Traditionally the term “grandpa” incites visions of feeble, sweet old men who spoil their grandkids like crazy. But when you’re barely middle-aged and a part one of the most respected Hip Hop groups in history, that image of grandpa changes drastically. Enter Cappadonna, father of eight (including 15-year-old triplets) and grandparent to two.
With over two decades in music under his belt, Cappadonna is celebrating the release of Wu-Tang Clan’s sixth studio album, A Better Tomorrow. Despite years of controversy, Wu-Tang’s ability to persevere in the brutal entertainment industry is a testament to their collective fortitude. Cap equally shows his dedication at home, and is extremely proud of his growing family.
In UrbLife.com’s Parent Trap, Cappadonna discusses how his children are affected by his music career, and the ways they are growing up in the digital age.
You have eight children and two grand children. How does it feel to tell people “I’m a grandpa?”
Cappadonna: It feels wonderful. I feel like I’ve succeeded the boundaries of parenthood, that I graduated to another level. Not only did I have to teach my children when they were young, but I also have to give them lessons and rules to give to their children who are young now.
How old are your grandkids? How many sons and daughters do you have?
Cappadonna: One is one, and the other one is five months. I have three daughters and five sons.
Are your daughters teenagers or are they grown?
Cappadonna: My oldest daughter is 25 and my other two daughters are 15.
There is a lot of access for young people on the internet now. You hear about these young kids who are sexting and doing things with their phones that they shouldn’t be doing. Have you had that kind of talk with your younger daughters about responsibilities and the internet?
Cappadonna: No, they’ve pretty much been sheltered from a lot of stuff, and their mom is very strict. We didn’t have too much difficulty with that, they’re good girls. Now my older daughter on the other hand, [laughs]she has her own relationship with social media. She has her model thing, so she likes to dress up, post pictures, and sometimes she argues on social media. I don’t get that with the younger ones.
Do their brothers step in when it comes to them talking to boys, or have you been guiding them?
Cappadonna: Not necessarily. I’ve always played a role in my children’s upbringing, how they think and what kind of people they would allow into their lives. My older daughter started out pretty good, my younger daughters aren’t dating yet. She had one guy that she was with for like five years, he went away to college to play football and she was still home. That caused some distance so she met someone else she knew for a less period of time, and this is the guy that she has the child with. So, nature is gonna take its course. I would have wanted it a different way, with the first guy. They’re still friends, but she’s with this guy and she’s going though the trials and tribulations now.
Have any of your kids said that they want to follow in your footsteps and have a rap career?
Cappadonna: My son raps, my daughter doesn’t rap at all. She was never into rap, she’s more into R&B, a little Usher and the other young guys. My younger daughters are into Justin Bieber and all the other young guys. The two youngest do little rap routines, I don’t encourage it, I encourage school for them. Both of my oldest children have graduated from high School. The older boy, he raps. I never gave him the incentive to do it for a living.
What if he said, ”Dad I’m going to quit all my jobs and I’m going to be a rapper”? What advice do you give him for that?
Cappadonna: I would tell him don’t quit his day job. It’s a tricky business. I wouldn’t recommend it at all for him. If it’s a hobby for you, keep it as a hobby. But even still, what are you going to do with it? If you’re not gonna do anything with it, then do something else. I brought him to the studio and he didn’t do anything, he didn’t lay anything. But the triplets [two girls and one boy], they rap all the time.
Were your kids aware of your fame as they grew up?
Cappadonna: Yeah, but I don’t know how they valued it. My dad was a working dad. He worked in a liquor store and spent plenty of hours working. A good man is never home. A good man is always at work. I think they pretty much got it figured out.
Tell me about this album and what it means to you at this stage of your career.
Cappadonna: It’s the closing of a chapter of a long, 10-year fiesta. It was educational, uplifting, it had challenges. It was like going through the college of life. It’s like every album was freshman, sophomore, and graduation college material. As a matter of fact, because you travel like this in our profession you get one credit, even without being in college attending because you have some sort of social value.
Do you feel this new album will give new fans a perspective on who Wu-Tang is?
Cappadonna: I think they have one perspective that will always be and that’s “Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck wit”. Anything else they can get out, that would definitely be empowerment. Knowledge of self… knowledge of yourself.