The “A” [Atlanta, Georgia] is just one of those places that rappers feel lucky to actually BE from. The Atlanta lifestyle as a whole seems to render towards the up and coming artist from the showcase hustle all the way to the growing recording studios and labels. Rapper Young Capone was fortunate enough to BE warped directly into the lifestyle, and has been one of the few artists that’s found the formula for staying in the game.
Rodriguez Smith might BE an unfamiliar name, but ever since “I’m Hot” dropped in 2004, Young Capone, also known as Young C, has been a lyrical torpedo ready to explode on to a much-needed scene. “I’m just me man! I was always running around the streets just being me, and I used to rap in the cafeteria…they was blowing my head up, so I had to hit the studio. That’s when I cam up with “I’m Hot”, and it just picked up…the rest is history. I signed with Nitti, he hooked me up with Jermaine [Dupri]. From there, me and Jermaine shot the video for “What It Is” & “I’m Hot”, we did all that stuff when I was with him, and now we up to now.”
Young C got his 1st chance to shine with So So Def under the wing of Jermaine Dupri, but after numerous delays to what everybody saw as apparent talent, Capone and So So Def contractually parted ways in ’97. “I didn’t ever think in million years that I would have ever worked with Jermaine. I watched JD on TV for so many years, & I would just look and say dang, that’s JD. I knew he had Kris Kross and Da Brat; I just new he was the nigga. No day back then could you have ever told me that I was gon f*ck wit him one day in my life.” Most would allow the turmoil to shut them down in their spirit of craft, but Capone decided to let that BE the catalyst that made him strive to still show the world what they first saw, but were still missing. Capone actually sat back and watched a few folks get the front spot that should have been his, but smarter than the average cat, Capone began to foster business relationships while still working to BE the best lyrically, which made for the perfect equation.
Young Capone graced the cover of BREAK Magazine back in 2005, and since then, he’s not only been hitting the studio extra hard working on his album “Small Things to a Giant”. I got Mario & Justice League produced the first single “Choosin”; we got the video in rotation on MTV, BET, Music Choice…shout out to Benny Boom for shooting that. I got another single out that I produced myself called “Shawty”, and then another single called “Loud” featuring Young Ralph & Maceo, produced by Zaytoven. So we just out here working these singles, making sure they’re in circulation. I been out for a minute trying to get out all of my contracts, and I done sat out for son long, I just know I gotta come better than everybody else. I’m through with So So Def now & me and my homeboy started our own label. We been pushing it real hard & trying to get good music back out there.”
Young C definitely plans on being at the forefront of the rap game, but understands that it’s important to step up to the plate the fill the business shoes that come with running his own label. “You gotta have that love for it [business] cuz at the end of the day if you have the love it’ll pay off.” Capone isn’t naive to the fact that all business ain’t quick and easy business. “I had to start fresh and build my relationships, as opposed to just being with a JD, who is in the game and already got relationships. He don’t gotta do sh*t but take you in the door and the BE like I f*ck wit you. Wit me, it’s like I gotta get in the system, and let them work with just me hands on; I been working with him [JD] for so long, or going up under a Jeezy or a TI, those people already got their foundation built, so going under them is like a peice of cake. I’m trying to build my foundation. I gotta make folk take me seriously and make them understand that this is what I really wanna do. And…I ain’t gon’ stop!”
Young Capone is thoroughly respected in the streets & couldn’t help but shout out his ATL counterparts that are shooting to make it BIG too. “Man everybody in the A! I f*ck with all the up & coming artists like Shop Boyz -them my people, J-Money [aka J-Futuristic]-he my people, [Yung] L.A., Sam. All these kats man, we all grew up together, we all the same age so we from the streets and we always seen each other around. It’s all good to see everybody working and doing their thing. We the future of the music and I been here the entire time.”
With knowledge from all aspects of the game, Young Capone is back with more prowess to make the impact that he first sought out to do. From looking at him, you can tell that his style has been highly duplicated throughout the years, and after talking exclusively with him, it was easy to see why he’s the “common denominator” in Atlanta rap, and how ahead of his time he’ll always BE.