Don is Love

U-God ft. Cappadonna & Killah Priest — “God is Love”

Kreators ft. Cappadonna — “With You”

Cappadonna is probably no one’s favorite rapper, and he’s certainly fucked up a good share of Wu bangers  throughout his association with the Clan (“Triumph,” anyone?). Lately, however, I’ve been warming to this dude’s style, as the same characteristics that once struck me as flaws (eg. unpredictability, inconsistency, seemingly half-assed verse construction) start to sound more and more like benefits, especially in an industry increasingly populated by sanitized, pre-fab rapper-dolls. The antithesis of a Drake or Kid Cudi, Cappadonna is a true rough-neck, unconcerned with softening his edges or perfecting his flow. He just gives you raw emotion and whatever the fuck comes to his mind, yelling into the mic with that inimitable, street-hardened voice. Donna’s Slang Prostitution dropped in January, but despite the amazing cover art, I’m not sure I’m ready to digest a whole album of his verses. I have been loving some of his guest appearances lately, though.

The tracks above showcase two very different sides of an emcee not typically praised for his versatility. “God is Love” (from U-God’s excellent Dopium) finds Cappa in “Wu-Tang’s for the kids” mode, as he admonishes other rappers for glorifying street life and bringing down the hood. While I fail to see how Cappa’s not similarly guilty, it’s hard to argue with the passion in his voice, and there’s no question he steals the track. On “With You,” really the only good song on the Kreator’s Live Coverage (2004), Cappa again goes first, here contributing a laugh-out-loud performance reminiscent of his immortal verse on “Ice Cream.” For a song ostensibly for the ladies—down to its laid-back beat and R&B vocals—I can’t imagine a better opening line than, “I love a honey half-Chinese and half-Guyanese/be quick, drop to her knees.” Sounds like a Craigslist personal! Who says men aren’t picky?

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