DARIEN, Conn. -- The legend of hip-hop innovator Ice Cappuccino -- "Ice Cap" to his homies at the Lockjaw Yacht Club -- started here years ago when young Reginald Arthur Pilkington II tapped his tiny deck shoes to the beat of his sugar tycoon father's tickertape machine.
After decades of watching imposters from inner-city ghettos claim the genre as their own, Pilkington has come forward to "set the record straight" and stake a claim as hip-hop's originator. He's preparing to launch his genre-defining first video, "Plastic Rap," and take the "elite beat" of rap and hip-hop back from the gangstas, drug dealers and misogynists who rule the music and return it to its roots of money, elitism, pseudo-intellectualism and snobbery ... where it belongs.
"If you believe sports hats turned sideways and baggy shorts in loud colors originated in the inner city, think again," Pilkington II sniffed in an exclusive interview with The Herald. "There are photos going back 100 years of gentlemen golfers in just such attire.
"And, yes, rap music is about struggles, but we've all struggled. There was this one time I went to the bar at the yacht club and the bartender -- a chap I know quite well -- put only one olive in my martini. Oh, my gawwd! That was a direct insult. I did not, in the hip-hop vernacular, implant an explosive device in his rectum, but I did chastise him in front of his contemporaries."
Yep, from the mean streets of Darien to the Jeeps and Hummers of America's inner cities, Ice Cap and "Plastic Rap" are set to take rap and hip-hop back to the future ... back to its rightful originators: rich white people.
(John Cerrone is the mastermind behind Reginald Arthur "Ice Cappuccino" Pilkington II. A respected music producer who has worked with such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Huey Lewis and the News and Sheena Easton, Cerrone is preparing to unleash Ice Cap on the nation. He spoke -- tongue firmly planted in his locked jaw -- with The Herald in character as the soon-to-be-infamous "blue-blood rapper.")
ALBANY HERALD: You proclaim that you were the true inventor of rap and hip-hop. Take me through that process.
ICE CAP: Yes, my good man, I am here to set the record straight. My mission is to claim this musical genre for its true inventor. For many years young gentlemen from the inner city -- the Puff Daddys and Russell Simmonses and Run-DMCs, if you will -- have claimed that they were hip-hop innovators. But you only have to go back to the baggy clothes in flashy colors that golfers wore a century ago to see that hip-hop style did not originate in the inner cities, as my ghetto chums proclaim.
You see, I was blessed with a natural rhythm, and I used to tap my hands and feet to the cadence of daddy's tickertape machine. My nickname was RAP II (from my initials), and when I was a young lad at country club events, people would cry out 'RAP II this' or 'RAP II that.' However, this constant demand took its toll, and one day I took a terrible fall in front of the pool bar, breaking my hip.
For months I was unable to sing or dance, but I could hop around a bit. Hip-hop was just a natural progression from there.
AH: You've kind of boldly laid it out there that hip-hip is actually the music of wealthy white folks. Have you gotten feedback from the hip-hop community?
IC: They don't dare speak up; they know the truth. Long before there was a Puff Daddy, there was Big Daddy. And before Run-DMC, there was John DeLorean DMC.
AH: Is this one of those things that will have to eventually be settled by lawyers?
IC: I don't see this turning into some feud. I expect there to be a meeting of the minds on this matter. Let's face it, a book about intelligent rappers would be the second-shortest book ever written, after 'Democrats I've Met While Yachting.'
AH: There's no denying that 'Plastic Rap' is the real deal. What was the inspiration?
IC: Listen to the song; the answer's right there in the lyrics. It's about reclaiming the genre. People can go to my website -- www.icecap.biz -- and make up their own minds.
AH: Your fashion style, while trendsetting, is not exactly street. What is that look?
IC: I like to call it elite chic. You'll generally see me attired in a blue blazer, white shorts and deck shoes ... the kind of clothes a gentleman would wear while yachting. Frankly, I believe my fashion sense appeals to hip-hop's more acquatic nature.
AH: If, as you claim -- and certainly I am among the convinced -- you invented hip-hop, what about artists like Grandmaster Flash, the Sugarhill Gang and Run-DMC taking credit?
IC: I don't think those lads are necessarily misinformed so much as they are delusional. It's like when you hear a good joke and then you take credit for it when you re-tell it. That's the problem with those gentlemen.
AH: Who are your contemporaries?
IC: He's dead now, but certainly Liberace was a contemporary. Of course, he was more of a tapper than a rapper. But right now, there's no one doing what I'm doing. And what I'm doing is what I've been doing since I was a young lad in Darien, Connecticutt. It's part of why I became known as the 'Aryan from Darien.'
AH: Any rapper worth his salt has a feud or two going on. What about you?
IC: Oh, my good man, I try to avoid such unpleasantries. I'm merely amused by these inner-city fellows from the '80s and '90s who have made names for themselves by doing what I've been doing all my life.
AH: What do your friends at the Lockjaw Yacht Club think of your art?
IC: Oh, they think it's splendid. Why just the other day Muffy was telling me that I could go far with my music; beyond Darien to Stafford, or even as far as New York City.
AH: Ice Cap mania is surely going to sweep the nation soon. Any plans to cash in?
IC: We're going to let the single drive people to our blog titled 'How to Fool People Into Thinking They're Filthy Rich When They're Not.' For example, one of the keys is to show no practical knowledge about anything, because rich people have, others do. If, for instance, I were to tell Junior to get out and change a light bulb, I'd advise him that he needed a chainsaw to do it. That's what assistants are for.
We'll also do one of those, I think they call them LPs called 'Oh, My Gawd,' an expression I've heard all my life. Some of the other songs on the LP will be 'Yale Club Gangsta,' 'Sloop Dogg' and 'Mumsy's a Ho.' Perhaps I'll even take my music to the talk show circuit, be on that nice David Letterbox show.
AH: I do appreciate your valuable time, so I'll close with a final question: Are you the new role model for middle-age white guys everywhere?
IC: I'm glad you asked that because I'd like to clear an issue up. I've been accused of being a bigot, but I'm an EOO -- an equal opportunity offender. You see, this is not about color with me; I don't see black, brown, white, red or yellow. The only color that matters is the color green. I am the spokesperson for people of a certain status: People who have the green.
So, I will wish you ta-ta and bid you keep yachting, my boy.