Taking his name from a character in movie The Goonies, Chicago-based DJ/producer Copperpot, aka Chester Copperpot, came to underground rap's fore strongly affiliating with the growing U.K. hip-hop scene, where his initial success began. Citing a long list of disparate influences that includes Duran Duran and DJ Premier, the producer pieces together beats in a fairly standard fashion, but it's where he draws his samples from -- atypical sources like East Asian folk, choral music, video game scores, and Eastern European jazz-funk -- that gives his productions interesting textures.
Born in Chicago, IL, on February 15, 1979, Daniel Kuypers took a serious interest in hip-hop around the mid-'90s when he switched gears from skateboarding to experimenting with turntablism. After his high-school graduation in 1997 in Evanston, IL, he attended four different colleges, studying poetry, English, and music theory with plans to become a teacher. His drive to start making beats was fostered by his discontent with how hip-hop was evolving at the end of the millennium, and so he bought his first MPC in 2000. When he went to live in the Czech Republic for a writing program, he instead chose to develop his beat-making skills and travel all around Europe, eventually bumping into Low Life Records CEO/rapper Braintax in the U.K. In 2001, he returned to Chicago and submerged himself into hip-hop production. He joined a local turntablist ensemble named Phonograph Scientists, performing with them around the Midwest, and also earned his first production credit on the Walk Thru Walls (2001) album by Chicago undergrounder Qwazaar of Typical Cats.
Copperpot's first pressing, the "Chapter Seven, Verse One" 12" featuring local Chicago rappers Bamski the Bigot and Iomos Marad, appeared the following year. He then encountered local label EV Productions, who issued his subsequent "Chapter Seven"-themed singles, which prominently featured Braintax, as well as his debut album, Chapter Seven (2005). (He kept naming his projects "Chapter Seven," because he eventually had to declare bankruptcy after all the credit card purchases from buying music, production equipment, and traveling Europe finally caught up to him.) Gaining distribution in the U.K. via Braintax's Low Life imprint for the album and 12"s, Copperpot received his most positive reviews in the U.K. His second full-length, WYLA? (2007), earned him praise both in the U.K. and the U.S. Getting cameos from golden age legends KRS-One and Masta Ace cemented his status as a reputable producer, but his enlistment of Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and Isotope 217 bassist Matthew Lux helped him develop into a better composer. ~ Cyril Cordor