March 24, 2021

Cappadonna "The Pillage" (March 24, 1998)

In the summer of 1995, a sweltering heat sets New York City ablaze. Sunbeams bounce off boom boxes blasting the latest masterpiece from the Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album. As glistening beads of sweat cascade down the contours of rap-loving girls, Cappadonna makes his grand entrance completely without warning. Backed by the surreal strains of the RZA-produced hit "Ice Cream" -- a nasty ode to all the girls the Wu has loved before -- the sharp-tongued latest addition to hip-hop's greatest group of the '90s serenades fine ladies everywhere with his dirty diatribes and witty hearsay. "You're sexy, persuasive ta-tas and thighs/Catch my eyes like pies/I want your bodily surprise," whines the newcomer, establishing himself as yet another Clan Killer Bee to look out for. But just who is Cappadonna? And how did he deal with the pressure of joining hip-hop's elite squad at the height of their popularity? "You have to know yourself before you go tryin' to weigh and judge other things," offers the introspective and enigmatic rhymer three years later, on the eve of releasing his Epic/Razor Sharp solo album, The Pillage. "I'm not in competition with nobody. I just came to go ahead and teach and spread psalms about the world."

Shrouded in mystery, Cappachino the Great goes on to lend his mystique to a second shivery sureshot from Rae's classic set. "Ice Water" solidifies Cappa's presence amongst underground heads as he spits the memorable and ominous opening line: "The first branch/The third leaf/Whoever want it got beef..." That same year, "Winter Warz" (from the Don't Be A Menace To South Central soundtrack) forever singes Cappadonna's name and abstract style in the brains of rap aficionados as he kicks his infamous long verse that leads to his sharing third billing (and album cover space) on Ghostface Killah's brilliant 1996 Ironman LP. Never letting up, Cappa's bizarre bantering (an influence on Rae and Ghost's highly praised unique lyrical techniques) goes one step beyond as he embellishes his abstract steelo on the Clan's 1997 sophomore double album, Wu-Tang Forever. The stage is thus set for the Brooklyn-born/Staten Island-reared former security guard and present-day vocal dart thrower. Having appeared on over a dozen Wu-Tang joints, 1998 is the year for Cappadonna to shine. Representing the East Barracks projects in Park Hill, the life-long friend of the Wu breaks through with The Pillage, the sixth dolo strike from the Clan. - Press Kit, 1998. Revisit The Pillage LP today!