|By William Hernandez
Who?Mag: Talk about your new album?
Capital D: It’s called Polymath. It’s just a bunch of banging hip hop songs. The whole purpose of the album was just to make some dope hip hop. Everybody complains that people don’t make hip hop like we used to. So I just try to make it like we used to.
Who?Mag: What is the meaning behind the name and your approach to making the album?
Capital D: Polymath means somebody who’s a master of several different areas. I like to consider myself an emcee. I’m a producer. I’m a lawyer. I do a lot of different things and I try to do them all well. That’s what polymath is like a renaissance man; someone who’s an expert in a lot of different things. The All Natural stuff is one thing. My solo albums I’d always done concept albums. Insomnia was all politics. Before that I did Writers Block which was all stories. I felt that people who only knew me as a solo artist kind of thought that I was an artist who always did a conceptual album. This time I didn’t want to do a conceptual album. I just wanted to come with straight skills. I just wanted to do a banging hip hop album. No overlying concept. It’s no politics, stories. Its just a dope hip hop album. I wanted them to get a taste of what I consider a dope album.
Who?Mag: Did you do all the production?
Capital D: No I didn’t. I got beats from Illmind, No ID, Pro Mike, and I did a couple on their as well.
Who?Mag: How did you develop a relationship with No ID?
Capital D: I’ve known him for at least 15 years. No ID did some production on the first All Natural album back in 1997. Our label put out a No ID instrumental album back in 1999. I just called him up and asked him for some beats and he sent them. That was it.
Who?Mag: What is Tone B Nimble up to now?
Capital D: Still running the label. On a daily basis he’s the one who runs All Natural inc; the label itself. He’s DJing out all the time. Make sure all the artists are doing what they’re supposed to do; just keeping it moving.
Who?Mag: Can you run down the artists on the label roster?
Capital D: We got Adad who’s in the group Eutherorhymics. We got Rita J who came out with an album a few months ago. We got Pro Mike who’s a producer and he’s coming out with a production album. He and I actually got a production album that we’re doing together. It’s going to come out next year; it’s going to be called Forty Acres. We got DSTC which is more of a Soul/Funk band. They cut an album about a year ago. Myself Cap D and All Natural. We also got Prime Meridian.
Who?Mag: How did you hook up with Tragedy Khadafi?
Capital D: I was a fan since I was 16 or 17 years old. A fan since the Arrest the President days; when he was Intelligent Hoodlum. It was crazy I called up his manager and said I wanted to do some work with him. I sent him samples of my stuff. This is what I’m on. He called me back and said “Let’s do it”. Actually I sent him the song and put my vocals on it. He came back and said “Yeah; I’m feeling that beat going in a different direction. The concept is there. But I feel this is where it should go.” That’s why the track ended up the way it is. Because of his influence; I wrote a rhyme to match his rhyme.
Who?Mag: Give me a history lesson. How did All Natural come about?
Capital D: We’ve been a group since the early 90s. Doing shows, battles, what have you. We got signed to Wild Pitch in the mid 90s. Back when Lord Finesse, Gangstarr, Main Source; cats that we looked up to. We signed to the label and then they went bankrupt. We decided to put our own record out. So around 1997,1998 we put out No Additives, No Preservatives. We’ve put out five albums since then and started our own label.
Who?Mag: You mentioned you’re an attorney as your regular nine to five. What kind of law do you practice?
Capital D: I do sports law, corporate transactions, merger acquisitions. I do the gambit. I represent the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s. It’s some interesting stuff. It’s just work.
Who?Mag: Do you feel being an attorney has helped you or hindered you as an artist?
Capital D: Time wise it definitely takes away. I’m at work right now. I can’t front. Late nights were I would typically work on music. I’m handling the nine to five. Which is more like a eight to seven. At the same time it gives me; I’m not the kind of cat that feels I have to do music to make ends meet. I do music because I love to and I think it shows in my music. I’m not trying to follow the latest trends or do whatever these other cats are doing in order to compete with the people who I don’t have no respect for in the first place.
Who?Mag: What advice do you give to up and coming artists?
Capital D: Be you no matter what other people are doing. Trends come and go. These flash in the pan acts come and go. If you want to be in the game for a long time; you got to be you. That doesn’t mean you don’t change with the times. You have to stay current, modern. At the same time don’t follow the latest hot trend. If you’re trying to have longevity. Always be trying to master your craft and trying to get your doe. Always be trying to make some moves.
Who?Mag: Who are some of your other influences as an emcee; aside from Tragedy Khadafi?
Capital D: Rakim, KRS One, Chill Rob G, Kool Keith. I’m from that era. From 1988-1992 kind of school. De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest. Then the All Natural; Gangstarr was the foundation of DJ and Emcee. The were both cold as hell.
Who?Mag: Did House music influence you coming up?
Capital D: Oh yeah! When I used to say Tone and I used to DJ; we used to DJ a lot of House. I used to love House music. I was 16,17,18 years old. I used to go to clubs. Steve Hurley, Devotion, Ten City that sound came from Chicago. If I’d try to front on House I’d be fronting on my city and on myself. A lot of people in Chicago who were into Hip Hop tried to distance themselves from House. To prove how Hip Hop they were. For me I like them both.