AD Kapone is artist hailing from East Palo Alto California whom was apart of the legendary West Coast rap group Totally Insane. Kapone is now locked in on his solo career and interviewed with Hip Hop TXL to discuss his upbringing, influences, life in East Palo Alto and more.

Where are you from and how was it growing up there? Upbringing?

I’m from East Palo Alto California. It was rough in the 80’s and 90’s. In the mid 80’s the crack epidemic hit hard. The city went from Black power, Little Africa, Little Nairobi, Black Panther. To Crack riddled murder capitol. It was a lot of unity and family up bringing in the begining and got dangerous over the years.

What first got you into music?

I found a love for music at a very young age. I grew up with my mom and Grandmother listening to music while they were cooking, cleaning the house or just getting dressed.  At 10 years old I fell in love with rap. A group called UTFO had a song called Roxanne Roxanne, I had my mom buy me the single, and it had a instrumental on the B side. I learned how to write verses and bars by learning their words And replacing their words with mine.

Who and/or what inspired you to get into Hip Hop/ Music Industry?

I was inspired immediately. All my friends was into Rap at the same time. I was highly influenced by by artist like Run DMC, especially LL Cool J. His rhymes was dope and the girls loved him. I saw LL live at the Oakland Collesium and knew from that point on I wanted to be a rapper. Then gangsta rap hit few years later NWA dropped Straight Outta Compton, it was like raw uncut CNN news. And one particular voice stood out and would become my next big influence his name was Ice Cube. 

What is your creative process?

My creative process is, I usually chose a beat, and I let the groove, melody, instrumental guide me. The first line is usually the hardest, but after I come with the first line, the bars usually flows after. Sometimes I Write songs and then  match a beat to what I wrote. That gives me more time to calculate my verse more precise. But as of late i been writing less and more from the dome.

What are your views on the direction Hip Hop is going now?

I feel that hip hop is evolving, as new artist come into the game they bring new styles, new swag, new slang, new energy. But hip hop is  culture, and o.g.’s have the right to voice opinion and or participate.

There’s many layers of hip hop and I feel there’s enough lanes for everyone. But I feel that outsiders are pushing the age divide old against young. I’m not with it its stupid. I rock with my young niggas as well as my og’s. I feel we need to unite and network, unite all the fans to empower the culture not divide it. I feel its losing some of its power but it could be restore by great artist and great music.

In five years, where do you foresee your career being? What are your goals with your music?

In five years I see myself growing my label, adding more talented artist to my roster. Transitioning into film, radio, fashion. Discovering the next pioneers and tycoons, building my brand to a respectable level. And laying a solid platform for the artist coming behind me. Trying to help build the Bay back to prominent. Continue to shine light on my city East Palo Alto.

What is a message you would give to a younger or new up and coming artist?

My advice is to come into the game with pure intention, your love for the craft. Be true to yourself, and treat your talent and brand like a corporation. Invest time and resources back into yourself. Build you a strong team, you cant do it all alone. Find people that love and respect what you do. And surround yourself with people that want to see you win. Believe in yourself, find others that believe in you. Create your own sound, and style. Create your own lane, don’t chase trends, set them. Put your heart and soul in every project, don’t half step. Go hard or go home. 

What is your favorite part of your performances and how do you keep the crowd engaged in your music?

My favorite part of performing is the response that I get from the crowd, the energy I get from them singing the words that I wrote. 

Them knowing the song. I hope I give them the same feeling LL and Ice Cube gave me when I saw them live. I just try to give my fans the same feeling of excitement they got when they listen to the record. I try to interact with the crowd, I try to do songs that will make them get out of their seat and sing along. I try to give them a raw live glimpse into the music and just introduce them to the person the music comes from.

Any new releases or shows on the way?

I just released a new album 2/16/24 The St Valentines Day Massacre. I have a video shoot 3/9/24 for my song I’m A Hustle feat Tha Gamblah & Gucci Smoke for the Finders Keepers soundtrack. I’m working on a Totally Insane Documentary. I released a knew album from my new group The Duffle Bag Mob Till The Wheels Fall off. I’ve been in the lab and dropping project since 2020. The pandemic forced me to hit the lab. My whole crew been going hard since 2020. I have a new Bay Area Anthem with Bandaide of Hoodstarz,& Black C of RBL Posse G Code out now.

Top 5 New School Artist?

Jonah The Artist, Mobbin101, J Racks, AMK, 300 Kease

What do you feel is holding the Bay Area music scene back and why? How can we improve?

I see the Bay coming back into prominence, all we need are some dedicated artist in they bag, and support from the Bay. The talent never left, we just got lazy, let dudes jack out swag, and forget about u, but I think its starting to swing back this way. Me and my crew is dedicated to kicking in the door for the Bay and remind the rest of the world that The Bay Got Something To Say. We just need more unity and more networking, instead of everyone coming to the tale and taking they plate to go, lets just eat together, help, and teach each other.

Hate and not being unified is keeping the Bay down. Until we stop being selfish, and hating on the next dude for busting moves. We gonna stay stuck on stupid. Our media outlets in the Bay doesn’t show enough support for local artist. Other regions show their grass root artist much more support. Our radio play majority of music not from the region, and overlook local artist. Why wouldn’t you promote home grown talent? And I feel that the people should support the media outlets that do more. Come out to the functions to have fun, beef on your own time.

How has music changed for you since entering the industry?

I been in the industry so long ive seen many changes. From the sample era, to g funk era, snap era, baller era, dope fiend era, Black power era, shiny suit era, everything evolves, nothing stays the same, some shit is just similar, I’ve seen it go from the love of the game to I’m just doing it for the money. Once it starts going strictly anything for the money, it start going down. Once we bring it back to the people it will never be the same. No more originality, everyone chasing what’s hot, instead of making something hot and new.

Any other Artists out there catching your eye?

I been a fan of rap most of my life. I love the oldies, the classics, I’m a 90’s gangst rap fanatic, and of late I been focusing on talent from EPA. It’s a movement of hot artist coming, just watch. From Gucci Smoke, D Dow, Famous Rogue,G Boye, Sleez, Money Mont, Karizmakaze, G.Carter1300, Yung Skrew, Jonah Tha Artist, Buff, Law, Big Pick, King Cydal, Money Marc, Gotti, Hoodstarz, Prohoezak, Sean T, Chunk, The Duffle Bag Mob, 1 Rogue. From other cities beside EPA, my nephew Larry June from the RBL family tree. Mobbin 101 from EPA.

Any collaborations you hope to obtain?

I would love to collab with some of my alumni, e40, b legit, too short, my cousin Prohoezak be working with Ice Cube hopefully he’ll introduce me and make it happen. Larry June of course. I’m a big Kendrick Lamar fan. 

Where can we reach you on social media?

You can hit me on Twitter or x: @MrAdKapone, Instagram @adkapone email: theinsaneempire@gmail.com

Ad Kapone’s new project The St. Valentines Day Massacre is now out on streaming platforms. and you can check out here on HipHopTXL.com. Be sure to lock in with him on social media and stay tuned for his singles in rotation on Hip Hop TXL’s playlists.

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