Brace yourselves—a brand new Wu-Tang Clan album is coming December 2. A Better Tomorrow, which will be released by Warner Bros., marks the first album in seven years for unified members RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna. Ghostface capped it by saying, "We're getting Bugs Bunny money."
We turn now to Cappadonna. Born Darryl Hill, of Staten Island, Cappadonna is Wu-Tang's not-so-secret weapon. Some say he taught half of Wu-Tang how to rap. Cappadonna's debut record, 1998's The Pillage, is a minor classic. For Wu-Tang, he's been a mainstay supporter and sideline guru, featured on more than 25 releases with Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface. Cappa's status as a Wu-Tang member has fluctuated somewhat over the years. In the late '80s, he served a prison term and was replaced by Method Man. In 2002, Cappa gave up his worldly possessions to embark on a pilgrimage to be homeless and drive a cab in Baltimore. He got back to the core of himself. Now he's back rowing big with Wu.
Cappadonna spoke from the Wu-Tang bus. I'm not sure where they were. There was much activity.
Cappadonna. Cap. Hello.
The Shaka Zulu. Underground. Underworld. Straight out the hive with this one.
Everyone's looking forward to A Better Tomorrow. How are you feeling about it?
The fact that the album title is A Better Tomorrow is something I'm thankful for. At the time we were working on tracks, I was going through some things—fake friends, snakes, and foul-ass chicks. All of that. It might not sound like it on my verses, but I was looking forward to a better tomorrow. It felt good to work it out on the album. I'm hoping everyone feels my contribution, and feels my pain, 'cause I came to bring the pain.
When Wu-Tang is in the studio, how is it decided who will be on what verse, or what bar, or what song? Who directs it?
Sometimes it happens naturally. Sometimes RZA directs. Or somebody in there. It might be a collective thought pattern that brings everything together. Either way, that's how we do it. RZA gets the majority of the final say over most of the operations. We all put our feel on it, then we put it out. Depending on who's in there, and whatever's being said, some stuff might make it, some stuff may not make it. The important thing is that when we come, we try to shoot that dart, so that it will be utilized for something.
[Someone, possibly Ghostface, hops on the phone and raps briefly, about raisins. Or Xbox.]
What are your thoughts on Ferguson, Missouri, and Mike Brown?
Lock that man up, Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Mike Brown. Hold Darren Wilson responsible. Detain him. That's how you stop all this. They know that. This kind of behavior's been going on for years and years and years. Maybe even BC. But it's good for the Caucasian people to speak on what they think about it. Because it lets us know where their mind-state is. Like, if this is the way those people think, and this is what they're trying to do, then we need to hear them say it. We got the Aryan nation, the Ku Klux Klan, and all these other little underground strategic people that are bound to go against the system. We need Aryans to speak out.
Like I told my man, "If you're seeking peace, roll with those that want peace. If you're seeking war, roll with those that want war." There's a lot of ignorance with the police. It's systemic. These police aren't necessarily looking to keep the peace. Damn, it's like towns are safer without the police there. And that's not how it should be. Police are out there rolling with weaponry, and they're scared. They need to reteach the methods. Black people aren't the enemy, but that's how lots of white cops think. All these killings aren't just random savagery. Cops might think they're not racist, but they're out there with their fear and their itchy trigger fingers, in all their bulletproof battle gear. All peace due to the Most High God.
2014 feels like 1963.
They're in the hood doing all that shit. They ain't in the suburbs. My hood is probably next. They just had something go down, and SWAT was out there. They up in there and killed somebody. They called the Coast Guard, the National Guard. But we gotta build anew right now. All things due to the Most High God.
Get crazy on some verbiage, if you would, right now. Anything off the top.
You want the fuse? It's exclusive. Don't eat meat, eat fish, stay young, air in your lungs. Break outta the Five Pockets, Staten Island. Say that, don't be confined. Don't forget who you are. You don't have to be who people think you are. Milk this cow, the best way you know how. Chicka pow.
I'm going to say a word, and I want you to rhyme it. Your brain is a rhyme factory.
Assault and battery. Unsatisfactory. You already slow.
TV Dinner. Lottery winner.
If you had a 3-D printer, and could make anything, what would you make?
Are we not rhyming anymore? [Laughs] If I had a 3-D printer, I'd make a hundred 3-D printers. And I'd give them to the people of Staten Island, so they could make whatever they needed. I'd make them the best university in the world, with the best professors. I'd make them a giant farm, right there. So they could harvest their own food. Staten Island would be on some Willy Wonka shit. You see a bus-stop bench, you could eat it, and it'll give you all the nutritional value you need. Thanks for playing. Shaka Zulu. I do, you do.
When did words become rhythmic for you? Do you remember the first time you ever tripped up a phrase into a rap?
I was 7, 8, or 9, somewhere around there. It's been a long, long time. Since before the beatbox days. Fat Boys and all them. Ever since then, I been pulling little nursery rhymes and knickknacks together, you know, to prescribe my knickknack paddy-whack.
They used to call me the Slang Reverend. My brother gave me the name Cappa Slappa, then I changed that to Cappa Don. Then I put the "na" on there cause I'm always trying to add on. I keep it Trappadonna, Cappadonna, consider all poor people acceptable. Don't oppress nor neglect anyone. That's how I feel. That's how I move right there. Yep. My nigga Jimmy Kang, Protect Ya Neck Records, PYN. Get that Hook Off album on iTunes. Remember, it's nice to be important, but it's even more important to be nice. Killa Beez on the swarm, first born, you already know.