Cappadonna has run a gauntlet of trials and tribulations in the recent past. A man who came up with Wu-Tang in their later years with his tiger style rhyme flow and unique delivery has done a lot and seen a lot. In the span of a few years, he has observed more than many men experience in years. From contract disputes about his publishing, to marital strife with wifey, to homelessness, The Don is really living The Struggle, which is also the name of his latest artistic offering. AHH got a chance to talk with the man who seems to be moving at a breakneck pace in life.
AllHipHop.com: There's been a lot to talk about the past few years in your life; can you talk about the situation with Wu-Tang Clan right now?
Cappadonna: The relationship with Wu-Tang is what it is, we just trying to get sh*t right. Trying to go over these little issues that arise and once we take care of that hopefully we can still be friends. 'Cause niggas don’t like the fact that I’m standing up, trying to receive my dividends that was due to me.
AllHipHop.com: Members of the group don’t like that?
Cappadonna: Yeah, a few members of the group don’t like it, and Rza and his brother definitely don’t like it. Its like, “Come on” if its due to me, then let me get that man. If its not then, present the right paperwork and stuff and then let bygones be bygones. I’m just going for mine.
AllHipHop.com: What about the allegations with your manager, also your wife, and her connections with the Federal government causing friction between you and the group?
Cappadonna: Yeah yeah, I mean, I don’t really know that sh*t. Niggas were probably mad because I had a wife or something. But it really don’t matter to me no more. But me and my wife wasn’t really seeing eye to eye at the time. ‘Cause I was fighting between the political life, the marriage life, and the street life. I need all of them, ya know what I’m saying. So it did cause friction, it causes friction between the street life and the personal life. I had to learn how to balance it out and keep it moving.
AllHipHop.com: Now Inspectah Deck is on your new album, no friction with him at all then?
Cappadonna: Yah, Inspectah Deck is good. All he got to do is get up with me whenever he has a chance.
AllHipHop.com: There's a few things flying around about Method Man and him separating himself from the rest of Wu-Tang?
Cappadonna: I mean, Meth, he do him. He do whatever he do. He had the potential to put Wu-Tang on a higher level because he knew all the people and was mainstream. But he really never bring nobody to the table. But you know, to each his own. Get yours, but then, when you fall on your face its like what you gonna do? Who you gonna call? Its like don’t forget where you come from man.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve mentioned to have only collected one royalty check throughout your entire career, what's the deal with that, just bad business deals or explain it to us?
Cappadonna: Yeah, one royalty check. ‘Cause niggas be holding money and shit, smuggling and sh*t, don’t want to be giving it up. I feel like there's a lot more due to me. Razor Sharp and Biggs Family Music got my publishing, they got to give that up. He signed me to his label and said “Yeah, you don’t get no money.”
AHH: So the whole problem and all the friction is with Rza (Robert Diggs), Divine (Mitchell Diggs), Power (Oliver Grant) or who then?
Cappadonna: Nah, I ain’t saying Power because I don't know him in the business aspect. I never dealt with him; his name is one of the beneficiaries. But I’m talking about Diggs Family Publishing, and Diggs Family Music. Like you said, Rza negotiated the contracts so that's who I’m coming at, him and his brother. If there is any money due to me then I wanna see it. If not, then f**k me, and lets just go ahead and keep it moving. Its nothing personal, its just business.
AllHipHop.com: You were always one of the newer members of Wu-Tang, do you feel like you got the respect you deserved from everyone else in the group, or did they treat you like a outsider?
Cappadonna: Yup, they treated me just like an outsider. ‘Cause I had my own style, did whatever I wanted to do, and that didn’t really coincide with how they wanted to live or how they think they wanted me to live. It caused separation. Lack of communication breeds separation.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think any of that separation could have been caused by the rumors of your wife being connected to the Feds?
Cappadonna: Huh? My wife ain’t connected to no goddamn Federal government. My wife do mortgage loans She’s a loan shark. What the f**k my wife got to do with this, man, this is music right here. You know, that sh*t ain’t got nothing to do with that, those niggas stole money from me, that's what's up and they got to give that up. That's where the issue is, the money. They gave me a fu**ed up contract or whatever it is. Sony is giving you royalty checks for me and you’re not giving them to me. And now your ass is under investigation, give me my money. And that's the bottom line, my new album Struggle is all about what I’m going through just to get on.
AllHipHop.com: Can you confirm the rumors about you living in the streets of Baltimore and being a cab driver, is all this true, and can you discuss some of this for us?
Cappadonna: I did it because that's what I felt like doing and sh*t. I was out there, and me and my wife couldn’t really get along, so I broke out, left her everything I had and went on the street. Slept on the street for a while and did what I had to do. Sold a little ganja. Then after that I seen an opportunity to drive a little cab, I was hacking (acting as a cabbie without a license). Whatever car I could get, if I had a car, a Rent-A-Car, or whatever. I just pick up people and try to go ahead and have them come through. But, I’m staying in Baltimore, going back and forth between there and New York.
AllHipHop.com: You just mentioned giving all your possessions up, why would you do this if you worked hard to get everything you owned?
Cappadonna: ‘Cause man if you got no love you ain’t got sh*t. What the f**k you gonna do love a fu**ing car. I gave away everything I had for a shot to get love back in my life. Not only just for my wife, but for all the family, the love of my fans, the love of my family, the love of just in general. The love of God.
AllHipHop.com: Talk about the new album, The Struggle, and what you’re bringing with this LP?
Cappadonna: The Struggle brings reality to the table. Ain’t nobody got around the struggle, everyone dealt with it. You could be Roc-A-Fella or the poorest nigga in the world you still got to face the struggle. If you survive the struggle then you gonna know what victory is. And if you don’t recognize the struggle then you gonna be a nigga that fell down and never got back up.
AllHipHop.com: Your rhyme style seems to have changed on this new album. Is it just personal growth as an artist?
Cappadonna: Yeah, it is personal growth. Nothing in life stays the same. I got to change and adapt with the times. And right now the times is very aggressive, so I’m coming aggressive. The youth is disobedient, so I’m speaking a language they can understand. I’m not trying to sugarcoat this sh*t. I’m giving it to them raw, I’m cursing, I’m talking about fags, I’m talking about lesbians, b*tches. And its like that's all in the world today. A lot of people can pretend in life they know what's going on.
AllHipHop.com: Break down why you brought in your blood brother Lounge Mode to assist you on this album and what dynamic he comes with?
Cappadonna: I brought in Lounge Mode, that's my brother. Just to show this nigga that he my brother and brothers got to stick together. If you can’t do that then take a hike, just take a hike. He’s trying to get into the game, I’m already in the game, so the best thing for him to do is get with me, just get with me on this joint. If you don’t wanna get with me then do it on your own, don’t pretend ya know.