I’m very good, man. I’m just working hard, like always.
What have you been up to lately?
Starting No Kid’n Records. I have that going on with my new artist Budda Early from the Bronx and the Uninvited Guests. I’ve been on the road, doing too many shows, as always. That doesn’t stop. We have the RHN, a new television network, about to come out. We’re also still working on my movie, The Craziest Kid. I’m producing a lot too right now.
How important has the constant touring been to your career?
It’s big for me and my peoples. It’s what’s helped all these years of me still being hot like that without really being on the radio and without me really having any records out or being on TV. It’s a blessing and I appreciate it every day I see it. It definitely throws us back because it’s been a long time. It’s like it all started yesterday. It never stops.
How’s Budda Early’s project coming?
Man, he’s getting a good, big response in the country and out of the country. I didn’t even know I was going to get the response to that record so early on into it. With the response I’ve been getting to it, it’s looking like it’s going to be doing real, real well. It’s hard to get New York on the record, but they are and that’s a good thing. It’s also playing in the South. Budda Early is definitely one of the hardest working and most humble dudes I ever worked with. He’s like ‘Pac walking the earth. He’s been working with me for a long time and it’s taken a long time for him to get what he’s supposed to get. He’s humble and he doesn’t have a problem working. All these artists act like you owe them things and they shit on you, but this dude right here definitely shows his loyalty. It’s definitely going to happen for him.
What made you choose “Let Your Shoulders Bounce” as Budda Early’s single?
What happened was that was a joint that we did a long time ago. I was at a DJ thing for the Core DJs. I was DJing for them and I was playing a bunch of Budda’s early joints that we did. I had something like 200 Budda songs at the time. I was playing the songs that we had back then and I played “Let Your Shoulders Bounce.” They asked me to play it again and they loved it. I remade the beat and the next thing you know, the response we got is crazy.
You produced “Let Your Shoulders Bounce.” When you produce for Budda, what do you try to bring out of him?
I don’t really have to bring anything out in him. He makes my beats a complete song. I had to show him how to make records, and on his own, he kind of developed his own kind of way of making records. Depending on the kind of beats I give him, the records come out a certain way. I’m making sure he stays universal and stays versatile, no matter what the situation is. I don’t want him to be a one-sided rapper where he’s here one day and he’s gone the next. I want him to have a long stretch of a career and he’s focused on that. A lot of rappers aren’t focused on the fact that it’s dope to have five, six, seven hot albums instead of having one good album and a bunch of wack albums.
You have to really know what the people want. Being that he has Kid Capri in his corner and I’m all over the country in all different clubs, I know what the people want. I’m able to give the people what they want. I’ll turn these people into believers and then when Budda Early gets his success going, that’s a double-edged sword right there. We’re going to take over everything and run the world. That’s what the focus is. We’re trying to make it to the point where you know Kid Capri for everything. People don’t know that Kid Capri is a producer and they don’t know how many people I’ve worked with and how many careers I’ve saved and how many careers I’ve ended! I don’t talk about those things, but that’s why the movie that they’re doing on me, The Craziest Kid, talks about all of that. It talks about a lot of things that happened in my career. There’s Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, Method Man, Busta Rhymes…There’s a lot of people in the movie. It’s hot. There’s a two-minute trailer on my MySpace.
With my man Budda and my rock band Uninvited Guests…They’re groundbreaking. They’re about to be a major band. I’m not just looking at one genre of music. I have a pop singer. I’m looking at all different kinds of music and that’s what I’m bringing the world.
What’s the hardest part about breaking a new artist in the game today?
One is that everybody thinks that they have a hot record. It’s really up to the DJs to decide that. It’s really up to the DJs to get a record and to go with it and make it hot, either in the clubs, on the radio or on the mixtapes. Once they don’t get on it, it’s kind of hard to get it going unless you have the types of connections behind the scenes where people are going to play your video. But if you’re looking for a mixshow DJ to play it, it has to be in their face and it has to be hot. Then you have other DJs who don’t want to see you do good.
But when you’re good, it doesn’t matter who hates. It’s going to override everybody. That’s why I stayed humble throughout my career and I never asked nobody for money to play their records on the radio. I used to get offered all kinds of money and shit, but I wouldn’t take it. I’m a DJ and I play hot shit. That’s why I’ve been strong to this day. I don’t knock what anybody else does, but I play what it is. I’m at the level where I’ve done everything that there is to do with DJing. There are a lot of good DJs before me, but I made DJs be looked at as artists. I made that happen. I opened a lot of doors for different DJs. I’ve played everywhere and I’ve been on every stage. Now it’s time for me to do my CEO thing with No Kid’n Records. I’m not going to stop smashing shows. That’s in me. But I’m on to the next thing now. I think I have the group and the know-how to really make something happen.
I also have the RHN channel. That’s the Real Hip-Hop Network. That’s going to be up and running in July. It’s going to be a 24 hour hip-hop network. It’s going to be covering everything that’s missing in hip-hop. I’m about to shoot the first pilot for one of the shows that I’m executive-producing. I’ve developed 15 shows for them. These dudes already signed The Dave Chappelle Show to the network. They have the building and you’re going to be seeing a lot of different changes taking place in hip-hop. You’re not going to just be seeing the same 10 videos. Not to diss nobody, but what we’re doing is a 24 hour hip-hop station. You’re going to be seeing cats from the new school, old school, London…Wherever hip-hop is at, which is worldwide, that’s what’s going to be on this station and you’re going to see it all. The same way you see Nelly and Mims is the same way you’re going to see Grandmaster Flash or Tito from the Furious Four.
Do you think RHN could replace shows like 106 and Park and TRL for hip-hop videos?
I think it could because 106 and Park is a strong show. BET is definitely a great network. It’s definitely been outstanding for black people, but in my opinion, I don’t think it shows enough hip-hop. It’s not specifically a hip-hop station. People want to see hip-hop. They show the shows that they show because they have to show them because they have people who aren’t just listening to hip-hop all the time. But for those that want hip-hop all the time, this network is for them. That’s not to shut anybody else out. BET and MTV are strong. They do what they do and they do it well. RHN is going to be a 24 hour hip-hop station for anybody that wants it. What makes it so crazy is that they signed on Dave Chappelle, me and KRS-One. KRS is taking care of the rap department and I’m taking care of the DJing department. They don’t want to show videos that are degrading to women, even though they know hip-hop is supposed to be edgy.
Me and KRS-One just went on Fox News and talked about it and we got a great response on it. We had a big press conference on it and I’m really happy that everything went well. We were talking about the upliftment of hip-hop and the way that hip-hop is imaged right now. It’s great, but it’s not so great. With the situation with Imus and all the things that make us look negative and with what’s just going on with hip-hop, period, now is the perfect time for something to come and just straighten hip-hop out. It’s the perfect time for it. Hip-hop is edgy and I’m not trying to water it down, but these kids are only seeing what they see on TV and that’s where hip-hop starts for them. There are so many different things going on with hip-hop that the people don’t know is there. This is the network that’s going to make it happen.
How’s the Uninvited Guests project coming?
Their album is crazy. They just did a concert with DMX in Philly. Their show was crazy. I got them doing a lot of shows now. We’re about to set up a big tour for them. We’re working on that right now. I’m setting up a tour for Budda and I’m also setting up a tour for a couple of these shows that we’re doing. Their album is crazy, man. It’s just a matter of really getting the right situation going on. We’re doing our independent thing right now and if a company comes along in the right way, we’ll make something happen. If not, we’ll still make something happen. I just had a meeting with Diddy and we’ll see what happens. He put phone calls in to other people about my rock band. They really like my stuff right now.
My question is, do I want to do this the independent way or do I want to do it on a major? Music sales aren't right and I still have to be able to feed my family and make sure my artists are good. Does it make sense to sign to a major and get the exposure and promotion that they’ll give me? Does that turn into dollars and cents? We have to take care of our families and our bills. Or do I want to be able to go independent, make money and promote myself with the money I make and do my own thing. It’s kind of like, ‘Where do I go?’ The independent thing works for people that are able to bring the project that can hold people over. If you don’t have that type of project, you can’t go independent. The way I’m thinking, I’m thinking big, big business. I’m not thinking of selling a few records for $7 a record. I’m thinking these artists are too big for that. I’m thinking if I can do it like these big companies do it, then I’m straight. I'm on my way to doing great things with my label.
Is Henny still a part of No Kid’n Records?
No, he isn’t. What happened with Henny is he was my man’s artist. My man was the producer for him. He had introduced me to him and he brought me to my crib. I was doing this beat and Henny got in my mic booth and started singing and we came up with this hot record – “That’s Why.” I made it sound like a record. We talked about Henny being down. He wanted to be down and you know when somebody wants to do something and when somebody doesn’t want to do something. If you want to do it, I’m going to feel it and we’re going to sit down and make stuff happen. I’m not going to keep going back and forth with you about what you want to do with your life.
I did a tour with Rakim and Budda opened up at every show and tore it down. Henny was supposed to tour with him but he only did three dates. He had other things he had to take care of and I was good with that. I think he really wanted to be in a different situation, so I just let it go. I got a call from him, but once I turn my back and decide I don’t want to do something, it’s very hard for me to go right back to it because I lost interest in it.
And Henny is a dope dude. Henny is hot, but I have to feel loyalty more than anything after the talent. After the talent, I have to feel that loyalty. If I don’t feel the loyalty and that you’re really not riding for No Kid’n, I have a problem. I don’t want you to become a star and then shit on me and No Kid’n. I’d rather have you be somebody else’s problem, become a star and we can still be cool. Me and Henny were associates. We did another record that’s kind of hot that’s coming out on Budda Early’s mixtape – “Won’t Let You Down.”
It’s not to say that I wouldn’t work with Henny again, but Henny has to want to work with No Kid’n. He has to want to do it. He wants to do his thing and that’s cool, but if he wants to be a part of No Kid’n, No Kid’n moves a certain way. If he wants me to come and produce a joint for him, I’ll do it with no question.
You’ve rhymed a lot in the past. Will you ever do another album where you’re on the mic?
Yeah. I’m about to do my next album – Kid Capri the Godfather – The Whole World Behind Me. I wasn’t going to do another album after my second album, Soundtrack to the Streets. I produced the whole album and had a lot of stars on the album. Columbia, unfortunately, didn’t work and make the album go as far as it was supposed to. The album was hot but it kind of set me in depression mode where I didn’t even want to make another album. But I’m going to do it now because I feel I know the business better and I’m not going to let the same mistakes happen.
I’m older and I don’t know if I want to be out there, rhyming and rapping like that. I might want to do a record or two like my last album, but I rhymed on my whole first album. They wanted me to rap and say little rhymes. The mixtapes are what opened the doors. That’s how I got hot and that’s how I got my first album deal. I rhymed and did all the beats on that album. But on the second album, I wanted to be the Quincy Jones of hip-hop. You know how Quincy Jones always got all the hot people from different places in music? That’s what I did. I went and got Jay-Z, Busta and Spliff, Nas and all these different artists. I put them together and the album came out real, real hot, but I got caught up in the bullshit.
This time around I have Budda and the Uninvited Guests. Me and T.I. are about to something. I’m talking to a couple of different people in the industry who are going to help me get this party moving along. It’s going to be hot.
How’s The Craziest Kid DVD coming?
We're still working on it. I’m trying to get it perfect. I’m trying to get it to where it's not another documentary. I want it to mean something. I am hip-hop. I have to let them know that it ain’t all what you just see. There’s so much other shit that you don’t even know about. There’s so much other shit that you’re going to know from this movie and from the other projects that I’m doing. When you do a movie on yourself, you’re giving people a chance to see everything about you. If a person is down and out and if they have nothing going on, this movie can inspire that person to do something positive. If people already have something going on but it’s in the wrong direction, this can get them moving in the right direction. All the artists that you’re familiar with, they’re credible and when they say something about hip-hop, you can believe what they say because they know what they’re talking about. They’ve lived it. I have people in my movie that are credible. They’ve lived it. They’ve had worldwide hit records and been in movies. That’s the type of people that are down. There’s a lot of stuff that you’re going to see and that you’re going to know that you never would have if I never put this movie out.
A lot of DJs are rocking the CD turntables today. How do you feel about that?
You have to do whatever it takes to get your job done. If that’s what they want to do, that’s cool. For years, I carried 15 crates of records worldwide. I spent thousands of dollars transporting records. I was the first hip-hop artist to own a tour bus. I had two tour buses. I had my records on my tour bus so it made it that much easier. Before that, I was traveling all over the world on planes. I don’t have my bus no more but I’m going to get another bus soon. I paid a lot of money for the extra weight on the records. Now that the Serato came out, I can have 15 crates of records in that Serato. I have all my records on there, all my beats, all my breaks. You can see me working the Serato in Houston on my MySpace. There’s a 10 minute show on there and it’s crazy what I’m doing on that shit.
A lot of DJs call me and they say, “Kid, I never know you were so crazy on that shit!” I definitely put it on with that shit. You can put everything in your house on that Serato. Fuck it. I’m good with that. I don’t have to travel with a bunch of records no more, paying all that extra money and showing up at the airport early. I can make $20,000 a night and be out of there now.
What equipment do you use for production?
I use the MPC 3000. I have a bunch of stuff. I have a bunch of different samplers, keyboards and modules. I have the Motif, the Phantom, the Triton and the Proteus. I have a lot of different things, but I make most of my beats on the MPC.
What advice would you offer to up-and-coming DJs and producers?
Keep your head to the music and know exactly what makes you happy and what you do, but know how to make what makes you happy and what you do. Know how to make people believe in it. Whatever you do, make sure that people believe in it. A waste of talent makes no sense. A lot of people don’t want to do the work. If you’re a hot DJ or producer, get your shit out there. MySpace is free promotion for you. It doesn’t cost anything. Just grinding and keep working.
What do you want to say to everybody?
I would have never gotten to where I am without y’all being down with me. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go and you’ve stayed riding with me. I don't want to sound old, but I have had a long career. I stay on top of my shit and I try to give people their money’s worth when they buy that ticket to come and see me. They might have to buy fresh clothes and get a ride if they don’t have a car and they have to buy drinks and they all do that because Kid Capri is in the building. I give them the best performance I can give them every night. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people in the spot or 10,000.
There’s been times when some people didn’t come out and there may have been 10, 20, 30 people out there, but I give them the same show that I would have given a huge audience. That’s what keeps me going back to those same promoters. Some can say I went above and beyond and if something doesn’t work out for them, in the past, I’ve come back and done shows for free because I wanted to keep a good relationship with them. I know how it is when you expect everything to go right and it doesn’t. That’s why I try to keep a good relationship with promoters all over the country. I respect all my fans and everybody that comes out and sees me. I put them first above everything.
I can tell you a short story. I remember one time when I was getting on a plane and I had to get on a connecting flight to get there. The connecting flight got cancelled. I had to get the airline to direct me to Charlotte, North Carolina and drive all the way to Myrtle Beach. That wasn’t my fault. I could have gone home and it wouldn’t have been my fault. But because I knew that people were going to be there that night, expecting to see me, I made sure I called somebody I knew in Charlotte, North Carolina and had them rent me a van. I drove 90 miles per hour, avoiding the police and got there. I got there real late and a lot of people left, but for the last 50 people that were remaining there, I gave them a show that they couldn’t believe. That’s the difference between me and a lot of dudes who would just turn their backs on the people. That’s probably why I continue to keep going, with the power of God in my corner.
That’s all it is. I just want people to understand that there’s so much more to Kid Capri. I don’t get in interviews and talk all crazy. I’m not in anybody’s face. If I don’t say my name a lot of times, a lot of people don’t know me. There’s a lot of people that see me and know me wherever I go, but there’s a lot of people who don’t know me and get surprised when it’s me. I don’t have a real strong presence out there as far as television, but I’m going to do it now. There’s a real special thing that’s about to happen.