There are few actors left in the world today who you could rightly refer to as ‘legend’. James Caan is one of them. Rather than let the weight of that name drag him down Scott Caan reveals how he carved out his own piece of the entertainment world and beyond.
“I’m a high-school drop-out,” Scott Caan says, laughing all the way from Oahu, Hawaii. The 40-year-old actor and LA native is taking time out of shooting the hit CBS show, Hawaii Five-O. Earlier in the day he visited the beach and squeezed in a session with his jujitsu instructor – as far a high school drop-outs go, he’s not doing too badly. He goes on, “I knew school wasn’t for me. Everybody in high school was thinking about what college they could go to or where to apply…and I was thinking about how not to go to the 11th grade.”
He is of course joking – in reality, Caan grew up in California as the son of the legendary actor James Caan and spent his childhood being immersed in the business of Hollywood. You might recognise him as the brash, blonde quiffed quick talker in Entourage, the crisp Turk Malloy in the Ocean’s 11 series or the slick detective Danny ‘Danno’ Williams in the long running hit Hawaii Five-O. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that he realised at an early age that academia wasn’t for him and there was an option to pursue his passion to be creative.
“My dad didn’t want me to get into the business,” laughs Caan. ”He knew it would be hard to do this job over and over again and it’s creatively hard to get excited about playing the same dude for seven years. My dad is probably one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. When you’re young you don’t see your father as a legend, you just know that he’s an interesting, colourful, wild kinda cat and you think, ‘I want to be like that guy’. If you come from creative people it’s just in you.”
The creative impulse is something, it seems, that was in his blood from the very beginning. Caan has done almost everything – music, surfing, photography, acting, directing. As a teenager in the early 90s he co-founded the hip hop collective The Whooliganz with his long time producer friend, The Alchemist, after gorging on artists like Nas, A Tribe Called Quest and Eric B & Rakim. At the time when B-Boy culture was making its way to LA from New York, Caan was beginning his love of counter-cultural art forms. “Hip hop was our punk,” he says. “It became the biggest culture in the world but at the time it was us being misfits. Graffiti, B-Boying, MCing and breakdancing was a way for us to be like, ‘we don’t wanna be on the football team, we don’t want to be on the baseball team, we wanna do this’.”
“At 15, I didn’t look up to the captain of the football team, I didn’t look up to the guys getting the best grades, I looked up to the guys in Venice [Beach], the guys smoking weed and surfing at the breakwater.”
Wanting to navigate his way through the world away from the preoccupations of the mainstream is a theme of Caan’s creative life away from acting. Now, the slick aesthetic of designer surf wear and slick surfers being captured on Instagram looks aspirational but, for Caan, it was the countercultural aspect of the culture that appealed to him as a teenager back in the 80s. “Surfing and skateboarding was our way of saying ‘fuck you’,” he says. “At 15, I didn’t look up to the captain of the football team, I didn’t look up to the guys getting the best grades, I looked up to the guys in Venice [Beach], the guys smoking weed and surfing at the breakwater.
“Now you have 13-year-old girls getting boards for their birthday. You go surfing and there’s guys pulling up with Range Rovers and long boards sticking out of their cars. All that stuff used to be underground and punk and now it’s mainstream. For us, it was our world, our version of being outcasts.”
He cites the infamous 2001 skating documentary Dogtown and Z -Boys as a good representation of what the culture felt like at the time – “skating is what we did when there were no waves” – and, for him, it was the freedom of being in open water that spoke to him. Today he still surfs as a way to force himself to reflect on ‘the moments.’ Its power might be why he now also works with A Walk On Water, a charitable organisation that seeks to use surfing as a tool to support children with special needs.
“I surf today because there’s something about being in the water – when you’re surfing a wave there’s really nothing to trip on. There’s really nothing else but the moment. It’s just something I don’t know how to explain.” For someone who lives in the highly structured world of Hollywood, the option to shrug off the tight structure of work life is understandable.
listen | “Al drop the bass, we’ve got work to do”, a crack!mix for edward elric | 1. welcome to the space jam; quad city dj | 2. stronger; kayne west | 3. be on it; zac efron | 4. sexy back; justin timberlake | 5. jock jam (mega remix); various artists | 6. burning up; jonas brothers | 7. i get knocked down; chumbawumba | 8. remember the name; fort minor | 9. ridin’ diry; chamillionaire | 10. super sonic; family force 5 | 11. hot in here; nelly
lemme start dis off sayin dis is my opinion so don’t get too pissed n shit ya know n this shit in no order
FREDO SANTANA- ITS A SCARY SIGHT 2
this shit hard as fuck. comin from one of chiraq’s finest, da production on this is 3hunna. theres beats from some of my faves such as lex lugar n cardo n other ppl ya know. very good range of ignant trap beats. the lyrics in this shit are thug as fuck. shit makes u wanna rob a hallmark store with yo grandma. no hook my fave song off it. fuck the law fuck the judge. shit speaks to me.
ASAP FERG- TRAP LORD
fergenstein’s debut project was fiah. the trap lord himself picked a great range of beats to lay them holy scripture lyrics on. dis shit had crazy ass features on it too. we had da pretty flacko, bone-thugs, onyx, b-real, n my dawgz a$ton matthews. ferg also did a great job himself wit laying down the lyrics. very diverse flows, from showing off da golden vocal pipes on cocaine castle to the fast crazy flows on fergenstein, this shit more diverse than the state of california. also had some good ignant bangers in here too, such as shabba n work. good shit.
EARL SWEATSHIRT- DORIS
gotta admit, dis shit grew on me. at first i was like yo, this shit boring as hell, but now im like yo, this shit solid. the beats on this r works of art. we got VA’s finest the neptunes on here, the RZA, earl himself, and t the creator on da beats. shit crazy. also the features was fiah. first n foremost, my man vince staples ripped dis shit. first he had one of da verses of the year on hive, n also had a-grade verses on burgundy and centurion. also lyrical appearances by domo n tyler, and also frank ocean on da track “sunday”. cant 4get the white hope mac miller, who makes an appearance on “guild”. lyrically, know how earl be. intense vocab. mind blowing shit.
YUNG LEAN- UNKNOWN DEATH 2002
i kno i kno. when u think yung lean u just think bout them annoying ppl who say they sad n shit. but fr fr, the real sadboys came thru with this one. the swedes cooked up quite a project. the beats on this r complex, PS2-era japanese rpg theme music sounding works of art. producers yung sherman n yung gud were da masterminds behind them. yung lean delivers v interesting lyrics, especially 4 yung swedish lad, talmbout their love for arizona ice tea n glocks n gucci belts. my man really wildin out on here. ill put it this way, its basically 2012-2013 alternative internet culture all mixed together to form a yung swedish saviour. fuck yeezus, this was some real experimental shit. and it worked.
MAC MILLER- WATCHING MOVIES WITH THE SOUND OFF
the yung white hope surprised many wit dis one. a huge difference from previous projects such as KIDS (which i was quite fond of ngl) and blue slide park, mac has more complex, almost earl-like lyrics and more cloudy/kinda trippy beats from household names such as flying lotus, clams casino, pharrell, & alchemist, and also puts in work on da beats himself using the alias larry fisherman. good range of features on this too from known names, such as earl, action bronson, ab-soul, schoolboy q, and even the very mysterious jay electronica. fave tracks on here include on of my faves of the year, red dot music ft. action bronson, & da fun fast-tempo gees ft. schoolboy q. 4 those who sleep/hate on mac for being a tool or whatever, i urge u to listen to dis album.
LIL B- 05 FUCK EM
101 tracks of based. so much content on this tape its hard to review, but it includes many great remixes to classic B songs, and also many new tracks of pure based music. shit make u wanna cook for the rest of ur life. shit had me cookin in church. personal fave tracks on here r god of rap & from da bay. easily my fave release from the basedgod this year. (pink flame still a banger tho)
JOEY FATTS- CHIPPER JONES VOL. 2
most slept on tape of the year in my opinion. the long beach native delivered da raw shit with this one. production ranged from fatts himself to alchemist to 808 mafia. talk about diverse. features include action bronson, fellow cutthroat members vince staples & a$ton matthews, freddie gibbs, da$h, 100s, asap rocky, and danny brown. all came thru n delivered. this shit that real gangsta rap my g. fave tracks on here include the g-funk reminiscent picture me rollin, alchemist produced wave matthews band, and da 808 mafia banger choppa, which features a-listers asap rocky and danny brown. if u aint listen this u should *100 emoji*
Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, also known as King Augustus II of Poland, was a fairly successful Elector of Saxony and a fairly unsuccessful King of Poland. However, that’s not what he’s known for. He was called Augustus the Strong because he wrecked shit with his prodigious strength. He broke horseshoes with his hands for shits and giggles. And, even more importantly, he fucked anything that moved. He had, officially recognized, 11 mistresses, though the full number isn’t quite known, in addition to his wife Christiane. Contemporary sources claimed that he had between 360 and 390 bastards. That’s right, this man was responsible for close to 400 children born out of wedlock. The best part? Many of these bastards went on to be significant people in their own right, such as Maurice of Saxony who went on to be one of the greatest French generals of the 18th century.
This was a ruler who wasn’t known for being particularly wise, or successful, or for reforming tax codes and administrative by-laws. He was known for being strong and virile and fucking shit up. His one big achievement, the invention of “Meissen porcelain”, was the product of him imprisoning an alchemist for failing to produce gold, and that alchemist figuring out how to produce fine China instead. Aside from that, of his hundreds of bastards, he had only one legitimate child and heir. I love Frederick Augustus I, Augustus II, Augustus the Strong, because he just didn’t give a fuck. He fathered children left and right, broke horseshoes and tossed foxes, and the world just didn’t know how to handle him. He was nuts.
A few weeks ago, ScHoolboy Q updated fans with the good news that he had completed and turned in his album, the highly-anticipated follow-up to his major label debut Oxymoron. This news excited his already-rabid legion of fans… until one Kanye West tweeted him earlier today (May 12th)…
As it turns out, Q got his wish — again — of collaborating with an artist he highly admired (remember, he excitedly boasted that he was finally able to work with producer Alchemist on “My Homie,” from Habits & Contradictions), as the two have released the new single off his upcoming album “That Part.”
Produced by Cardo, YeX, Cubeat, and Sounwave, the song is a slow-burning groove where Groovy Tony and ‘Ye go back and forth over some bouncy production. Listen to it above.