Don’t Sleep: Necessary Notables
Mixtape: Above the Cloudz
Headliner: Red Café
Key Cameo: “Faded” (featuring Rick Ross)
Essential Info: Brooklyn rapper Red Café is no stranger to radio. With street hits like “Paper Touchin’,” “Da Hottest in Da Hood” and “I’m Ill” (featuring Fabolous), Café has been impacting mix shows in the tri-state area for years. For his latest mixtape, Above the Cloudz, released in March, Red decided to go in a bit of a different direction.
“This project, I actually didn’t go in to make radio songs; I just went in to make a good body of work,” he told Mixtape Daily. “I just wanted you to be able to just throw it in your car and ride through the city on your way to work or after work.”
The tape does feature radio-friendly hits like the Rick Ross-assisted “Faded,” which has already garnered late-night radio spins. “The ’Faded’ record, I did that in Ross’ crib,” Red revealed. “I flew out to his spot in Atlanta, and we recorded it there. I just wanted to make a get-f—ed-up song, a song about just gettin’ wasted.”
The rest of Cloudz is all about creating a more centered hip-hop vibe. Red secured collaborations with rappers like Curren$y and Talib Kweli, and while the features may come off as foreign to his current fanbase, Café insists that it’s all natural. “That’s where I come from, man. I’m a backpack rapper; I just come from the streets. So I do street music that’s aggressive, and I never gave that music to the people — a sound like Curren$y or Talib — but that’s where I came from,” he said. “The transition is easy to work with guys like that, because they make great music, and I’m a fan as well.”
While Red is adept at giving fans great mixtape and street material, it’s his debut that fans are most anticipating. The rapper confirms that he is signed to both Bad Boy and Akon’s Konvict Music and will release the yet-untitled album through Interscope this year, but beyond that, he didn’t offer much detail.
The next single he will be working is “We Get It On,” another club record from Cloudz that features Omarion. And even though Red Café said the dance floor wasn’t his inspiration for the tape, he does give himself an out: “Even though this project wasn’t really based and focused on that, I always have to sneak one or two in there because I like to party.”
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