Kid Capri Drops New Album, ‘The Love’, In His Quest To Become The Next Quincy Jones of Hip HopThe legendary DJ, mixtape master, and producer is truly a living example of Black History.

The legendary DJ, mixtape master, and producer is truly a living example of Black History.

Before DJ Khaled ever made hits by assembling the Avengers of hip hop on his albums, Kid Capri was in the clubs, the studio, concerts and live events making more history than any one person (besides himself) can probably remember. Nas, Jay-Z, Common, Snoop Dogg, Slick Rick, and almost every popular rapper from the ‘90s can be found on his 1998 sophomore album Soundtrack to the Streets. When most DJs during that time were only as popular as the artists they backed, Kid Capri was standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the studio with industry heavyweights including the two men— Quincy Jones and Rodney Temperton — who were instrumental in making Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, one of the best albums of all time.

It’s no mistake that his is the first voice you hear on “Let The Good Times Roll,” the only song in history featuring Ray Charles, U2’s Bono, and Stevie Wonder. He won a Grammy with Jay-Z in 1999 for In My Lifetime Volume 2 and was part of the only rap album to win a Pulitzer Prize by lending his voice to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN in 2017.

And that’s only one page of lessons to be explored by all during Black History month and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this month, on February 7, the Bronx born legendary DJ, producer mixtape pioneer and rapper celebrated his 55th birthday with the release of The Love, his first album in 24 years. The 19-track album is written, produced, and performed by Kid and includes a single, “Uptown,” featuring his daughter, Vina Love.

Kid Capri spoke to about the divine inspiration behind his latest project, The Love, how surviving COVID changed his perspective on life, and why he still plans to become the Quincy Jones of rap. This is your first album in 24 years. What’s different now to make this the right time?

Kid Capri: Actually, I started an album four or five years ago called Top Tier with all of the battle rappers. I never put it out because music kinda changed. I wanted to make sure when I did put it out that it was at the right time. When the pandemic hit, I saw certain things that made me say, ‘ You know, let me do something a little different.’ After that, I wrote “Slap Key.” God just told me, ‘Keep going,’ so I ended up doing four albums. Being on the road from 1988 until the pandemic, I never had a chance to sit down and focus. I did the Soundtrack To The Streets album but I never really had a chance to focus after that because I was constantly on the road. A month before you released this album, you had a scary battle with COVID. What did that teach you?

Kid Capri: I learned you really can’t trust anybody. I canceled all of my dates [last year] and went to do shows in Houston on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. When I got home, I was sick, but this wasn’t the first time. I did a show with KRS-One at Sony Hall in New York [in March 2020] and then did another show at Howard Theater in D.C. The next day, I was sick for a year and a half. It was so terrible. Fred The Godson was sitting right there with me, having fun, and joking and a month later, he was dead. It bugged me out. When I put the video out about me being sick, I wanted people to be safe. I’m glad I did do it because I was messed up. How has the younger generation shown you love to over the years?

Kid Capri: I get love automatically because I’ve always been about both –– young and old. My show on SiriusXM is called “Kid Capri’s Block Party” because when you go to a block party, everyone is invited. You hear dope music all day. I’ve always been on an even playing field. That’s why Kendrick Lamar knew what my story was, and came and got me [for the DAMN album] because he knows what I do for the music business and what I do for the younger generation. He put me in young people’s faces who probably never even heard of me. I do have a problem with younger people disrespecting older people who came before them and with older people disrespecting younger people who are bringing the change. Change is going to happen. You either move with it or you don’t. To that point of respect amongst the different generations, how would you describe your impact on Black music as a whole?

Kid Capri: I would say I’ve had a big impact. Besides me opening the door with the mixtapes and showing DJs how to be artists, I brought the money, style, and a new perception to this business. Instead of the DJ just being behind some group or just being on the radio, now you can be a one-man band and rock the same room with the rapper with the big platinum record. I brought that. I also changed music when I did the Stephanie Mills mix with “Impeach The President.” That changed R&B. Now you hear R&B artists like Mary J Blige over breakbeats.

My movie Mr. Every Era is going to set a lot of things straight. For the things people didn’t know, forgot, or were made to believe other people did, it’s going to let you know what really happened. You say you have four more albums coming up. The last album you did had Common, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Nas, and so many others. Will any of your next albums have a similar gathering of different generations of hip hop?

Kid Capri: That Soundtrack to the Streets album I did was the first of its kind. Even before that, my debut album The Tape came when I wasn’t trying to make an album. I got hot with the mixtapes, so Biz [Markie] got me the deal, so I did a rap album

For my next album, Soundtrack of the Streets, where I produced Jay, Nas, and everybody, I was trying to be the Quincy Jones of hip hop. That’s why it was the first of its kind. Then [DJ] Clue came, and so forth up to [DJ] Khaled. Going through clearances, scheduling, and all of that stuff made me say, ‘You know what? I don’t want to do this no more. I’ll produce records for people if they want me to but, I don’t want to do any more albums.’ Happy Birthday! You recently turned 55 and have seriously accomplished so much. You said you wanted to be the Quincy Jones of hip hop. How do you plan to get there?

Kid Capri: I was so inspired to be the Quincy Jones of hip hop because I was on Quincy Jones’s Q’s Juke Joint. To tell you the truth, I’m a chameleon. I got the movies, cartoons, music, the radio show, clothing line, and real estate. Hopefully, I can produce on a few projects and spread my production around How would you like to be remembered when it’s all said and done?

Kid Capri: The Kid made people have a good time, and he did it with style, class, and didn’t step on anybody to get there. He didn’t have to follow trends because he was the trendsetter. That’s it.

Listen to Kid Capri’s new album, The Love here and keep up with the latest on his schedule and appearances on Instagram.

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