Cover photo by Samuel Gehrke.
“If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
It’s an old phrase, but it rings true, and it’s quite relevant right now. As the quarantined days drag on, our sleep cycles remain in shambles, and most of us are just trying to cling tightly to anything that resembles routine or balance.
I sure am, and my efforts are mostly successful, but I always wonder what it’s like for everyone else. I recently caught up with Portland native, wordsmith, and master of the mic, Mic Capes, to ask how he’s spent his time indoors.
“… A lot of The Wire, Chopped, and The Last Kingdom,” he replied with a chuckle. “…I’m working on a couple of projects, getting used to being married and settling in, working from home for my day job… And (too much) online shopping!
Despite his current battle for balance, music is one thing that Capes has always kept close, and he wanted to continue creating during this time.
“… I wanted to give people some type of content on a consistent basis outside of singles or projects because I don’t release those in high volumes.”
Mic Capes’ last full length project, Cold Blooded, Vol. 1, was released last May, on Memorial Day. The album remains true to its name, featuring cool production sourced from a pack of PNW producers, and chilling bars from King Capes himself, sealed up tight in an ice-solid package.
The message there is clear: Mic didn’t come to play.
Now, nearly a year later, he is aiming to stay sharp during quarantine with his fresh series, #MicCapesMondays.
The series started in mid April, when Mic joined Fabolous’ #ColdSummerChallenge, imparting motivational bars in an even and subdued pace.
It continued on 4/20, when many creatives pushed out heat to help ignite solo sessions around the country. Capes kept it cool, casually dropping off a roughly one-minute meeting of bars and beat, with LA-based Chase Moore providing the latter.
Each Monday since, Mic has kept the music moving with a new edition of #MicCapesMondays. While the first five weeks have brought us pure bars, the verses vary, ranging in subject matter and overall sound.
In week 3’s video, Mic channels production from Portland producer TROX, who shows a stark contrast to the sounds he provided for “Bloodsport (Everybody Dies)” on Cold Blooded Vol. 1.
While “Bloodsport” features a menacing melody to pair with Mic’s turbulent tone, the more recent contribution possessed a peaceful and introspective feel. The soothing sounds and catchy one-liners sprinkled throughout the clip pair well like a sweet wine with a sharp cheese.
“I done made a living off workin’ words like Vanna White,” Mic repeats for emphasis before the video ends.
The first two editions were received well and the next two followed suit, with Mic switching up the soundwaves a bit and rapping over previously used production.
On week 4, he chose an El-P produced beat, “Oh La La,” made popular by Run The Jewels, and on week 5, he chose a classic- Dr. Dre’s, “Xxplosive.” Each week is a treat that leaves us waiting to see what’s next!
#MicCapesMondays is a statement. It’s a movement. It’s a man making sure to use his talent so he won’t risk losing it.
While Mic says he’s doing this to stay sharp, a few clicks and listens will directly demonstrate and affirm: the man is pretty sharp already.
(Don’t hurt anyone, Mic!)
Watch the latest edition of #MicCapesMondays below, then check out the previous weeks. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
Oh, and don’t forget:
“If you don’t use it, you just might lose it.”