Official Site: | @yourKAPTN
“If you've never had your dad sit you down and give you 'the talk' about men and women, this is a great album for you to listen to.” Normally, such a description of an artist's debut album –particularly one curiously titled Caviar and Jacuzzi Blues– would test one's ability to keep a straight face. But for newcomer KAPTN, the mystique befits the man: as described by industry stalwarts, “he's a swagged out rapper that looks like Brad Pitt;” in his own words, he's the “White Tyrese.” Whatever he is, KAPTN is the guy who had Timbaland frothing to collaborate. And he sports similar co-signs from Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Ludacris. Simply put, he's a global sensation in the making. But just who is KAPTN?
Indeed, the man born Zach Ross outside of Detroit, the man behind the smash single “Ricky Ricardo,” has a lot of 'splainin' to do. “I'm not an overnight success,” he clarifies. “I've been making music seriously since high school. Where I grew up –smalltown New Mexico, after the move from Michigan—everybody was really into underground hip-hop. I never was. I would jump into freestyle battles and just make a joke out of it. Instead, I just had this love for pop music, and I wanted to emulate it in my own way. So when I started to record music, it was different from what people were doing. What began as lighthearted fun turned into 'Oh wow, people really like our stuff; they can vibe to this. Maybe it could be real.'”
It was this work with boardsmith Sneaks, himself an NM-to-LA émigré, that caught the ears of powerhouse production team Da Internz. Longtime pals and Chicago natives Marcos “Kosine On Da Beat” Palacios and Ernest “Tuo” Clark, Da Internz are responsible for smashes like Justin Bieber's “I Would,” Big Sean's “Dance (A$$),” and Rihanna's “Birthday Cake.” The duo is currently working with luminaries like Justin Timberlake, John Legend, and Chris Brown. Despite their pedigree, however, Da Internz needed little convincing: “He was just shining with potential,” remarks Kosine. “He looks like a superstar, and he's the real deal musically. I was sold.” His partner Tuo agrees: “The content, cleverness and delivery were all there. He actually reaches another place, a rare place, to get his creativity. I thought 'With the right music, this dude is outta here.' And that's where we come in.”
But Da Internz were thinking beyond the next studio session. Their own aspirations bubbling – “After you get in the game, and you get hits on the Billboard chart, you want to break artists” – Clark and Palacios signed KAPTN to their Write Ya Life imprint. The talented troika then inked a 50/50 joint venture deal with Island / Def Jam Records. Apparently, the relationship is equal parts creative force and mutual admiration society. Says KAPTN: “I can't think of another producer that would better get the sound I'm going for.” Says Da Internz: “KAPTN takes the ideas and vision we lay out and makes them his own, takes them to a higher level. That's the sign of a real superstar artist.”
So, while KAPTN and Da Internz have been quietly celebrating what they deem a sound destined to change radio, the world waits desperately to get in on the party. Indeed, KAPTN represents a beguiling, unprecedented concoction of dance, funk, pop, soul, and rap, all whipped together and frosted with a certain cheekiness and unabashed fun. It's then served red hot; Kaptn's abs are the un-secret ingredient. The mélange works. Listeners have slurped up the frisky folly of “Juice;” irresistible, dawdling electro-house dances with KAPTN's signature rhymes: terse, pun-laden, lascivious, and infectious.
“Juice” is an apt hors d'oeuvre for the sizzling main course, “Ricky Ricardo.” Steeped in the soulful Chicago house of Da Internz' childhoods, “Ricky Ricardo” is a swelling dancefloor maelstrom—“the type of track you hear when the party is at its peak,” muse Da Internz. Complete with KAPTN's intermittent Spanish accent and zesty Cuban-flavored rhythmic break, “Ricky Ricardo” is part of that radio takeover. While paying legitimate homage to its influences, “Ricky Ricardo” forges a new and surprisingly authentic sound. When pressed to identify it, KAPTN offers the term “luxury rap.”
The KAPTN has spoken. Now it's time to strap in, hang on, and enjoy the ride.