Hip hop has become the universal language for this and former generations. Since the early days of hip hop’s birth, the music has become a way of life. From the boroughs of the Bronx, to the boroughs of East London. Hip hop has transcended music, to an everyday lifestyle. Clothing, film, and television have all been impacted by hip hop in some capacity. I would venture to suggest that the OG’s of hip hop never would have envisioned that hip hop would make it this far. Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, and Kurtis Blow; some of the early pioneers of the genre were expressing their love of the culture through hip hop music. They were expressing themselves in a very unique way; and decades later, it has become a major phenomenon.
Old school hip hop has influenced many new age artist. One in particular is Capitan C.O.T.I. If you ask him some of his favorite artist, he’ll name some people you may recognize. Rakim, Tupac and Eminem just to name a few. They have helped shape Capitan as an artist. As I listened to some of his music, it sounded different from the current state of hip hop today. As a true hip hop head; I heard tones of real, genuine hip hop. This is not an attempt to throw shade on any of the new artist out there in the game, but I feel many of them have left the real roots of what it mean to be apart of the hip hop community. Capitan, has found his rhythm (no pun intended) in staying true to himself and pulling on the essence of hip hop roots.
Capitan’s music has a spiritual connotation to it along with a heavy base of realism. His song, “Pure Feeling”; sounds like a conversation between Mos Def and Jedi Mind Tricks. The song, spiritual in nature is very true to real life. You can tell alot of his influences. Capitan recalls meeting one of his main inspirations; Guru, from famed hip hop duo Gangstarr. Speaking on the encounter, Capitan said he randomly met Guru during a performance. Guru passed Capitan the mic and invited him on stage. Afterwards, Guru spoke to him. That one encounter went on to make an imprint in Capitan’s life.
Capitan is also an actor; and attributes hip hop for teaching him how to express his feelings and thoughts on a poetic level. One of the main elements I appreciate about Capitan is his devotion to keeping legacy. “I believe as a hip hop artist and fan, I have to keep the torch lit of the craft and music I believe in and that truly inspires me”.
I asked him about his lyrics; “Hip hop is taking many forms and especially trap that doesn’t really reach me on the same spiritual level… So I write verses and rhymes that mean something to me, and beats that bop in my head”.
As a true hip hop lover, I respected the respect to the game that Capitan upheld. If the next decade or so will be in the hands of people like Capitan C.O.T.I., we’ll be in good hands.
If you want to learn more about Capitan, or to hear his music you can find him on iTunes, Spotify and Youtube.
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