Born Khotso Keebine with just enough time to qualify as a 90s baby, the artist known as Don Cap epitomises what it means to have an “authentic brand”.
“[I was] Born in 95 and ain’t never worked a 9-5,” he tells me when we sit down for our chat. “I was mostly raised by my mother, and we had a very close relationship - There was a lot of respect for each other as individuals, so I had a very loving upbringing, for the most part. It wasn’t until later on when I started having to fend for myself and spent time in the streets a lot more that we started sorta, having problems…” He trails off.
“I had a friend at that time, Gabedi, who was a producer, and we’d spend a lot of time at his spot just messing around with the music cos we were kids at the time but I think that was an important part of me actually learning how to make music and getting in the game. I’ve never been much of a squad person, so we never really formed a squad or anything like that. I don’t think I’ve been in one to this day. I prefer to do my own thing. It’s always been that way”.
“I was very sheltered after High School. To be frank, I’d failed High School, largely cos I was doing way too much at the time but also cos High School felt… small… for me,” he muses. It’s one of the marks of those society would say “grew up too fast” - The restlessness and inability to travel at the pace of everyone else. “I’d been raised by my cousin, who was 6 years older than me, so I’d been doing bossed up sh*t. That’s part of the reason why I feel like I’m so ahead. There’s so much sh*t that I’ve seen that what’s here, now, feels light”.
It would be this introduction to OBVDO, followed by Dilla, that would further guide him in the process of his becoming. “They are some of the most talented people I’ve ever known, my whole life. They definitely played a huge impact in my artistry and were really there for me at the very beginning.”
It’s only been a few years, but it’s been a saturated few years, so I ask him how he feels his sound and approach has changed since his decision to take music seriously.
“Meaning and emotion matter more to me now. I imagine myself in an arena with 50… 90 thousand people, and I want all of them to feel the same thing. When I started it was just about getting content out. Now I’m more focused on what that content means”.
Part 2 coming soon.
Main image credit: Instagram/larry_don_cap