Larry D & Sugar James | Te Ahi Top 10
Written by Sam Dunlay on 24 June 2021
Taking out the top spot on this week’s Te Ahi Top 10 is the head-knocking boom-bap track courtesy of Larry D and Sugar James, ‘Mutant Weather’. Reminiscent of an old-school 90’s sound, ‘Mutant Weather’ sees the pair coming together to share a series of witty one-liners and braggadocious bars. The duo are a part of the rising local hip-hop collective Capgun Corp, who has been making a splash with a steady series of releases and gigs.
We caught up with the pair to chat about their collective Capgun Corp, how Mutant Weather came together, and their plans for the rest of the year.
Check out the interview below!
Congrats on taking out the top spot on this week’s Te Ahi Top 10 with your track Mutant Weather! Can you tell me a little bit more about who Capgun Corp are and what you’re about?
Essentially we are just a bunch of hip-hop artists with common goals and a passion for music. A few of us went to music school together, and we had all seen enough of each other to realise that we all had similar taste and common goals.
One of the first topics we talked about as a group was how most hip-hop artists seem to want to be underground and solo – sometimes so much so that they don’t get the recognition they deserve. We talked about how artists in other genres (like house & dnb) seem to work together and feed off each others success through the likes of promotional labels. From where we stand, this hasn’t really happened for hip-hop in the south, and the scene seems to be lacking because of it. So we came together as a team, and are currently working on big plans to challenge this. We also want to reinvigorate some of the fading values and styles of rap and hip-hop music.
Capgun Corp seems to be made up of a collection of creatives from around Aotearoa, can you give me a rundown of the group members and their roles?
So first up we have Sugar James – a jack of all trades type who moved up from down south to chase the music. He got us together as a team and spearheads a lot of our moves. He’s involved in most of the content we produce from producing to audio engineering to social media, but his main passions are rapping and engineering songs.
Next, we have the bad man Larry D – a Hamilton rapper who moved to Christchurch and initially linked with Sugar through a mutual love for rapping. Larry is a crazy skilled and productive lyricist, but he is also involved in most of the behind the scenes shit and is one of the most driven and determined cats out there.
Then there is TZ – a multi-talented Christchurch native who can pretty much do anything. No shit, this dudes the type to just start learning something and then be a master of it after a couple of weeks later. He specializes in production but gets down on the mic, like on our first track ‘Inspiration’ (which he also produced). Him and Sugar linked at music school and ended up living together – that’s where they began making music with Larry.
Next is Necrum Select – the beat professor. This man is a crazy talented producer who has dialled in on a sound that we really haven’t heard before – you know when you hear a Pete Rock or Dilla beat and you know as soon as you hear it that it’s their shit? That’s what it’s like with this cat. He made a few of the beats on Larry D’s recent album ‘Thoughts’ including ‘70’s Steeze’ and the title track ‘Thoughts’. Go check that shit out if you haven’t, you’ll see what I mean. Necrum also went to the same music school as Sugar and TZ, and is now pumping out beats for Capgun Corp.
Finally, we have Lonesome_Carboy – another Christchurch native. Where to begin with this man… First off he is one of the most talented off-the-top rappers you will ever see – no shit, this guy is a beast with words. On top of that, he is a multi-instrumentalist, talented producer and one of the steeziest and most humble people you will ever meet.
So, Mutant Weather is produced by Yerai with Larry D and Sugar James taking vocal duties, can you tell me a bit more about how this track came together?
This one came together when Larry and Sugar were engineering Larry’s debut album ‘Thoughts’. This is one of their favourite tracks on there – we got the beat from Yerai who is based in the UK, and while they were arranging it there was space for one more verse. Larry hit Sugar up to write something, and that was that.
Larry left the hook from the song up for interpretation, but it’s pretty much based around the feeling of just being immersed in a crazy world – whether that be musically or otherwise.
How do you guys go about making a song? Do you all link up, or is it a bit more remote?
Both. We always link up to form ideas, and we always link up when we put ideas into action, but a good amount of our writing is done remotely. For this song were linked up for pretty much the entire process.
You guys have a style reminiscent of some classic 90’s boom-bap, can you tell me about some of your influences?
We have a huge amount of influences, and yeah most of them are from that era. If we were to choose, for Larry it’s Mac Miller and for Sugar it’s Q-Tip.
What can we expect next from Capgun Corp?
We are working on a bunch of tracks ranging across a variety of different boom-bap styles. We are thinking that these might be released via a range of different EP’s, but at the moment we are just concentrating on making the music. Obviously, we have our solo stuff too – everyone has recent releases and we always working on new stuff too.
Do you have any upcoming shows we should know about?
We just had our Capgun Corp launch party at Darkroom and it was pumping. Larry is in the process of booking gigs as we speak, and Sugar is on the bill for the TwoMinds gig Under One Roof on July 17th and will have Larry there with him. We are also in the process of locking in a couple more Capgun Corp gigs for August. There is also a little something something happening with Sugar early next month so keep an ear out.
You can check out Mutant Weather below!
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