Tre Capital’s “Gundam Pt. II” Is Armed With Executive Production from Wondagurl and Eestbound
Tre Capital grew up watching Gundam, a sci-fi anime series. The show’s narratives revolve around fleets of specially equipped mobile suits, called “Gundam,” whose weapons and robust construction are powerful enough to hold back even the most ruthless of enemies. Controlling the units are internal human pilots, who duel each other and their robots over the righteousness of their causes.
Today, the 20-year-old rapper compares himself to a militant in the Gundam series, envisioning himself as a pilot behind his musical legacy. His last two EPs, both aptly named after the show, are equipping Tre with the ammunition to stand up against his rapping competitors.
Tre’s recently released Gundam Pt. II outlines his rise to power, offering nightmarish instrumentals that underly authoritarian vocal deliveries. He also has renowned beatmakers Wondagurl and Eestbound in his infantry, with her executive production lifting the project to superstar heights. With an album-wide theme that boasts, “The come up is over,” Tre’s latest effort proves he’s ready for battle.
How has the response to Gundam Pt. II been so far?
I don’t know how many people have bought the album, but people were sending me like, screenshots of them buying the album and saying like, “This is so good!” My notifications have been going off like crazy. People are really, really loving it.
How does that feel?
It’s crazy! I feel like we’re putting out some of the most high quality music in the up-and-coming realm of the year so far. This could compete with people who are already established. There’s not a single track on there that you could say isn’t executed perfectly. This is an EP, but it sounds like an album.
How long have you been working on it?
Since Gundam Pt. I, so about eight or nine months.
How would you say you’ve evolved artistically over that time?
I think the progress is ridiculous. I always knew that Part I was something special, but I knew that in order to keep my buzz going, I had to think, “How can we make this better?” I made a list of producers who I wanted to work with, and even though we had already been working together, Wondagurl was on that list.
When did you get together with Wondagurl?
When I started putting my music on my SoundCloud, I knew it was important to do a lot of experimentation. Every song I uploaded was like a science experiment: “Let me try this” or “Let me buckle my voice like this.” The first producer from Toronto who wanted to work with me was Seven Thomas, who has credits on Drake’s last album, and he brought up working with Wondagurl. She had a public email open, where she would listen to any music sent to her. I sent her my hardest joint and she was like, “Keep sending stuff.” We built a relationship from there. “Prestige” was the first song we ever did together, and that made her build a lot of confidence in me, so we took it a step further and I asked her to executive-produce Gundam Pt. II. We worked really hard on it, and there were so many songs that didn’t make the project, but I think it came out perfectly. I always tell her that she made me a better rapper.
It was one of my favorite shows growing up as a kid. I noticed that a lot of artists have timelines of their music, and from an album perspective, people want to pick up where they’re at in their lives. I wanted to start my music career by giving people Gundam Pt. I and II because it represents the beginning.
Was there a reason you dropped it on your birthday?
One of the reasons was that me and Kanye have the same birthday, and ‘Ye has said, “No one man should have all that power.” That speaks to what happens in the celebrity world, where, like, too much fame can ruin you. In the Gundam series, if you have a really awesome robot, everyone’s trying to kill you because you have all the power. It’s like, the same principle.
That’s funny you mention Kanye, because when I heard the album for the first time, I thought it sounded like something he’d enjoy.
My favorite type of music doesn’t necessarily come from the artist when they’re in their prime, but instead when they’re at a certain definitive stage. My favorite ‘Ye era was when he was doing G.O.O.D. Fridays, and even when he was doing Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. That phase inspired me a lot. I agree with you, I think he’d appreciate the best part of the music in my eyes, which is that the project has so much life to it, even though it’s only six songs. It’s short, but it says a lot.
Wasn’t the beat for “Halfway There” originally for Drake?
Wondagurl was in LA, and she came over and played me the beat. I was like, “Yo, this is crazy,” but she told me that Drake had already taken it. Five months later we were out in the studio again, and she ended up giving it to me because he never used it. When we originally recorded it, it was supposed to be an interlude, but then I was like, “Nah, we need Danny Seth on this” because it’s so unorthodox and it’ll be crazy when we perform it live.
Tell me about where you were at mentally when you wrote “Critical Thinking.”
The lyrics for that song were composed over time, as I was going through those things. Last year, I was living on my own and sleeping on my homies’ couches. I definitely wasn’t doing a lot—a total 180-degree, opposite situation than where I am now. “Critical Thinking” made me realize that I’m not really anybody right now, but I still want to make a difference.
When I’m writing a song, I always write the song title, or at least its theme, first. From there, I’ll think of new flows, and think of how I can make it the most interesting it can be. I need to give the listener the same quality music that I’d want to listen to. I can’t just say, “Oh, because I’m not signed, I can just put out whatever music.” Every song I wrote for this album I was in the mindset that it couldn’t be any less than greatness.
You say on this project, “The come up is over.” Do you believe you’ve made it?
In Part I, “the come-up is coming” was the theme of that project. In Part II, the reason I say the “come-up is over” is because to me, I think it represents the ending of my come-up. I don’t think that I’ve made it; I think that I’ve made a statement. Wondagurl’s 18, Eestbound’s 19, and I just turned 20. There are no more excuses for whack music. I think we’ve created something that really represents this breaking point.
Question mark, question mark, question mark. I was just thinking about that. Right now, I feel like I went to Pluto and came back, and I know whatever I do from here is going to be even greater.