An Interview with Fontana, California based artist Steve Caprio aka Ominous Words
What came first rapping or art?
Art.. I loved drawing. I spent most of my time drawing during school.. I use to draw cartoons.. frame by frame. some would be 300 pages. Then I’d film each page for a second, then play it all in fast forward and it would be a cartoon.
I loved filming and editing our skate videos too. I started writing poetry around Jr. High and it started out as a way to vent. It was all sad. Over time I struggled at first to write just to write when I was happy..
My first rap song was me changing the words to an Ant Banks song. I started freestyling and rapping in like 9th grade maybe.. shit man, I’m gonna be 45 this year. That was like 1993 or so.
I remember the first song we recorded was in my Moms bathroom, we had two boomboxes, played an instrumental on one and recorded on the other.. back when you had to stuff a little paper in the holes on the top edge so it would record over whatever was on the cassette.. ha, dinosaur shit.
Name one crazy or standout moment ever with an artist during a show or event?
A few things come to mind. I remember performing with U God of Wu Tang in San Diego.. I was super drunk.. I dropped the mic on stage while i was rapping.. and didn’t even care. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.. I have a lot of good memories though.
I gotta admit.. When Stic of Dead Prez text me several flame emojis after hearing my Fuck the Law song, that was a highlight. I grew up a big fan of their music.
Are you still affiliated with High Times Magazine and how did that come about?
No. Really, I feel like fuck High Times. They fired their entire OG staff and now it’s just another heartless cannabis cash grab exploiting the name.
So, I use to snowboard alot. Was in magazines, did contests, had sponsors, etc. snowboarding was life. I had pro-cannabis sponsors.. back in the early 2,000s before it was acceptable.
Rick Cusick was the Publisher and he invited me to a High Times party in Las Vegas.
It was at the Sahara Hotel & Casino. I got sooooo fuckin’ high man. I woke up on the floor with my ex, my kids mom, next to Rick’s bed in a room full of random people passed out. Rick & I are still friends to this day, I love that dude.
I designed and manufactured the 30th Annivery High Times Snowboard. That was a fun project. One day Rick reached out and said I was High Times Artist of the Week. I was stoked..
They put me on the High Times website.. then I got a call saying I was High Times Artist of the Month and I was featured in the Magazine.. I thought that was neat too.
High Times and it’s staff was super cool, then when cannabis went through it’s recent shift, everyone left. A bit after all that I was called and asked to be the Branding Expert at the High Times Business Summit.. So, I did that. But after that I stopped fucking with them.
Did you learn marketing in school??
Nah, it’s just something I was always good at. I see holes in markets and just got a gift I guess. I designed the only Binding for Ride Snowboards that sold out.
I use to organize events at the Improv and after parties for cannabis and snowboard trade shows. I’ve helped a lot of brands grow. I did get a degree in design in 2010, after about 14 years of doing it.
How has, working with companies like Neff Headwear, Skullcandy headphones, HIGHTIMES worked for your career?
Working with global leaders is always a blast.. I built the Neff Headwear mobile game with Snoop Dogg & Riff Raff. Shaun Neff always treated me right. I was the packaging consultant on the Cheech (of Cheech & Chongs) cannabis brand launch in California.
I worked with Cheech’s daughter Jasmin and some corporate turds. I was the first artist sponsored by Skullcandy. I met Rick Alden, the founder, at a SIA snowboard trade show in Colorado before he even had a booth.
I was walking around letting people hear my music, with some shitty headphones, he listened and said he loved it, gave me a pair of Skullcandy prototypes on the spot.
Skullcandy use to send me boxes of headphones.. I even performed at their booth with Supernatural and then Del the Funky Homosapien.
We developed my signature series headphones, I still have a pair. but they never went into production.. by that time they had Snoops & Mix Master Mikes.. my shit wasn’t really a big move for them.
I understood the business. All of that shit adds up.. I learned alot working with those people and their logos on my portfolio don’t hurt.
What other hidden skills do you have?
I have a green thumb.. I love to garden. I grow hot peppers and make my own hot sauce. I enjoy sewing too. kinda domesticated these days I guess. haha.
Fixed a sink last week and remodeled a bathroom no too long ago.. ha, guess I like to fuck around and find out. Learn new shit.
I’m getting into film.. I want to make documentaries and am in the middle of editing a music video right now for Gel Roc. Gonna film a music video for Awol One next. Lots of hobbies. They all revolve around creating.
Favorite street artist or aerosol artist in your area?
Too many to name just one.. Stigma One (@stigmaone), he’s done some of my tattoos too.. my knuckles and hand. We’ve made some music. He raps. Joe Ded (@joeded) gets down.. and he’s super down to earth.
I have alot of his art. Risk Rock (@riskrock) is killin’ it. It’s always a good time when I go to his house. Cory Shaw (@buildestroy7) is a talented motherfucker with an Emmy.. and Sam (@sheiklife73) is always doin fun shit.
To be honest, I appreciate all weed.. I mean, I grew up smoking brick weed, even on a crushed soda can sometimes. Use to have to pull the seeds and stems out. All weed is good weed these days.. I know some really talented growers.
I love my glass though.. I have some glass from Noah Rockland, Phat Ass glass, and Chase Adams.. All weed taste good on those pieces.. I need a piece from Luke over at Leisure Glass.. Hint/Hint. haha.. I’m not a weed snob by any means.
I don’t dab or even fuck with edibles. I like flower. I don’t support dispensaries. I feel like until all the pot prisoners are released from prison, around 30,000 of them, I won’t pay any tax for weed.
The cannabis industry is funny now.. Everybody is so cool, like they invented weed.But the majority are clueless. Nobodies gonna pay extra for shitty weed cause it’s gotta celebrity name on it.
Weed ain’t sports equipment. The government needs to just fuck off when it comes to shit like weed and shrooms. I’d say.
Anything exciting we should know about?
I own RollingTrayFlyers.com the #1 Rolling tray flyer provider. SteveCaprio.com is my consulting, branding, and marketing portfolio.
I invented a new kitchen gadget called Knife Scoop! It’s patent pending and coming to market soon. www.knifescoop.com I guess you could include my music too.. ominouswords.net
Man.. to get my focus a bit more under control. To keep on creating. To be a better Dad. Get healthier. Travel more. To keep on keepin’ on.
I’ve been dealing with family court more than I’d like to admit.. and it’s a shit show. My kid’s Mom like to hate me more than she loves our kid..
I’d love to do more with educating people and creating change in that forum. So many kids are gettin’ fucked over while adults act like shit heads and all the professionals exploit the bullshit.
I’m working on a book called Fool Time Dad. Hopefully it will shed light on the madness. People gotta put their phones down and teach these kids. Hug them more and have patience.
Last words or shout outs?
Life is beautiful. Sometimes it’s not, but overall it is. gotta take the bad with the good. The bad is what allows us to appreciate the good.. balance.
We wouldn’t know good without the perspective bad shit gives us.. not to sound corny, but it really is that simple.
We need more love and fuck your political party. Let address individual issues one at a time and put these kids first. We’d be better off.
I want to give a shout out to everybody out there doing their best and keeping it positive. Life is hard. And I wanna say I love you to my Daughter, Mom, my Nieces, Great Nephew Antonio, Sister, Terre & Theron, and everybody else that puts up with my bullshit.
And a big shout out to Kaotica Eyeball (@kaoticaeyeball) for keeping my mic isolated with style so my raps are clean.
Also.. you can get my signature series “Steve Caprio” Kasher at mykasher.com
Stay connected to MRCNNlive.com
INTERVIEW: MRC PROMOTION1
EDITOR: La Mont
IMAGE: Steve Caprio