Interview & Photo by: Carrick Wenke
At first I thought Malitia Malimob was an artist that was apart of Black Umbrella. As it turns out, Malitia Malimob, and it’s current face, Chinoo Capo Gaddafi, are more than just artists. Malitia Malimob is a movement that spawns as a record label, artist name, brand, and more. After dropping their debut and touring with Shabazz Palaces in 2012, member J Krown was incarcerated, but Chinoo kept the name alive dropping two of the most respected local projects of 2015 ISIS, and, Sport & Coke.
Who Are You? What Do You Wanna Tell The World About Yourself?
Chinoo Capo Gaddafi, one half of Malitia Malimob. Me and my partner, J Krown, are the faces of Malitia Malimob, but Malitia Malimob is more than one, more than one hundred. It’s a way of life, it’s also something that’s going to be big in Seattle. It’s a very powerful movement, and we plan on showing the world that we started our own movement, and we’ve been doing this for awhile now, almost half a decade. So to be honest, we’re trying to bring the life we envision, show the world our culture, how we live, and really just being down on negative stereotypes, and show the world we’re all the same, we all go through struggles, and that we all have our own story, and we wanna be the narrators of that.
What/Who Are Your Main Inspirations For Making Music?
My family, my kids, my brothers, which are my friends you could say. The people around me, my environment, my community, my country. I feel like when I’m doing what I’m doing, which is music, and when I’m doing what I have been doing, I feel like I have this duty to show the world where we come from and the struggles that we face. I feel like there’s not anybody talking for us, there’s not anybody talking about the struggles we face, so I feel like it’s more of a duty than anything else.
Who Are Some Producers That You Work With?
Right now I really only work with Mario Lucciauno, you guys probably know him as MoonMan. Me and Moonman been doing this together since the Seattle scene really started hearing our music. Moonman to me is Malimob, which to me is a big part of Malitia Malimob, he is Malitia Malimob. At the end of the day Malitia Malimob is a movement, he’s from Romania, I’m from Somalia, we share different ideas and understand we’re coming from different places. So pretty much it’s just me and Mario. I guess you could say it’s how Future got his producer and that’s the only one he fucks with? Well, I got my Producer and that’s Mario. And Gino Marley, is another dude who did a few tracks on my projects.
Are You Affiliated With Any Artists Or Crews?
Yes, Malitia Malimob is not just a rap group, but it’s a record label. I want people to understand I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m signed to Black Umbrella, Malitia Malimob is it’s own label. They manage me and were part of a big movement together, to show the world Seattle, and our music. Me and Raz share alot of ideas, as far as things we want to do for our communities, so we partnered up really to make that happen. Malitia Malimob is a label, we have our own artists, which you will be hearing real soon. First coming out this year that I’m introducing this year is my boy, B.R., from Baton Rouge. So really it’s showing a whole different side, when you think Malitia Malimob it’s not just Africans. B.R. is from Baton Rouge, same spot where Boosie from, same block all of that. He shares the same mind set of what Malitia Malimob is, a band of brothers grouping up trying to succeed in every way and aspect of life. If I can help you I help to be the greater us. Look out for B.R., you’re definitely gonna hear a lot from him this year. As far as that, it’s one step at a time, and we’re with B.R. right now.
Who Are Some Artists You Wish To Work With In The Future?
I would say, Ishmael Butler. Me and Raz definitely have something coming up. Fatal (Lucciauno). Outside of Seattle I would say Mozzy, I fuck with Mozzy. DMX, to be honest if I could choose. Styles P, Beanie (Sigel), Lauren Hill, I could go on all day.
You guys opened for Shabazz Palaces & THEE Satisfaction in 2012. What was that experience like for you?
The experience was great. I feel like the experience made us who we are today. Wanna say shout out to Ish and Tendai, their whole idea was taking us out on tour and throwing us out there with the sharks and seeing if we survived. I guess we survived, we learned a lot from that and what it takes to be an artist. You have to really want to be an artist and really want this, and that’s what we realized from being with them. There’s no time to sleep or none of that. So we gained a lot of experience and maturity from that.
What is your take on the current gentrification of Seattle, as opposed to what it was when you were growing up?
This is America, at the end of the day the Almighty Dollar rules. That’s something we never had so first and foremost we moved to the Central District and people were living there because of it not being as expensive, but I already imagined it was gonna be like that, it was too good to be true. Public housing and low income housing to be right near downtown, it was bound to happen at the end of the day. It’s corporate America so if they’re coming in, they’re coming in. It’s something that’s always gonna happen, and it’s something that’s gonna continue to happen everywhere. They’re going to continue to keep pushing us south and south and south, until we all live in Tacoma, or somewhere far, far North. At the end of the day it’s sad to see, because I really love to see black companies and black families strive, and really have something that’s their own. I feel like everybody else has it. Us Somalians and us East Africans are starting to learn, it’s hard and nothing’s gonna be given to you. You gotta put your mind to it and really go after it. We came as refugees, the six of us, and we didn’t even have a suitcase. When you come here you gotta understand yourself and help build your community, and I feel like what’s wrong with us in America is they put in our heads that you don’t have to worry about anyone else and strive for yourself. If you don’t have anyone to help you, then it’s kind of hard to do anything. That’s something we can build from and learn from, not just as a race of blacks, but us foreigners, to really understand that in order for us to get what we want we gotta work harder. There’s nothing else to it.
What was youth in Somalia like for you?
I feel like me coming from Somalia, I’ve seen both sides. I’ve seen the bottom of the bottom, and the top of the top. To be honest with you, my parents were very successful, and to say if we lived in America, we’d be living in high class, upper middle class, college tuition and everything fully paid off, all of that. This is your own country, so depending on how your family works you get something inherited to you. It’s what your father’s father worked for. I feel like me being here, I had nothing, nothing to get from, nothing to give. My dad died not too long ago, I’m not getting no house, not getting no money, nothing. With us understanding that we Somalians, I can speak for us from my experiences, we come from the most dangerous country in the world. Afghanistan is a paradise compared to Somalia. That taught me that I have oppourtunity here in America. They’re not always gonna be on my side, or be rooting for me to win, so it’s my job to prove them wrong, and for me to do what I wanna do in life. My parents brought me to America to get a slice of the pie, I want that slice of the pie in any way or form I have gotta get it. Simple as that. I’m not going back home empty. My goal here in America is to do what I need to do put my family in a better place, leave my legacy in a better place, my name, and one day hopefully go back home to Somalia. Being from Somalia, it’s taught me to work harder and that all odds are against me, and at the end of the day all of the shit that you see, there’s life bigger than the streets. I’m not the type to glorify the streets, unless its making you money or taking you somewhere. All this being hard, and being what you’re not, you don’t have to do all that. Live your life, you know your story, you know where you come from, you know where you are, you know where you’re going. Coming from Somalia, it built me to live in America. When things are against me it’s something I expect, therefore I’m not dissapointed.
Along with touring with Shabazz, you guys have supported alot of big artists such as Lil B, and Danny Brown. What was your favorite show to be apart of?
Danny Brown. That was the show of a lifetime. That and of course, hella of the Shabazz ones. But that one was the most we ever got paid for a show, and the energy, and idea and theme behind it. We came in, me and my bro J, and we were doing songs for our up coming project that I still haven’t put out Modern Day Pharohs, & Black Al’qaeda. As soon as we came onstage we had like four big ass dudes, two on the far end of the stage covered up in Muslim wrap, covered up with their faces, and then we had 3 or 4 girls covered up with Islamic clothing sitting down, and they were performing, and everything with the lights. We killed that shit. We killed it better than Danny Brown if you ask me. We had the Somali flag on the door, Danny Brown came into our room and we had hella people in there. It was a cool experience, and I got to meet Danny Brown again and he remembered us, we were kicking it. Tendai introduced us to his producer, we talked and kicked it. Good people, good vibes, good energy. Everything went without a glitch so that’s the one. And the pay was good (laughs).
I understand J Krown got incarcerated because a cop shot him?
J Krown got incarcerated because the cops thought he had a gun. I feel like the story doesn’t fit right. It was the game before the Super Bowl, when we played San Francisco, so everybody was wearing all red and everybody was wearing all blue, because it was Seahawks vs. 49ers. He was wearing red, not because he’s a big 49ers fan, but he likes red, I like red too. I feel like they don’t know who or what happened, but we were just targeted. He should be getting out soon, at the end of this year.
When Can We Expect Your Next Project To Drop?
I would say real real soon. I wanna let everybody know that the time with Malitia Malimob, we would take long periods of stopping and people didn’t really know why. We are involved in alot of things, and we don’t live a normal life, as far as what people would sum up to be a normal life. Now that we’re in a better situation, I feel like people can expect a lot more music, nonstop. Right now I got a project coming out called The Wrath of Gaddafi, you’re the first ones to really know about it. I plan on releasing that soon, along with a few singles. After that I plan on shooting this “SOS” video. You can start expecting the next project.
I’m excited for this year, I’m excited for Malitia Malimob, and Black Umbrella as a family. Expect a lot of good music to come out of Malitia Malimob, expect a lot of good music to come out of Black Umbrella, and expect a great movement to come out of this for the fans out there. And the “Mob Mix” video is coming out next week.