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Capleton Interview

Bob Marley


Interview and Photography by Diane Adam 2001
Interview conducted on February 24, 2001

Whole heap of 'tings what dem a do me know dem ignorant
Whole heap of 'tings what dem a say not really relevant, yo!
A youth dem our the future give dem them the preference, yo!
Cause every ghetto youth me say fe militant, yo!
Whole heap of 'tings what dem a do me know dem ignorant
Whole heap of 'tings what dem a say not really relevant, yo!
A youth dem our the future give dem them the preference, yo!
You see dem want a mental balance, yo!
The one da name, Cha!
Hold your heavens and don't make it run
Whe' you hear me say yea, ya no make it get way, ahh!
Hold your heavens and don't make it run
When you hear me say, yea!

"Whe' dem go so fast" by Capelton
From his upcoming CD release, "Blaze Up the Fire"

Diane Adam: I'm here with Capelton, the real fire man, en route to San Francisco coming from his performance at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, California.

Capelton: Fe real!

DA: Capelton, it's so nice to talk to you and to see you perform again.  I've seen three of your performances during the 2001 Bob Marley Birthday celebrations starting with Long Beach to San Francisco and now, Redway, California!  You put on excellent performances one and all!

Capelton: Thank you.

DA:  I want to start the interview with the most intense element in your music.  Fire!  I was reasoning about Reggae music with a sistren recently.  She remarked that she does not understand why some Reggae artists keep burning fire on homosexuals, especially in light of all the other human strife on earth.  Why do you labor this issue in your music?

Capelton:  Well, I guess anything at all that try to defile the forces of nature...that is what confuses the earth.  That is what causes destruction and different kinds of pestilence and illusion.  If you check even the Bible, Leviticus 20:13...When a man lie with a next man, kind of like them lie with a woman  - its judgment!(1)   That's what the Bible say.    Jah say a man and a woman come together still and fulfills certain things.  Man free fe live and free to do what him want to do, but I'm saying when certain things are against nature and against the Almighty, against humanity -- den Fire!  Yah see me?
DA:  Do critics still bother you about this issue?

Capelton:  No, no...because everyone live by the Bible and you cannot hide from the truth.  People may get violated through youth days...through the environment...but the truth is the truth and no one can go around the truth.

DA:  Capelton, is it a meditation that came upon you that causes you to feel like you have to keep burning this issue?

Capelton:  No, it's not a "specifical" thing you know.  Anything that is against life and against nature-- anything that is defiling humanity, hear me a say?  It's just fire!  Anything that's wrong its just fire.

DA:  You recently performed in San Francisco and you received a glorious reception.  Were you surprised?

Capelton:  Well, as me a say, it's the power of words, power through the music and the message still, you understand?  Me don't know?  Maybe through me a youth me burn a certain amount of fire, maybe people never look for that response, but Word is Power of the Earth and the message is strong and it's reality.  Righteousness exalts the nation.  So me no really surprised still, because it's an everyday thing and anywhere we go the FIRE RED!  Whether white people, China people...we go to Japan and it's the same vibe.  We go to Europe...anywhere...even back home...the fire is just real and natural.

DA: Capelton, I heard that when you appeared on stage to perform at Jamaica's Sumfest last year, the audience almost burned the place up at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Capelton: Yeah, but the concept of the fire and people burning down the place - it's not meant literally.  It's the vibe and the energy of the people within the music.  My fire even comes through my energetic performance igniting the crowd.  So, looking at the fire from a biological point of view then human being species depend on a certain amount of fire to survive in terms of life.  You as a woman, if you don't consist of certain heat, body temperature wise, you can't even conceive a child.  If you look 'pon the fire from a biblical point of view then, Moses saw Jah in a burning bush.  Shadrach, Mishael and Abed'nego walked through the fire and never get burned.  Jah say he won't return with water but with brimstone and fire.  So, if you see it from a geographical aspect, the earth itself emerged from the equator -- talking about volcanic activity, lava -- we dealing with the hottest element now.  All right!  We could look 'pon it from a natural aspect.  The sun is the hottest element that rises in the morning.  If no sun no shine, no rain no fall.  If no sun no shine there is no energy, no plant no grow.  So fire is really the main source of life.  The fire come through even the words of the Nyahbingi, it comes through the livity, you understand?  So, it's all real and natural it's just MORE FIRE!

DA:  So, you're going to keep this message alive?

Capelton: Well, most definitely!  Because as I'm saying, it's something that is ordained.  This is the fulfillment within the levels of the manifestation.  So, as my grandmother would say, "What is to be have to be."  "None but ourselves can free our mind" and within the levels of our curriculum and our philosophy and our culture, den
we cannot be a traitor nor a sell out.  We have to be wi selves.  We have to uplift wi self.  We have to get it more collective.  More self-control, more self-esteem, more self-employed, more self-reliance.  We need fe motivate the youth dem whenever dem have the urge to
speak of dem heritage and dem culture - seeking to be demself.  Because the great Marcus Garvey show you say, "A nation without knowledge of dem own history is like a tree without root."  So the greatest thing is to tell our youth about Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, Emanuel, Marcus Garvey and most of the ancient warriors that come and fight for Black liberation.  'Caah youth have to know about Rome and know what it stand for and know the purpose, but dem still have to know about demself.  So we can't just fill dem up with Christopher Columbus and Napoleon -- even though that's what dem teach in school still.

DA:  Capelton, you're from the Bobo tribe of Rastafari?

Capelton: Yes, me really endorse the Bobo faith yes, but Rastafari is oneness you know.  Whether Twelve Tribes, Nyahbingi, Orthodox, Coptic - just one Rastafari.  Bobo the heart and the mind of the people still.  Every Black man and Black woman represent Bobo, you see me?  So, even Nyahbingi a Bobo same way.  Just one Rastafari.  There is no division within the levels of Rastafari.  Because this is not like church, where Anglican fight against Baptist, Baptist fight against City Mission and City Mission fight against Methodist, you know?  Everyone suppose to praise in one God.  There should be no disillusion.

DA: When you sing you always mention Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey and Emanuel.  Most people know Marcus Garvey and most people know Selassie I, but can you tell us a little more about Emanuel and his place?

Capelton: Emanuel is the High Priest.  Emanuel is the man who preserves the livity for the people dem, hold the right order.  More "church-ical" and "state-tical" you understand?  Government, fundamental. So, Emanuel is the man who shows you the livity and show you the love.  Haile Selassie I is the King responsible to the Highest, the Almighty and Marcus Garvey is the man who get the vision for the nation as a Prophet.  So it's the King, the Priest and the Prophet still birth from the Mother of the Earth, you understand?

DA: Emanuel is like Melchizedek(2)?  

Capelton: Yes!  Ancient warrior.  You know the word Emanuel means, God with us also.  The power is real and natural.  You will find God within yourself, you know?  You have to see him as a physical being...this God is no illusion coming through no sky looking for judgment then going to hell and burn up in a fire, no!  Nothing like that!  It's livity.  A man's conscious is his hell and his heaven - things that you do...within the levels of your mind ... everything comes through a mental part of the earth still.  That's why we say, "Free yourself from mental slavery."  Free your mind, you understand?  So, it's a mind game Babylon play because he knows the way people think and feel create their physical experiences.  It's all about implementing all different kinds of mental avenues and having the people think a certain way so they can create that environment, you understand?

DA: Yes.
Capelton:  So, the way you think and the way you feel manifest the activity you thinking.  So we have to know how we think and know what things we say.  Because whatever we think, we create it and whatever we say, the word takes on itself flesh and manifest.  The power of thought and the breath of life create the whole universe.  That power of thought still live within man and woman today.  That power of thought and that breath of life create everything out there, including sky, land, sea, human being species, insect, animal -- everything that is out there in terms of inventions and creation is created through the power of thought and the breath of life -- and that still lives within man and woman today.  That's why Jah say him give man dominion over all things.

DA:  During your recent performances in California you paused from the music to talk seriously to the people.  You remarked that Napoleon is the first anti-Christ, Adolph Hitler is the second anti-Christ and the third anti-Christ?

Capelton: Yeah!  They wonder if it's George Bush or Bill Clinton!

DA:  I like the political impact of your music.

Capelton: Well, as me a say, United Nations, Buckingham Palace, Scotland Yard, Pentagon and The Vatican -- all of them responsible for the world through leaders and government.  So, Haile Selassie I already set certain order and certain foundation how they suppose to lead the people, how they suppose to govern the people.  And who shall ever go against the will and the words of His Majesty then a FIRE!  That's why Bob Marley have to make you know, "That  until the philosophy..."

DA: "...which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently  discredited and abandoned..."

Capelton: You understand.  War!   "...Until there is no longer any first-class and second-class citizens of any nation."  Until every nation unite.  Especially Black people amongst dem selves.  Because you know they tried to divide us?
DA: Of course.

Capelton: And have us fighting amongst each other.
DA:  Does it trouble you when you perform and see very few Black people in the audience?

Capelton:  No, because the message is one message you know?  Because, the white man have to go hail Selassie I.  The China man have to go hail Haile Selassie I.  The Indian have to go hail Haile Selassie I.  And, the Black man have to go hail Haile Selassie I.  So, every nation have to go bow. You know me a say?  For the King give him honor and glory.  So, the message is for everyone.

DA:  The reason I ask if it troubles you when there are few Black people attending shows is because, as you say, the message is for everyone and the message of unity is particularly important to convey to Black people.

Capelton:  Well, most of our people have been mislead and maybe in certain areas you're not going to find a certain amount of Black people, you have to go look for mostly white people in certain parts of the earth.

DA:  It just seems to me that there is no big effort by the promoters and the people involved in putting on Reggae shows to bring the message to the communities and people that truly need to hear it!

Capelton:  O.K...Well, more times it is through the booking agents, but in most of the major cities I do perform for my people.

DA:  Capelton, though you sing a lot about the fire principle, you are also well versed in singing about woman.

Capelton:  Well, the woman is the Mother of the Earth and it's dem "respon-civilization" even though in the teachings, dem never really teach we about the Goddess of the Earth.  They always teach us about the God, but even the God himself 'have to born 'pon a Goddess which is a woman.  So, if it weren't for the woman to give birth, then what would be the earth today?  It would be nothing.  Because there would be no birth, understand?  Therefore, we have to uplift the woman dem.  Show dem they are the Mother of the Earth, dem are the Queen of civilization.  Dem "respon-civilization."  Give dem certain power, strengthen dem...words of upliftment.

DA:  What about the more explicit songs that you sing, like "Good In Her Cloths" and "Hunt You."
Capelton:   Well there is a next level, 'caah most of the artists chant about woman but most men try to degrade the woman, bring dem down and call dem all different kinds of names.  You understand?

DA: Yes.

Capelton: IanI chant for the upliftment of the woman's mind, strengthen them physically and mentally.  Show the women dem they have the strength.  We have to have them upon the battlefield as the warrior still to help us defend the power.  Even when Babylon come to slew off the people dem. When him come and see the women and the children him still have to look into himself because him also come from a womb and him also have children.

DA:  Capelton, some of your song lyrics say that when you see woman you want to breed dem.

Capelton: (Lowers his eyes and firmly gazes at me)

DA: O.K. (responding to his gaze and laughing).  I know you don't mean every woman you see you want to breed them!  But, can you please comment on these kinds of lyrics.

Capelton: Well, me just a show you, what nature made don't try to divide...that's the message I'm trying to get across.

DA: The reason I ask this question is some men may be mislead to think that they should just continually keep breeding women with little thought about the future of the children they help create.
Capelton:  Well, I look 'pon a youth as a blessing still.  If dem never fe born then dem wouldn't born.  So whichever way them come inna the earth, I  would still have to glorify and give thanks.  Still, a man is supposed to take care of his children.  Whichever, whatever way!  You know me a say?  Because youth are the future.  Dem are the man and the woman of tomorrow.  Can't make dem suffer, you understand?  Still take care of dem.  Me say the youth dem a blessing still you know -- and more blessing when you care for them and protect them.

DA:  So what you're saying is that this is the proper way that man and woman are suppose to be together?

Capelton:  Right, right!

DA:  Not to say that men should just start to impulsively breed every woman they are in intimate contact with?

Capelton:  No, no...You understand.  Fe Real.

DA:  Capelton, in the news recently there was a story reported about Rastafarians on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia that took the concept of fire literally when they allegedly set out to burn down a Catholic Church, burning a Priest and beating a Nun.  This was in the news and the Rastafarian culture was summarily blamed.

Capelton:   Yeah?  Well more times those things are rituals, you know?

DA: Well, I think that many people see the fire as a literal thing and don't realize that the concept of the fire is for the purification.  Instead, they believe they should actually start some fires and burn things down in the name of Rastafari, which puts a bad light on the movement.

Capelton: Well, we don't know, Rasta is willing to take the blame for anything they want to blame us for.   Even when we don't do it, they still blame us, you understand?  It seems Rasta have the whole world 'pon him shoulder, you know?  So I don't care what dem say or do.  Just cleanliness, clean heart, firm meditation, patience and faithfulness and I-durance.  Stay focused.  Chant for the upliftment of the hearts and the minds of the people.  Fight against injustice and inequality, manipulation, death without dignity, exploitation.  Always commend the youth dem whenever dem motivate demselves.  Never disregard our sister or brother.  Always care for each other.  Always glorify each other's work.

DA: Beautiful words!  Blessed Capelton and thank you so much.

Capelton: More fire!  More love and more blessing.  Strength and power!  More fire to purify the earth and purify the people.

Hail to the King, Haile Selassie I - His Imperial Majesty

For more information about Capelton go to http://www.vprecords.com/artisteinfo.php?artiste_number=25
1 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus Chapter 20, Verse 13
2 Melchizedek means 'king of righteousness' and his second name 'king of Salem' means 'king of peace' (Heb.7: 2).

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