As I’m sure you’re well aware, one of largest forms of currency in the rap world is street cred. Well let’s get it out of the way first and foremost, MC Kapa, a rapper from Luanda, Angola, has it in spades. While other rappers like Eminem, 50 Cent, and whoever else may be on the charts this week are getting their CDs taken away by angry parents for offensive lyrics, Kapa has had his lyrics censored by an oppressive government. For more on how he feels about 50 Cent, listen close for the drop in his song “Ponto de Situacao.”
From what I’ve recently learned about Angola and MC Kapa I’m going to assume that all of his lyrics are in Portuguese. Taking that into consideration, it’s obvious that he has a great cadence and vocal intonation despite my inability to understand the lyrics. In finding new artists for The Global Music Project, I’ve come across countless foriegn rappers that I of course didn’t understand, but hearing MC Kapa for the first time was vastly different. His music has a fire and soul to it that I haven’t heard in ages, regardless of genre or language.
In addition to the vocals, the production is also top notch. So much so that I thought he had ripped the beats off from another, more mainstream, artist, and when I found out that he didn’t, I realized that I probably could have written about the beats alone. Even more intriguing is that from the looks of the Myspace page, it would seem as though MC Kapa is pulling double duty by both producing and rapping.
With traditional vocal melodies and instrumentation, one thing worth noting about MC Kapa’s brand of Hip-Hop is that it is distinctly African, yet still faithful to what made Hip-Hop work in the first place: being politically active, finding a unique style, criticizing your surroundings, and being fucking pissed off about all of it. To this point, by simply and authentically doing what he does, he makes a bold statement about other mainstream artists like Dead Prez and Talib Kweli who have tried to co-opt the natural imagery and politically hectic climate of Africa as a marketing ploy.
I’d dare to say that MC Kapa is one of the only artists I’ve heard in a long time that made me excited about Hip-Hop again.
One more time, here is the Myspace link: MC Kapa
Here is the video for his song called “Atras do Prejuizo.”