CR Capers is an activist, a philanthropist, a film maker, content producer, radio show host, a business woman and a mom. Her online radio show, ‘Why You Mad Son?’ is an outlet for the community and an opportunity to use her voice for positive. Her soon to be released film, Six Mad Men is opportunity to flex her muscles as a true creative and through the Hip-Hop Film Festival 2016, an event she is launching later this year, Ms. Capers is opening the door for other filmmakers to also gain exposure. CR Capers is a true media mogul with social consciousness. In our interview she opens up about all her upcoming ventures, the radio show and everything in between. Read up on the entrepreneur below.
Parlé Magazine: I’d like to begin by discussing your charity work in the community, how’d you get involved with that?
CR Capers: The Hip Hop Cultural Center is a traveling exhibition on Hip-Hop culture and it’s impact on society. I got involved with that through a friend of mine, many years ago who is very much into Hip-Hop and how it’s affected us. He got a fabulous place on 125th street in Harlem, it was there he designed programs to show the positive influence Hip-hop has had in our society. Through our collaboration and my budding media company at the time, we did an event called a Rap-A-Thon, where we got rappers to rap for charity, mainly conscious positive rap. The proceeds of that event went to Harlem Mothers Save (Stop Another Violent End) which is a charity founded back in 2006 in hopes of raising awareness to the violence ending young lives in New York City. I was very impressed with the charity’s mission and hearing the stories of all the mother’s who’ve lost their children to violence, I knew I wanted to help.
Parlé: Where can our readers fins out more information about these organizations?
CR Capers: The Hip Hop Cultural Center’s website is www.h2c2harlem.com and Harlem Mother’s Save’s website is www.harlemmotherssave.org.
Parlé: Can we go back to the Rap-A-Thon for charity? I kmow you ended up in the guiness book of records for that. What was that like?
CR Capers: The Rap-A-Thon was just what it sounded like, we did a 24hr benefit where well-known local underground New York Rappers performed positive influential music..
Parlé: You were recently honored at The Unlock Your Dreams Conference, tell me about that experience.
CR Capers: The Unlock Your Dreams Conference happened a month or so ago. I was one of many people honored for their charity work in the community. It was a fantastic way for people to tell their stories and let others know that it doesn’t take a lot to make a change in your own community. It was a very humbling experience.
Parlé: This year you are launching the 2016 Hip Hop Film Festival in NYC. How did that come together?
CR Capers: The Hip Hop Film Festival NYC 2016 is the first film festival of it’s kind. It’ll showcase stories of young up and coming talents of the Hip-Hop generation. The films submitted don’t have to be about Hip-Hop, they’ll be stories told from all genres of film. This is something that’s never been done before, from moderate listeners to hardcore lovers of Hip-Hop, everyone will be able to enjoy this festival.
It’ll be in Harlem, we’re in negotiations to book the National Black Theatre, Inc for our festival. The period for submissions began on August 18, 2015 and will end on March 15, 2016. The main goal of this festival is to give power back to the filmmaker and to change the narrative of how we see ourselves.
All are welcome to submit films and all are welcome to attend.
Parlé: That’s big…
CR Capers: I almost forgot to mention, we’re in collaboration with Ralph McDaniels, creator of Video Music Box, for those who don’t know, he’s a legend in the Hip-Hop community, the best way to describe for people who don’t know who he is, he was the original Hype Williams and F. Gary Gray before they were. It’s a very big deal to have him on board with us.
Parlé: For those interested in attending the festival, what should they expect?
CR Capers: There will be a small fee to get in. We haven’t developed packages yet but it’ll be a three day festival, two days of screenings and the last day will be the award show.
Parlé: How has your production company, MBS Films changed the narrative of how African-American see themselves, I know that’s a big part of what your mission is?
CR Capers: MBS Films (My Baby Smart) inspired by my young daughter, she’s the reason I picked up the camera in the first place. I include her in everything I do. We’ve been around for three years, I’ve been involved in media production since 2010. It started with a little internet radio and grew from there. When we started making films, I wanted to make films that inspired the community. Everyone involved with MBS Films is already an activist in the community in one way or another. Any money our films make, we give that to a charitable organization no matter how big or small it is. It’s all used to support community programs. I believe that we can do more by giving back to our communities rather than keeping that money for ourselves. We’re the first company to do this.
Parlé: How did MBS Films get it’s start?
CR Capers: When I was doing the internet radio show, ‘Why you Mad Son?’, we did it to not only get the word out about our show but to also stop any copycats. We saw how other shows were promoting themselves so we decided to do a commercial for the show. Once we did that, I fell in love with the whole filmmaking process. MBS Films may be a baby as far as how long we’ve been around but the progression of everything that we’re doing has been a long time coming.
Parlé: How’d you come up with the idea for the internet radio show?
CR Capers: We’re five years strong. ‘Why You Mad Son?’ Started when someone told me to shut up and I don’t like being silenced. I’ve been silenced for too long and I’m at the point in my life where I got tired of it. I wanted to express my views and opinions about things that were upsetting me so I wouldn’t have to be quiet any longer. When I started doing it I found out a lot of people felt the same way I did especially with topics effecting our community. The show is recorded live then podcasted. You can call in to participate and just rant about whatever’s on your mind. The topics can range from being mad about holes in your socks to the injustices in our community. When you do things that people can relate to, no matter the color because we all go through similar experiences, the people will come to you.
Parlé: How can readers listen to the radio show, Why You Mad Son?
CR Capers: At www.whyyoumadson.com
Parlé: What makes your work different from what others are doing out there?
CR Capers: We present solid solutions and actually do the work. Yeah, I could sit behind a mic all day ranting and raving but that’s not going to change anything. We actually go out into the community working to make the change we want to see happen. It’s not all about trying to sell someone something just to make money, we’re not like that.
Parlé: A woman of many talents you also have an upcoming film, Six Mad Men. What can you tell us about that?
CR Capers: Six Mad Men is a film that addresses government official corruption in our justice system. Six people kidnap a corrupt judge and hold court; it’s through this trial that we learn how the judges actions shaped their lives. The movie is best described as a cross between Reservoir Dogs and 12 Angry Men. The proceeds of this movie will be donated to two victims of a police brutality case that happened here in Brooklyn.
Parlé: Can you tell us about those two cases?
CR Capers: One case is about a friend of ours, Jasmine Campbell, who was sleeping on the subway after coming back from her grandmother’s and was accosted by the police and beaten. Luckily, someone got it all on tape. The other is about a young man named, Meshach, he was getting off the bus when the police jumped him then they threw him in the tombs without any formal charges or a reason. For people who don’t know the tombs is infamous because that’s where police have been known to hold people for indefinite amounts of time without charges and there have even been reports of the police beating people. We did a call to action Why You Mad Son?, gathering listeners to march on the station. We shut it down. When they released Meshach he was lumped up bad. These people are still suffering from the effects of what happened.
Parlé: Where can people see your film, Six Mad Men?
CR Capers: It will be featured at The Hip Hop Festival and it will be distributed through MBS Films. They can also go to mbsfilmhouse.com to check out my other works on there as well.
Parlé: How can our readers reach you?
CR Capers: On Facebook: Why You Mad Son Radio, it’s a fan page with 50K members and growing. It is the largest non-celebrity driven show out there speaking consciousness positivity.
Parlé: Any last words that you would like to share?
CR Capers: Our goal is to change the narrative of how we’re looked at and to give a voice to the voiceless. Being Pro Black doesn’t mean Anti-White, if anything we’re pro human in everything we do.