Cappadonna may not be as well-known as some of his Wu-Tang Clan counterparts, but he is considered by many as the tenth member of the group.

Despite his on-and-off relationship with the Wu-Tang’s RZA, Cappadonna has always remained close with the Clan. In fact, many of the members actually credit Cappadonna as the one who taught them how to rap. This makes his debut on one of the greatest hip hop albums off all time, all the more significant.

Cappadonna’s introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan came after serving eight years in prison. When he was released, he was not in a good place, feeling bitter about being left behind while his friends were achieving success. U-God, who had also just joined the Wu-Tang Clan, convinced Cappadonna to join them and come to the studio to record.

“I’m the one that came and got Cappa out of his bed when Rae and them ni**as were recording,” U-God recalled in an interview. “He didn’t even wanna come, cause he was bitter. When you in jail and you come home and cats you grew up with his doing it without you, of course you gonna feel bitter.”

Cappadonna was hesitant to contribute to “Ice Cream,” despite RZA’s insistence that he should. It wasn’t until RZA told him that he could hear Cappadonna on the track that he decided to contribute. As the third single off Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, “Ice Cream” was one of the highlight tracks off an album stacked full of them, and remains a fan favourite to this day.

Cappadonna: Yeah, the Cuban Linx album, the first one, that’s where I made my debut. I came in on “Ice Cream.” I did “Ice Cream” first. Came in, did that, took me about ten minutes. I had went in the studio. That’s when RZA had the studio up on the top of Wagner College. In the basement. That studio got flooded out. But before that, I was up in there. I heard the track. I went up there with Golden Arms [AKA U-God], and I was just listening to the song. It was Rae and Ghost’s verse on there. Wasn’t no hook or nothing on there. RZA asked me if I wanted to throw some bars up on there. I denied. I declined. I was like, “Nah, I’m good. I’m just coming through. Checking out the progress. See what’s going on and show my face in the place.” He was like, “Nah, nah, I really want you. I think you should get on this right here. I could hear you on there.” I did my little verse right there on the spot. Then Meth came in about ten, 15 minutes later and dropped that hook on there. Next thing you know, in two weeks, we was doing the video for that. To my surprise, they had picked that as a single. I wasn’t really even really ready for none of that. That’s how I made my debut. I came in on the “Ice Cream” vibe. We did that joint. We shot the video up in Harlem and some of it in Queens. The majority of it in Queens in the Colosseum. After that, the rest was history. I did two more joints on there. I think I did that “Ice Water” joint right there. What else we did? “Daytona” or something like that. Yeah. I was happy that they chose me. Raekwon, all praises due to Rae for letting me come out and be a part of that Cuban Linx album and Ghost and RZA checking for me when I came home.

Wu-Tang Clan | Red Bull Music Academy