Q&A With Norwich Based Hip Hop Artist Reds

Hey Reds! We appreciate and love your new cutting edge UK Hip Hop sound, real recognize real!. Please tell us how many years have you been making music? Also, how did you come up with your artist name?

Thanks and big up that’s appreciated. I’ve been making music around 15 years although a lot of people don’t realize that as it hasn’t always got much exposure. The name started out as ‘Redeye’ , it was what I used to tag when we were messing with graffiti and I also DJed under that name. People that I was hanging with just started shortening it to ‘Reds’ and it stuck ever since…

Tell us a little bit about your city Norwich… How is the Hip Hop scene there!?

I love our city and it has a solid musical history but as it’s not one of the places considered ‘cool’ not everyone checks for us. A fair few heads moved to London and tried to pretend they never lived in Norwich but we see them fronting! Round here artists like Def Tex and DPF broke through in the 90s which got kinda knocked down the door for the rest of us since, and we have quite a fragmented scene but everyone knows of each other and collaboration happens where possible. The most active crew currently is Music Lessons but there are loads of people doing their thing, from rappers to producers and radio shows/ podcasts etc. we also have some decent grime artists, reggae sound systems and some big boy drum n bass producers so its pretty healthy musically.

The UK underground Hip Hop scene is amazing!!! Too many dope emcee’s out there! What is separating you from all the other up and coming MC’s for out there.

Yeah man it’s in a good place right now. I think my style is kinda different from most of my peers really, from voice to delivery and writing style you can always tell me apart so I’m happy with that.

Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences? I honestly have a huge UK Hip Hop influence, and his name is JEHST!! This dude was the artist that made me really appreciate real UK underground Hip Hop! Ever heard of him?

Of course man! Jehst is part of an era of UK rappers that influenced a lot of people, and I’ve been on the same lineup as him at shows a couple of times, his pen game is nice. My influences come from a mixture of reggae, hip hop and UK sound system culture. Especially artists that have combined those elements like I try to do, so artists like Gunshot, London Posse and Skinnyman. I also grew up on Cypress Hill, Wu Tang and Mobb Deep like a lot of us did!

Please breakdown the creative process of your new album “Crowns and Camo”.
This joint came about through the help of my good friend and producer/engineer Gav Whitting and his EADubs studio. I would pass through every session with a lyrical concept and an idea of what drums and melody sounds I wanted and he would piece it all together throwing his ideas in to the mix with mine. Then when we had a skeleton of the track I would lay the vocals down and he would mix it and we could add the final touches.

Your honest opinion, out of all the songs on the project, which is the one song you feel stands out the most!?

Well the one that has got the most feedback is ‘2004’ , probably because it has that nostalgic feel and all the bars are 100% true so people who know us from then appreciate it. Personally though I feel ‘Sweet Chariot’ stands out the most, it’s a unique blend of dancehall ragga and hip hop and the combination of voices gets me amped. The style of delivery that Shabazz The Disciple comes with on that joint is something different to the rest of his work so it felt like we were breaking new ground when we made that one.

We noticed you’re pretty quiet on social media. Do you have a IG account?

That’s true, I have facebook and twitter so people can reach me but on the whole I feel like constantly posting mundane stuff and every brain fart you have is kinda corny. I don’t have an IG! I think that stems from when we were younger and some of the stuff we got up to it wasn’t wise to take pics as it was incriminating.

If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground Hip Hop album would you consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.

36 chambers!

Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?

To me ‘underground hip hop’ is the culture that exists outside the mainstream industry bubble. It’s the artform that is all around us but you have to scratch the surface to find it because it’s not going to be spoon fed to you by your TV or radio.

Lastly, and shout out?

Peace to everyone who checks for the album. Also shouts to DPF, Lyrical T, TSK, the whole ASML gang, EA Dubs, J.O.E, Franko Fraize, Littleface and all original Brains Kan crew….one…..

About Armando Urena Jr

Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I'm dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.