I would love to present to you a new blog segment about underground hip-hop artists with dope swagg like my girl Makeda from high school! Full of style that cannot be placed in a box, you will definitely have to read her thoughts on fashion, music, and love with the release of her new mixtape called "You May Enter." Listeners get a sneak peek into the mind of a young college woman singing her life story into each track of her mixtape. Download it now my loves!!! (YOU MAY ENTER)
Artist Run Down:
Name: Makeda Iroquois Johnson
Alias:Thee Red Fox
Age: 20 years young
Birthplace: Hempstead, NY
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
1. Your mixtape shows that you are both a song tress and MC, who are your musical inspirations?
TheeRedFOX: I guess I can say that I do Identify with being a "songtress" if you will, but however, while I'm flattered, I can't take credit for being an MC. I may barely take credit for the title of a poet; however, I feel that being an MC is more than just being able to say some words to a "boom bap." If I were talented enough to be able to kick a flow off the top of my head for hours and hours with no hesitation, non stop, then I may call myself an MC but thats just my opinion. From a lyrical stand point I do take my inspiration from great MC's such as Nas, Black moon, Heltah Skeltah, MF Doom, Mobb Deep and most 90's era lyricists just to name a few. I especially identify with 90's artist because I was raised around that atmosphere and I'm a product of that era. As far as musical inspiration of course Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Sade I'd say would have to be the most prominent role models that I take from. I have always been very cultured in music growing up so my taste in music ranges from hip hop, jazz, r&b, salsa, soca, reggae, south african, west african, rock, trip hop, techno, just all over the place.
2. "BRL" is one of my favorite songs on your mixtape, what does the title stand for? What is the story behind this song and your music in general?
TRFOXX: A lot of people seem to like "BRL," I think because its one of the most relatable on the tape. It's a play off what it feels like to “indulge.” Simultaneously rejecting the need to partake because there is something greater (such as love) which levitates the senses. Not needing “kush, coke, x, or mushrooms”…you’re already high as f*ck. (chorus from “Up” OFWGKTA Cover). The title is an acronym for which I don't feel the need to explain. If you know me and you're smart you may be able to decipher the meaning. For those who don't, just enjoy the music. I feel like music should be appealing whether people understand the meaning or not. Subtlety is a major concept that I make use of, and I put things in the content of what I write for people (who can) to pick up on, and for those who don't, those subtleties can just ride over them with the music without drowning them. Thats how I try to make my music.
3. How long was your mixtape in the making? What was the writing and beat producing process?
TRFOXX: I actually started writing "On & On" around fall 09 and couldn't finish it until like, December when I released it. I am such a procrastinator that I didn't discipline myself enough to put together an entire project until about a year after that. It takes a lot for me to become motivated especially when writing. Choosing a track or "beat" to work on is nothing though. I am lucky to have local artist like Jopedo/Brian Sambula (produced "Let the Weeds Grow" and "Beloved") and other producers who work with me free of charge. I also have an entire playlist of beats and instrumentals that I want to write to and it keeps growing, but I'm so lazy that I can rarely make myself sit down and create to them. I often hear "oldies" and get inspired by one part in the song, so I end up creating an instrumental out of that one part. Garageband for mac was the best thing that ever happened to me. I actually created instrumentals for "people," "metronome," and "BRL." Because I couldn't find instrumentals for those songs, I downloaded the original songs, chopped them up on garageband, and pieced the "vocal free" portions of the songs to create an entire instrumental and that is how I usually create many of my songs. This is the closest I've come to producing/beat making as I've gotten but I would like to experiment more with that in the future.
4. Do you plan on doing a collaboration with anyone soon, are there anymore projects in the making?
I am often approached by local/up coming producers and artist for collaboration and I'm always down for the cause. There are a few collabs pending but nothing set in stone as of yet. As far as any other projects of my own, I don't know I guess we will just have to see =)
5. Where do you like to shop? Who inspires your look?
This fashion thing is pretty new to me. I grew up as a tomboy so being a "girl" is a pretty recent endeavor, but I feel like it was a matter of time before I got into it. I'm not too materialistic but fashion is an art, and I love art too much not to be into fashion. Even though I have become more feminine in my dress, my favorite style would be the "Boyfriend" or "tomboy" look, its when I'm most at home. I've always been into sneakers since I was young, every birthday at least one of my 5 brothers would say "you want some kicks? Lets go to the mall." (btw my brothers influence me in every aspect of life, fashion, music, lifestyle everything) I have an "ok" sneaker collection, not much but I'm proud of it haha. As far as attire, I just like "classy." A lot of people are really into the brands and piling all these colors on top all kinds of shit. Me, I feel like less is more sometimes. I want to be able to walk out in any era, or time period and be fly haha. I would like to always be timeless. I like shopping online, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, some up coming brands you may have heard of are 34D Brand, Violette by Vashtie Kola (who is one of my fashion heros) and NAMEUS Clothing are pretty dope, and a few vintage stores/websites I come across here and there. Oh, and Goodwill is key people, I have no shame.