The standard definition of the term energy is a feeling of possessing such strength and vitality, and perhaps this is the most fitting adjective that symbolizes rapper Cappadonna, the Staten Island native from the hip-hop group the Wu Tang Clan. Energy is also an element that remains consistent throughout his latest work of The Pilgrimage album.
Taking a look back into the mid 90’s, Cappadonna made his musical debut on the songs “Ice Cream” and “Ice Water” on Raekwon’s solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and later he was featured on the track “Winter Warz” along with Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, U-God, and Raekwon, for the soundtrack to Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. He was also featured on Ghostface Killah’s 1996 release of Ironman and appeared on Wu-Tang release of Wu-Tang Forever in 1997 with one of the successful songs being “The Triumph.” Cappadonna released his solo album of The Pillage in 1998, produced by RZA, True Master & Goldfingaz with features from Wu-Tang members.
Although Cappadonna’s name did not appear on the group’s official recording contract with Loud Records, he is still considered a member of the group and was listed on the liner notes of The W in 2000 as a member of the group. It is also debatable that he was one of the coldest rappers from the Wu-Tang rap group, but with his unfortunate run-ins with the law for drug reasons, he wasn’t recognized at the height of the Wu-Tang’s career particularly, until later of course. He came out of prison rapping twice as long and twice as hard with energy that was overpowering, enough for you to feel it.
As mentioned before, Cappadonna brought forth energy on The Pilgrimage, which is something that always made him stand out before. Containing the dynamic message of bringing light to his life experiences of both trials and tribulations, he speaks powerfully on everything that he has been through, and also provides a hopeful lesson for listeners.
It is debatable that The Pillage is better than The Pilgrimage because of the features and beats provided by the Wu-Tang, so if you were searching for the feeling of the old Wu-Tang on this album, you were close to being disappointed. The features were not completely bad, but it definitely wasn’t the same, and the artists didn’t hold weight compared to Cap especially in energy. It seemed as though Cappadonna was trying to put other rappers on rather than collaborating with more established artists.
Although, Cap didn’t provide features from original Wu-Tang members, his energy was long lived, especially in songs “Dart Imports.” Other good songs off The Pilgrimage are “Good Wine,” “Put God First,” “For You,” and “Can’t Believe It’s Him.”
The album would have had a better effect if it started off with “Cuban Link Kings,” although it has a long interlude, it had a nice sample Aretha Franklin’s “Young, Gifted and Black.” The song takes you back to the height of the Wu-Tang style, which is greatly missed and what listeners are commonly looking for in a solo album. But it was nice to listen to his journey of what he’s been up to lately.
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