A rising rapper from East Oakland, CA is Capolow. The 23-year old has been a fresh representation of the Bay Area over the past couple of years. His career started off with the group, Trill Youngins. Since 2016, Capolow has been trying to push his solo career, and every year since, he has only gone upwards. With his breakout tracks like “Outta Sight”, “Drip”, and “Highway Robbery”, the MC has been an artist to watch. He worked with the likes of Kamaiyah, ALLBLACK, and P-Lo, among others. The significant “AYE AYE” ad lib has taken the next step to the mainstream audience, in just a minimal amount of time. Just earlier this year, Capolow released the project Room 304, which featured artists such as Az Chike, Philthy Rich, Yungeen Ace and Guapdad 4000.
Despite an already successful 2020, Capolow is not nearly done just yet. Within just the past month, the rapper released back to back singles in “Drop That Bag” & “Down”, along with visuals for both tracks. He also has another track on the way titled, “Presidential” which is produced by fellow Bay Area native P-Lo. It comes out on September 11. The tracks have built anticipation for an upcoming project, that is coming sooner rather than later. On Wednesday, the Oakland native sat down to discuss this upcoming project, the workflow during quarantine, and the Bay Area in today’s music scene, among other things.
You dropped two tracks with two visuals in two weeks, is there a release date for this upcoming project? And a title?
“Yeah, September 25th, and the project is titled Kid Next Door.
How long have you been working on this project?
“Really since the corona virus started, so like March.”
Do you help with the directing for some of your music videos?
“Not for the last two that I dropped, the directing came from a person I work with named Adam for “Down”. Stacking Memories directed “Drop That Bag”.
Have you directed any of the previous visuals?
“F’sho f’sho, I feel like the majority of my videos, I directed. Since I’m dropping Kid Next Door, everything is getting directed by the people shooting my video.”
You have a collaboration with Luh Kel on the way, how’d that collaboration come to be?
“That’s gonna be a banger. I had met Luh Kel in New York at the Cinematic office, probably December of last year. Me and him just locked in ever since we met in the studio and shit. He was fucking with me and I was fucking with him, so that’s how that shit came about.”
Do you & Luh Kel have a collab project on the way?
“Nah not me & Luh Kel. Me & Kamaiyah actually got a collab project on the way, it should be dropping some time soon. Me & Luh Kel just did a song together.”
How has the workflow been during this whole COVID thing?
“Shit, it’s been kinda hard. Niggas got used to it, I adapted to it, you feel me? It helped me focus during the second month, the first month kinda threw me for a loop. The second month I was like ‘damn I really need to work’ then I just focused on my craft.”
Has making connections with other artists/producers easier for you bc of quarantine?
“ Half & half, I feel like a lot of people are still seeing what I’m doing, and still paying attention, tryna get me beats, and videos, and shit like that. I feel like before coronavirus more people were tapping in, because you’re able to do more shit.”
Who were some of your musical inspirations, both from Oakland & all around the country?
“ I was slapping a lot of Mac Dre, D-Lo in middle school, so that was hella years ago. To be honest I was really fucking with south rappers, like down south rappers like Baton Rouge, Louisiana type shit. I been on that vibe since middle school , high school.”
Do you feel like being from Oakland is an advantage or disadvantage in music currently?
“I ain’t gon’ lie, being in Oakland there’s a ceiling out here. You really not gonna get far. I feel like we good at branding other people’s music out her, but since you live out here Oakland is kinda small. It’s really kinda hard to get on, because motherfuckers be really riding waves. For me to be at the level I’m on, and to be from East Oakland, I’m really proud of that. It’s a blessing.”
Do you think there’s unity between the Bay Area & LA?
“Yeah, it took time though. It didn’t just happen over night. I feel like Cali really had to see other places do it, like Detroit & Atlanta. It took time, but we definitely getting there.”
What LA artists do you mess with?
“I fuck with AzChike, Shoreline Mafia even though they ain’t a group anymore I still fuck with Fenix & OhGeesy, of course. Also, Kalan Fr Fr & all of 1Take those my dogs for real. ”
What are some things you took from your old life and applied to music?
“Everything for real. That’s what I rap about, I rap about my life. My struggles, my losses, my wins.”
When did you realize that you could make it as a solo artist after Trill Youngins?
“I felt like right after ‘Highway Robbery’, everyone started hearing my ad libs, my ‘aye aye’s’, that just started taking off. That was the track that solidified my solo career.”
Who was the first big artist that showed love?
“Shoreline Mafia & Az Chike. The first old head was Mistah F.A.B. from Oakland.”
Are there any features on this upcoming project?
“Yessir. I had got a beat from P-Lo. I didn’t get a verse from him, but I got a beat from him, and that was amazing (laughs). I got JayDaYoungan on this motherfucka, I got Luh Kel.”
What producers are working on this?
“P-Lo probably the most known, the rest are more underdogs, but they still slapping hella hard though. The tape gonna slap regardless, you already know I’m not gonna pick no bum shit.”
What motivates you to stay consistent?
“This is my life, I’ve always had a love for making music. I really just can’t see myself not making it. Even if I’m not making it big, I still can’t see myself not making music.”
What’s Capolow’s dream collab, and what would that sound like?
I ain’t gonna lie, it would Ty Dolla $ign & Chris Brown. That sounds like a number one hit, the song of the summer.”
Capolow has another single set to drop titled, “Presidential” that is produced by P-Lo. It’s out on all streaming platforms on September 11th. This upcoming project is executive produced by Johnny Shipes & frequent collaborator Cozmo. Kid Next Door, the 16-track project, is out on September 25th.