Formed from the deep indie talent pool of Louisville, Kentucky, Code Red
has been the crew to contend with since 1998. With the musical motto "Not Confined, Not Defined," Code Red bridges the hip hop generation gap with healthy reverence for old school as well as daring reflections of the new school. The result? Their debut album, All Aboard
, on Toucan Cove/Universal Republic is one of the most eagerly anticipated of 2006.
El One Wise, a prolific MC, and Junior Dread, a Jamaican Reggae artist, though having completely different backgrounds, had a mutual desire to create a fresh, pure sound that embraced all the possibilities of lyrics and beats. With El One's worldly vision and Dread's fiery energy, the foundation for Code Red was laid. After recruiting super-producer Watz, whose production confidence is matched only by his sense of humor, the offbeat and experimental MC Manfred joined the crew, and the community started buzzing about Code Red - one of the livest hip hop groups on the come up.
"Summer Jam," the first single from All Aboard drops just in time to complement those lazy days - an ode to top-down cruising, wearing less clothes and whatever takes the edge off after work. "Summer Jam" riffs off that smooth "ooh, and I like it" from El DeBarge
's hit and turns it into the perfect midyear groove.
From the hard-edged mic annihilation on "Elbow Room" (burnin' up XM Raw) to the playfully frenetic lyrical onslaught of "Let Yo Hair Down," All Aboard showcases intense interaction between the MCs, neckbending beats and tight production. Continued El One, "Every track is like a Cracker Jack box…you never know what you're gonna hear. Some of it's clubby, some of it's crazy, some of it's chill, but it's all true to Code Red."
What's also true to Code Red is social commentary. "Give Me a Reason" is a song is about The Iraqi War. "It's not anti-war or anti-soldier. It shows the dual face of being in the military, and what real soldiers think and want to hear," explained El One, who is not an outsider, but a soldier himself. As is Dread. Both were Army men stationed at Fort Knox, and Dread is a Desert Storm vet. Both walk the walk, and talking the talk created a single that keeps listeners thinking and remembering.
Code Red live shows are unforgettable, a power surge that has heated the stage for 50 Cent
, Busta Rhymes
, Wyclef Jean
and Nappy Roots
, and have recorded with Skillz, Masta Ace and Smoke E. from Playa.
Watch Code Red's mix video for "All Aboard" Here