A veteran of over 10 years, it wasn’t enough for Red Café, born Jermaine Denny, to become one of the most respected griots from the gutter the game has seen in the past decade. Sure he’s had endless accolades from critics, fans and peers such as 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, T.I. and Lil’ Wayne, but Red has also had to maintain an uncanny resilience and patience while climbing to the top. He is the best lyricists ever to never release an album.
Born in Guyana, Red Café immigrated to New York with his family when he was young, settling in the Caribbean-populated Flatbush section of Brooklyn. He faced all the trappings of the area that would have held a lesser man down and separated him from his goals. Named “Red” for his red hair and after his father’s nickname, Café became entrenched in the drug game at an early age, earning the infamous nickname the “Arm and Hammer Man.”
Hip-hop music suddenly became an obsession for him after he first heard the Slick Rick/Doug E. Fresh classic "The Show. While engrossed in the drug trade, Red picked up battle rapping on the corners. He came across such MCs such as Fabolous, Gillie Da Kid and Mysonne on the circuit. In 2000, Red took it from the streets to the studio, forming the group The Franchize with fellow BK spitters Gravy (Star of the film "Notorious") and Q The Kid. The group bounced around from different labels such as Violator and Track Masters before disbanding in 2004. Subsequently Red embarked on a solo career, which led to a string of unsuccessful signings including Universal Motown, Capital and Konvict Music.
Still determined, Red pushed forward with a slew of underground bangers such as "Paper Touching," "So Easy," "Hottest in the Hood, and "I'm Ill." Last year however, Cafe inked a deal with Diddy's Bad Boy Records and says he's finally found a secure home where he'll be able to release a catalog of music.
“I’ve definitely paid my dues, and of course I would have loved to have released an album before now, but everything happens for a reason,” Red said. “I can’t worry about the past and what should have happened or what could have happened, I’m totally focused on the future. I have a bigger base than ever and it’s growing .
Earlier this year, Red broke through to the masses with his classic project Above The Clouds. Not only was he able to feed his following who remained loyal to him through the years, but he touched fans internationally.
“Above the Clouds is the only true body of work I ever put out,” Red explained. “I had mixtapes, but it was always over other people’s tracks. Above the Clouds is a mixtape, but it is really like an album. It has all original material. ”
Later this year, Red will release his latest street effort, Hell’s Kitchen. “It’s gonna be all original music,” Red said about this project. “It’s gonna be a preview of what you’re going to get on my debut album, Shakedown. It’s honest music for the streets and for the clubs.”
Red Cafe’s official debut album, Shakedown will be released on Bad Boy/Interscope in early 2012. His first single, “Fly Together” featuring Rick Ross and Ryan Leslie is already climbing the charts.
“It’s been long but exciting for me. I always carry the wheel,” Café noted. “I don’t have any regrets. I’m thankful for all my experiences as I got a chance to learn from a lot of different individuals. I’m proud of my current situation with Bad Boy Records. Puff pushes me all the time and makes sure that I’m the best entertainer that I can be.”