Talking turf

South Sac’s Kilo Kapanel is all about street fame, you feel me?

Kilo Kapanel is not really playing.

Kilo Kapanel is not really playing.

Photo By dominick porras

Standing outside Bobby T’s restaurant/nightclub in South Sacramento, next to a large sign that reads “NO bandannas, NO headbands, NO do-rags … ,” rapper Kilo Kapanel and some of his squad—his young son Yogi, R&B singer Doughboy and producer Goldfingaz—try to find the perfect spot to take a photo that people will automatically associate with the neighborhood. We end up on the median that splits Stockton Boulevard by 65th Street (“They’ll know exactly where we are,” Kilo says).

We snap some shots, then head across the street to the liquor store, where the clerk peeks through the window to make sure these gangsters aren’t really, um, snapping shots.

But they’re not—killing people, that is—and hopefully they won’t be anytime soon; thankfully (for them and for society at large), these thuggish individuals happen to be extremely focused on their music right now.

And I’ll say this: For a guy who appears on both Garden Blocc Ridaz compilations, who has recorded numerous raps involving a gun and some unfortunate victim, who gives shouts out to his “29th Street niggaz” and who has a CD that’s back cover depicts him strong-arming a U.S. Bank, Kilo isn’t exactly eager to dish dirt about gangster life like I thought he would be.

“I’m not really putting it out there like that,” he explains. “If I do put it out there, it’s going to be in a good way.” It’s all explained on the song “Bang With Me,” in which Kilo invites gang members from all sets to come together. “And if you riding with me that night and we get into a fight, you better swing, too—or I’m whooping your ass afterwards. You feel me?”

Yup. Sure do. “You feel me,” by the way, is more of a statement than a question. And by his intensity—in his music and demeanor—you have no choice but to feel Kilo Kapanel.

Kilo is a Dallas/Fort Worth native who moved to South Sac as a young boy. He’s appeared on numerous hood-centric compilations as an emcee and experienced success with his 2002 solo album, Street Fame—from which the single “Bounce 2thiz” garnered a good amount of radio play and can be heard on MTV, VH1, ABC and Oxygen. “I was just watching TV the other night and I heard my shit on [Mind of Mencia],” says Kilo. “That shit is the best, you feel me?”

Yup. His latest album, Plan, Plot & Strategize—which features Mobfioso Music labelmate Lameez, who recently dropped the dynamic Cruel Intentions; along with C-Bo, Crooked I, T-Nutty and others—picks up right where Street Fame left off: booming 808 bass lines and tracks like “Made Good,” in which Kilo raps over Goldfingaz’s mesmerizing simple four-note melody: “It’s like this, it’s like that, it’s like this and uh / I keep a heater snug up close up in a bandana / in case little daddy wanna pop off with his bad manners.” The recklessness in Kilo’s lyrics paired with sinister production give you the impression that either Kilo just got out of prison, or that he’ll be there very soon.

But Kilo assures us that’s not the case.

“We’re just trying to get money out here,” he says, realizing that “the only way we’re going to get money is by leaving the guns at home sometimes.”


“Yeah,” he says. “And [we have to] stop trafficking so much and we’ll have a little longevity out here.”

Avoiding gunplay and not selling crack are both good ways to literally stay alive. But keeping your name in the streets is great way to insure longevity in the music industry.

“I’m in the streets every day,” says Kilo. “If [people] know me, they’re like, ‘I seen that nigga Kilo Kapanel. That nigga be on every block putting a CD in people’s hands and putting out fliers.’ I’m out here. That’s what I’m doing to get that buzz. That’s what it’s about: street fame, bro. You feel me?”