Red Cafe told Mixtape Daily that the working relationship between him and Diddy is like peanut butter and jelly. “He brings tracks in that he feels my voice would marry,” Red said. “As well, I bring in what I been doing. He fell in love what I been doing already. The city fell in love with what I been doing already. So we don’t wanna change that. It’s a little of both.”
Diddy putting out his first Brooklyn MC on Bad Boy since Shyne? Say no more. We had to bring it to you. Red’s been a beast on the underground scene for a while. Masses, say hi. You’ll be getting to know him well very soon.
This Week’s Main Pick
Street Kings: Red Cafe (featuring Diddy)
Holding It Down For: NYC
Mixtape: Welcome to Bad Boy
Real Spit: Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, right in front of Red Cafe barber salon. It’s the area where he laid his head as youngster, and it’s the same spot he’s invested back in. Cafe’s “Hottest in the Hood” record has had a monster buzz this year. So much so, Diddy has jumped into business with the Brooklyn veteran of the underground rap circuit.
“He’s been in the game for a minute. He’s a well-respected lyricist and MC in the whole New York hip-hop scene,” Diddy explained to us while sitting in his midtown Manhattan offices. “But he’s not the average New York rapper. He has something special. That’s why we signed him.”
Diddy has partnered with Akon to release Red’s debut.
“We thought it would be a great idea to collaborate, to put our forces together, to ensure the success of Red’s career,” Diddy added. “He’s been hustling on the scene for, like, seven years now. Maybe longer than that. He’s just now coming into his own. It’s a 50/50 split. It’s no secret to the deal. That’s the best way to do partnerships with your friends and family. Hopefully, we can join our forces together and take Red to the place he needs to be taken to. He’s one of the dopest MCs right now, and he’s honed his craft. The type of music he chose to rock on top of makes him a unique MC.”
“Just from knowing what Diddy brought to the table and what Bad Boy brought to the table, it’s a pleasure to be a part of that,” Cafe said about joining forces with PD. “Now it’s about making sure that same chemistry comes to life in today’s time. The good thing is Shakedown [Red and his company] are already moving. It’s almost like a turnkey operation for Diddy. He does his things, adds his sprinkles to make it bigger. But it’s already got legs. But I’m happy to be here.”
Cafe’s mixtape Welcome to Bad Boy came out recently, and he’s working on a sequel.
“The part two is gonna be all original. That’s how you gotta do it, because now it’s a recession, but it’s a drought for good music. I’m not gonna leave the people to look elsewhere for salvation. I gotta give them what they need: East Coast music.”
Joints To Check For
» “Hottest in the Hood.” “For me, when I put out the record, it was beautiful for people to embrace the record,” Red said. “It’s cocky to say you’re the ’hottest in the ’hood.’ You already know how hip-hop is. Hip-hop is very cooperative. For me to say that and people to embrace it, especially in my position with no album out, that was a special thing. At the same time, I want to acknowledge everyone else. I feel I’m the hottest in the ’hood, period, but it may be somebody else hot in their ’hood. You gotta acknowledge them. I pass the baton. I go in different ’hoods, I go in D.C., they got a whole DMV version of ’Hottest in the Hood.’ In Philly, it’s the same thing. In L.A., it’s the same thing. It’s different from the remixes we did.
“But reaching out to those guys, everybody wanted to do it,” he added. “[Lloyd] Banks hollered at me personally. Busta, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Juiceman, Juelz Santana, Kardinal Offishall — I got verses from everybody. It was too much. You had Uncle Murda, Papoose, Juganot — everybody wanted to be a part of it. It was beautiful.”
» “Co-Sign” ” ’Co-Sign’ is a record I felt needed to be made,” he said. “A lot of people don’t recognize people’s talent as far as mass appeal until they get co-signed by someone else. They’ll be like, ’Damn, dude is hot. I’m not sure I’m supposed to like him or not, though.’ They wait for the co-sign. They wait for the dude that’s up to say, ’Dude is crazy! Listen to homeboy.’ That’s what the ’Co-Sign’ record is about. I don’t need anybody to co-sign me. I’m hot, and I know I’m hot.”
» “General” (featuring Maino). “Congratulations to Maino, congratulations to Brooklyn, congratulations to the Tri-State for supporting that record and making sure it came out. The ’General’ record, we about to shoot the video for it. It’s a record that was necessary. It was necessary for the two guys that’s waving the Tri-State flag right now to get together and do something like ’General,’ do something to represent all the generals across the country and outside the country.”
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