete
HHK: The project features heavyweights Cyrus Malachi, Lee Ramsay, Iron Braydz and Scorzayee. How did you select the artists you wanted to feature on the project? And how do you feel the U.K Hip-Hop scene has progressed over the past twelve months?
Cappo: All the artists who feature on the project have worked with either me or Endemic in the past and every rapper on this release is ill beyond comparison so it was a natural progression to ask them to work on the ‘Needle Drop’. I work heavily on my own when writing verses so it was mainly Endemic who put the collabs together and I would add my bars and wait for the final result. The U.K Hip Hop scene has progressed at the same speed for the past few years now and I feel like the music that artists like me and Endemic make is what keeps Hip hop alive in 2009 on an international level. Needle Drop is the type of music that I respect and would listen to independently so I’m proud to have been part of this project and put my name to it.
HHK: Endemic had “Terminal Illness” distributed through EMI Music. Are you hoping for a similar result with the Needle Drop E.P? And how has the distribution benefited you for the forthcoming project?
Endemic: The EP is distributed by RSK entertainment for the European territory, however there will be copies distributed across USA via my affiliate label in New York. Yeah having my album distributed worldwide by EMI USA has definitely allowed me to gain an underground following worldwide, I constantly get hit up from fans all over the world telling me that terminal illness was one of their favourite records of 2009.
HHK: It would be fair to say that Cappo hasn’t shared similar commercial success, even though you’ve been rapping for a decade. Have you taken a different route musically for the E.P, or can we expect to hear a traditional performance from you?
Cappo: I feel like I rarely choose my route when writing to beats, I mainly just set about trying to annihilate all competition in one foul lyrical swoop and go in as hard as possible. I definitely stepped my game up when I heard Endemic’s production because I know Endemic go’s in as hard as me so all the tracks on ‘Needle Drop’ are guaranteed to have a powerful impact. My main effort when writing is to have my music stand up alongside the artists that I respect and I feel we definitely achieved that with ‘Needle Drop’.
HHK: What has been your favourite city to perform in?
Cappo: My home town has always been my favourite place to perform and it’s the place I’ve performed in the most. This is the city where I learned and honed my craft so to be able to stand up on stages and get respect for what I have achieved is important to me.
Endemic: Got to be New York for me.
HHK: Are there any other plans for the remainder of 2009? And what websites or publications can fans check out your latest news and music?
Cappo: I’m working hard on my new album and my new mixtape ‘Directors Commentary II’ and keeping busy with the production and verse writing. I’m currently working on my fledgling clothing line Imperial Sports and setting up the website. You can check the progress of the tour schedule and promotion of the ‘Needle Drop’ and my future music projects at myspace/capponotts.
Endemic: I’m just finishing producing Ruste Juxx’s (of Boot Camp Clik) new album “adamantine”, this features artists such as ill bill, Smif n Wesson, Torae , Skyzoo, Supreme and many more! Check myspace.com/endemicproductions for all latest news and music
HHK: I hope the E.P launch goes very well. And of course Hip-Hop Kings will be fully supporting the release. Is there anything further either of you would like to add to the interview?
Endemic + Cappo: Good looking out for your time thanks for your support it’s much appreciated. ‘Needle Drop’ is the underground’s life blood. Peace.
HHK: Thanks again for speaking to Hip-Hop Kings. Keep in touch and take care!
Interview by Ryan Maxwell.