Updated: Aug 31, 2020
Cap1talA's debut mixtape 'High On Clouds' deservedly hit it's first 50k streams milestone on Spotify yesterday. For us here at UK Underground Rap, the tape has been on repeat since the day it dropped. With a wide range of atmospheres, topics and styles, High On Clouds offers comedy, intensity and merges easy laid back listening with immense storytelling.
The rapper/lo-fi producer/director has been non-stop working this year to get the tape ready for us. You will remember back towards the end of May we covered 'Fly', the leading single for the tape produced by El Londo. In that article, Cap teased us with 'High On Clouds' speculating that the pandemic may have forcibly pushed the release date back, however on July 24th we were blessed with a 10 track pool of sporadic lanes and piercing lyrics as Cap1talA seriously begins to settle on his sound.
'Up Freestyle' is the only song so far to be accompanied by visuals. It delves into tasteful, 90s styled VHS footage as Cap passively meanders his way down what appears to be a bridge under some kind of road works construction in a one-take shot. A glitchy and moody transition takes us into the second shot of Cap spinning his way around a basketball court as he chants the lyrics with his laid back delivery. The visuals aesthetic really embodies Cap's music and the lane he's taking.
To celebrate the release of his brand new video for 'Up Freestyle', UK Underground Rap caught up with Cap1talA to breakdown every single track lifted from his outrageous underground mixtape 'High On Clouds' that dropped just 3 weeks ago. Check out his comments below for an amazing insight into what was behind each song.
Cap1tal A: High On Clouds:
LIT SO LIT! (feat. JayEm) (self-produced)
''When I intended to first make a mixtape I didn’t really plan for this song to be on it. But when I made the beat and me Josh (JayEm) were at his studio I think we both just started vibing to it bare. And when josh recorded his hook for it and that “got me feeling I be ahhhh,” Then I knew it was gonna be on the mixtape because it sets the tone for what High on Clouds is and that’s just lit. This song wasn’t really inspired by anything, it was just a song to get lit to.''
''This one is probably the only track off the album that would make you feel down, or at least that’s how it is with me. I wrote this song about a week after my father died in April this year and it was no doubt the hardest song to record. Because for one thing the song made man cry a couple of times and it was also because I wanted to do it in one whole take. Thing is though, even though it’s a sad song which kind of makes it an outlier on the album, the message is to keep going on with life and keep making YOURSELF happy. That’s what High on Clouds is ideally about. But rest up to my father cah I know he’s proud of me in heaven right now.''
Lucien Clarke (Steez)
''Originally hearing this song I thought it doesn’t really fit the album, but that’s why I call High on Clouds a mixtape lol. This track was just me letting off some steam because I think I was just really pissed off at the time of writing this song lol. The track goes off at hype beasts, fake people, and people can’t understand mans steez. This track was a little bit inspired by flows from the late rapper Capital Steez, whom I got my name off. But yeah it’s called Lucien Clarke because of that first line I dropped, because I was originally gonna call it Steezzy Lee but I’ll probably save that for another day.''
''The second single I dropped for the mixtape. The message behind the song is simple innit. You just gotta get your money in life and keep moving forward, no sleeping and no days off. You gotta jump for opportunities like your Michael Jordan. Paper Jordans is just the song to chill to and listen to for advice, not hear, but listen because listening and hearing are two different things. Yeah and anyone who listens to wu tang clan should understand the Cream part in the hook.''
Anticlimax (Interlude) (self-produced)
''It’s called Anticlimax because when I had finished making the song it was bare underwhelming to me, but I was like I should put it on there because it’s lofi and I fucking love lofi music that I produce and listen to. The song is an interlude for the next song which is also about a girl who’s crazy about me. This one was more lowkey though is just about a girl who is simping over me lol. I thought that’d be funny to throw in not gonna lie.''
''The song is called Paul McCarti because the first line I state is that “I’m a star” like the Rockstar Paul McCartney, and the beat is a Playboi Carti type beat. I wanted to make the album interesting, so I did a story telling ting where this girl I’m with is loving me for a minute. However her opinion switches because she a gold digger and is only looking for my money, so half way through the song she ends up leaving me and I end up finding a sweet Halle Berry looking ting who’s riding with me because she’s seeing the vision, the ambition and the success in me that will eventually happen in my future before any money starts coming in.''
''I won't even lie this is my least favourite song on the album, but it still goes hard because of the El Londo beat on dat and my bro Josh chopped up parts specifically at the end to make it go harder. The song is about me being too FLY for a ting who’s onto me, you could say it’s the same girl in the last song but who knows. The second thing I like about this song is my boy Macz who is doing that “glee glee sosososo.” I don’t know where the hell he came up with that lol but that wasn’t on purpose he literally went on the mic to do that and said it would sound hard hahaha.''
''First song I dropped after my first EP with Jesse Ayo. I love this beat by ThatBoySlim, I love the way my vocals are mixed and the vibe to the song. I think I was just happy at the time of recording this, but the song is way too lit so I deffo had to put it on HOC. Cloud Nine means a state of perfect happiness, that’s how I feel when I got Palace on my tee or I’m with my guys. This whole song inspired the tape.''
''We might’ve been skunked when we made this not gonna lie but I can’t remember. This was just an unserious freestyle by Jesse Ayo and me and because it’s so funny I thought it just fits the aesthetic of HOC. Yo for real though that’s the funniest shit I’ve ever made.''
''If I could go back in time, I’d put 2016 on my clock and tell myself to start taking music even more seriously as at the time it was when I first started to rap and write. It was also probably one of the best summers, bro I remember playing Halo and listening to Tyler, The Creator all summer. That year was too lit. The song is basically about taking me back to that time and my verse and Jesse Ayo’s verse is basically about what we want to achieve in the future. Jesse’s verse is more grounded in reality whereas mine is through the perspective of myself in 2016, (that’s why my voice is pitched up.) Fam all this talk about going back in time and future talk is why I almost named the song Sam McFly.''
Up Freestyle (self-produced)
''Probably the most important song on the album and a lot of peoples favourite from what I’ve heard, at the time of writing this a lot was on my mind and was getting me down, like the George Floyd thing, my father’s passing, the social injustice and racism and dat, and also some of my own friends going through their own thing but I was like let me try make a song where it just lifts you up from when you’re feeling down. You can’t let life get you down you gotta always try and keep yourself happy, it’s why I’m High on Clouds...''
Time and time again, Cap1talA proves himself as one of the coldest underground MCs around. Experimenting with his own production and always supporting other aspects of the underground scene, Cap is an integral part of the culture right now and I'm sure as his career progresses he will be carved out into an artist built to last the wild storm that is the music industry.