Chris Cape is a rapper and instrumentalist from Cape Town, RSA. He’s been churning out a potpourri of official and unofficial music for several years now, and his newest single, WORTH IT, featuring vocalist Robsco, just premiered on his SoundCloud. I try not to feature comparisons too excessively when working on Artist Features, but this one came to mind too quickly: Cape’s sound possesses snappy wordplay and pleasantly arrhythmic flow laid over strong percussion and guitar, similar to fellow rapper G-Eazy. However (much to many listeners’ relief, I’m sure), Cape opts out of crude and violent content in favor of more intellectual, worldly, and– dare I say– inspirational subject matter. In WORTH IT, the route Cape takes is more akin to that of international phenomenon Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots: he presents himself as a relatable, likable individual with a wellspring of progressive ideas concerning the foundation of musical artistry. The chorus can be read as a declaration of perseverance, either to a doubting lover or– as I prefer it– Cape’s past, present, and future fanbase. This track poses a distinct question: why become an artist if you have no message to send? One striking line proclaims “even if I reach one person out of a hundred, I’m satisfied and glad to meet ‘ya / could it be the purpose for life?”. This reveals exactly what Cape thinks of his work: he’s just like his fans, and they’re just like him. Another line touches on darker themes: “they’re blowing rings to entice the core of the person into thinking, maybe they don’t deserve to be living… maybe winners are losers, but who chooses?”, showing Cape’s willingness to retain the human touch that pervades this track. WORTH IT is compassionate, thoughtful, and catchy rap music. Here’s hoping Cape’s future releases catch a greater audience; given some of the hip-hop I’ve heard in recent years, this is exactly the kind of work the industry is lacking. As the chorus declares, “Just give me time, and you’ll see what I can become.” Given what I’ve heard so far, I’m more than willing to wait. Click the link above to check out the new track, and keep scrolling for more.
I had the pleasant opportunity to speak with Cape over e-mail. Here’s what we discussed.
Who/what has influenced you during the creative process (in terms of other artists or media)?
Musically, I listen to almost everything, however there are some artists I come back to more often than others. Many of these are 1970’s rock bands. There is something so grandiose, consequential and creative about records like Wish You Were Here, Close To The Edge, A Night At The Opera etc. I have a very eclectic taste and automatically draw inspiration from any music I come into contact with. As with most songwriter/artists I too am a big fan of the late David Bowie.
Lyrically, I often write in a reflective sense. I find that one of the best ways to exercise the demons of my past is to trap them on the page. I also find that saying how I really feel is far easier when I do so with rhymes and beats. Music and lyrics have been a method of cathartic release from the moment they were discovered, I imagine. What a songwriter has is the opportunity to take things from their personal life that are hard to deal with and use that as fuel or even as the building blocks for an artwork, this somehow gives (me at least) a more positive way of looking at that issue. The song is the silver lining…
I don’t believe all songs need to be so direct and personal, I also love simply exploring a concept lyrically for the sake of expanding the imagination. Worth It just happens to be one of those honestly autobiographical pieces.
Worth It is part of an upcoming EP called The Lawnmower EP and the subject matter forms the dark development in the storyline of the EP as a whole.
What are you trying to achieve with Worth It?
Well, first and foremost with all my releases my number one goal is to write a song I love and produce a great record of it. I think we’ve done that here with Worth It. If I work this way, it’s a creative success before even being released!
Aside from those sentiments I, like most artists, want to reach as many people as possible with my art. I want that thing that I’ve worked on for so long to be given a chance at being heard.
Worth It is the start of a year long campaign to give the world a chance to hear my music and get to know me as an artist. The intention is to release a new song every single month this year starting with Worth It. In addition to putting out the record I will also being doing music videos for all the tracks. The idea is that people come on board with one of the releases and stay on board for the songs that follow.
Do you have a personal connection to the subject matter? Any specific experiences that led you to its creation?
As I’ve said earlier this one is very personal. It’s looking back over the last few years wishing I could do it do it all again. Robsco’s line “I’m beaten down by all the things I didn’t do” really sums it up. It’s me choosing to get some of the hurts and regrets of the past processed so I can move on. I’m hoping that listeners will dig deep to uncover the specifics and find their own relationship with the lyrics.
Have you had any experiences performing your work live?
I was raised by two musician parents so have been performing from a very early age. Recently I’ve been gigging around twice a week here in London and intend to continue doing so for the rest of the year.
What are your future plans for other releases, if any?
The next release will be another track from The Lawnmower EP and it’s working title is “Give me love, I won’t bring trouble”. If you like this track then make sure to pick up on that next release!