Legendary DJ Kid Capri is a New York staple. Having been born and raised in the Bronx, Kid Capri has watched Hip-Hop grow from an infant in its early days to the world movement it has become today. One thing that has changed in Hip-Hop is the leadership spot New York once held over the whole genre. Since New York is the birthplace of Hip-Hop, for a long time, New York Hip-Hop artists and fans didn’t respect the music and art from other regions. We caught up with Kid Capri in his beloved hometown and got him to give us his opinion on the state of New York Hip-Hop, which young rapper can restore New York back to its former rap glory, and why, at one point, did he believe Eminem was the greatest MC to ever do it.
KC: [long pause] No. I feel like nobody can beat him, but at the same time, I also look at the body of work Jay Z has put in. I look at the body of work Wayne‘s put in. I’m not saying those people are the greatest, but I’m saying if you look at how great their influence is–that’s how you determine who’s great or not. You judge them on their influence, the type of music they make, the talent they have, the opportunities they created for other people, and the length of time they’ve been around.
So when I said Eminem, at that time, I really did feel like that. But since then there’s been a lot that’s happened and Eminem hasn’t been out like that. At the time, I thought he was the greatest rapper in the world and he probably still is. I gotta hear his new stuff.
A New York City radio personality said New York rap hasn’t recovered from the beefs that 50 Cent started, the whole dismantling of Dipset and Roc-A-Fella. Do you think New York rap has recovered from its implosion?
No. Not at all. As a matter of fact, we lost. We lost even more. And that’s the problem with Hip-Hop artists–we don’t support each other. Everybody’s too cool. Everybody thinks they’re doing each other a favor. Everybody acts like somebody owes them something. At the end of the day, I’m from New York. I am New York.
When I go to the south and do shows, I see how they support each other. I see how they jump on each other’s tracks and how they go out in the streets when they’re already rich. They’re not worried about being too cool to still sell their own mixtapes in the streets. When I was selling mixtapes, I went on the corner and did that. I did it myself; hand to hand. We lost that.
On top of that, we’ve been leaders for so long that we became followers along the way. We gotta go back to that leadership. We have to respect everybody else because for a long time, New York didn’t respect what else was out there and that’s why the respect didn’t come back the way it was supposed to. And lastly, New York radio needs to support their artists a little more because they’re not supporting the way they’re supposed to.
What up-and-coming rapper has the potential to restore New York rap to its former glory?
I think (A$AP) Ferg and A$AP Rocky have the potential. I think Joey Bada$$ can do it also. Action Bronson…you know. There are a lot of dudes who can keep the torch going as long as they keep making the right things. And with this Kendrick Lamar situation, I’m thinking that everybody’s trying to cook up something. I think they’re trying to cook up what the next hot thing is going to be.
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