Who is Natural Red the Rapper?
If you were to take the lyrical skill and word play of MC Lyte, mix it with the rough and tough edge of The Lady of Rage and add a dash of the sexy sophistication of Eve, the out come would be Natural Red. This Oklahoma City native, currently residing in Long Beach, has been holding her own in Cali’s music scene. She has made a permanent mark on the West Coast with many performances and collaborations with known and unknown artist. Her raw talent has allowed her to be embraced by the West Coast as one of their own, following in the footsteps of such artist as Lady of Rage, Kurupt and Tupac. She has even been featured in the UGG West Coast Female Cypher videos, which features legendary west coast female emcees such as, Sylk E. Fyne, Knehi (5Footaz), Big Chan (Doggy Angels), and Ms. Toi (You can do it).
Natural Red has recently worked with Brother J of X-Clan, Battle Cat, Sir Jinx, Goldie Loc of the Eastsidaz, YukMouth of The Luniz, E White of the Dogg Pound and many more. Natural Red was also nominated for the Female Hip Hop Honors “She Got Next” award in 2014.
Tell me about your childhood and how music influenced your adolescent and teenage years?
I was my mother’s only child. So I had a lot of time by myself. I think it is one of the reasons I am so creative. As a child, I would go back and forth from New York with my Grandma to Oklahoma with my mom. It was 2 very different worlds, but I am certain that it helped me to be the person that I am today. To be honest with you, music influenced me a lot during my teen years. I was already rapping by age 12. Then came the introduction of California street gangs to Oklahoma City and the music was the soundtrack for that experience. Initially I was an X-Clan, Public Enemy, Poor Righteous Teachers type of person. At that time, most songs were about how good of a rapper you are and about knowledge of self and pride. But, when I heard “6 In The Mornin’” by Ice T, that was like the first song that was about real life. Then comes NWA, DOC and that whole gangsta element; Not to mention the movie “Colors” and the music from that. All of it help fuel a lifestyle that I would never have imagined for myself. I was motivated by money and music. It was a real mess. Thank God I was able to survive those times and get my head on straight.
You moved from Oklahoma to LA recently. Did that move affect you in any way? Do you find more musical influence in OKC or L.A?
When I moved from Oklahoma to LA, I was not really affected like most people would be. I mean, I came to California as a manager in the Collections Industry, so I had the means to support myself and my son. I think the only real affect it had on me was making me more independent than I already was. I had no family here except a few cousins, so I had to make things happen for myself and I did. The reason I moved to California was because I was always told that my music had such a West Coast flavor. So even in Oklahoma, I was heavily influenced by the West.
Tell me about the music you recorded your first few years being in LA? What was that process like? How did you form connections in a new city?
When I first touched down in Cali, I had my cousin Ann who lived here in Hollywood, right off of Sunset. She introduced me to everyone she knew and it was not long before I was introduced to my sister/friend Sylvia Morehead. She took me straight to Battle Cat and the music I made with him was nothing short of phenomenal. I also recorded with Goldie Loc under his production company, Anthem. It was all an awesome process. I learned a lot and made a lot of connections, by being me. Solid and consistent. It was really a blessing to be placed in such a sacred circle of real people since the first day I got to LA. When the Universe decided to align the stars in your favor, it is what it is. I have continued meeting people and establishing meaningful relationships. I think it helps a lot that I usually make a lasting impression. J
Do you plan on making LA your permanent place of residence?
Yes, my next move will be out of the United States. Possibly Africa or Belize. But until then, I am gonna be a Cali girl to my last day!
You where apart of the Female Hip Hop Honors Award in 2014, we even heard you grabbed the mic from comedian Rodney Perry and freestyled in a dress, please tell us about that?
LOL, Yes I did. Rodney was asking for someone to come up and freestyle and I looked over the crowd and I did not see anyone moving. So I got on up and grabbed the mic. It was completely off the dome. I remember thinking to myself “no cuss words, no cuss words”. I think I did pretty well, but don’t ask me what the rap was about cause I have no idea! LOL I had a ball though and it’s definitely a moment I will never forget.
Tell me about your working relationship with the current team you have around you?
My team is the best. It’s not really a team, it’s more like a family. Great energy, positive vibes and people who believe in me just as much, if not more than I believe in myself. There is no drama. It all a mutual love and respect for music and each other. I love them all.
Rap music has many different styles and sounds. How would you define yours?
I can’t narrow my style down to one definition, simply because I don’t just give my listeners 1 type of song. I make trap music, conscious music, love music, empowerment music, the list goes on. I was born in New York, raised in the South/Mid-West and I currently live in Cali. All of those sounds are present in my music, so to try and put that into 1 style is going to be hard. I guess if you wanted to sum it up, I would say my style and sound is “Grown, Sexy & Gangsta.”
What do you want listeners to gain from your music?
What I would like for my listener to gain from my music the most is an insight to what I have been through and who I am as a person. I also hope to motivate and inspire them to go for whatever they want in life.
Where do you see yourself next year? Five years from now? Ten years from now?
With everything going the way it is right now, I see myself on tour with a couple of major acts next year, continuing to paving my way as an international artist.
In 5 years, if God is willing, I will still be making music and writing for other artists, but I will be more involved in acting, writing and producing television shows and movies. I will also be coaching and developing some of the upcoming artists, that are out there.
Man, 10 years from now??? By then I will have multiple businesses in operation, building up a nation. I will more than likely have moved out of the United States by then.
Your single “Wit It” received a lot of positive recognition. Can you tell me about the overall concept of the song and your reason for writing it?
Thank you so much. I really wrote that song as an introduction of myself to the world, so to speak. It is basically a narration of who I was, who I am and how I am, as a person. My producer and brother from another mother, Steffon aka Roachkilla let me hear the beat and I fell in love. Then he challenged me to write something that everyone could pick up on and relate to, without saying my name in it. LOL
My full lengths project “The Velvet Hammer” is scheduled to be released later this year and I am already working on the follow up album to that release. I have a mixtape that I will be dropping very soon called “Red Girl, Blue City” which is going to feature some of my Long Beach artist/friends that I have connected with. (known and unknown) I am writing episodes for an upcoming show that I am creating, producing and starring in. I have a clothing line that I have started called “Emcee Life Clothing.” I guess the question should be ‘what’s not next?” LOL
Is there anything else you would like to say/add?
First I want to thank Antoinette Ortega and everyone at RapMusicPromo.com for even considering me for this interview. You guys are the epitome of DOPE! Thanks to my team, Ernest Jackson, Sylvia Morehead, Shylise Simpson, Quanice Watson, Steffon Sam aka Roachkilla and all the others folks that work with me in this industry. Also, a special thank you to my cousin Ann Thomas, because if it were not for her, I would never have moved to L.A. And lastly to anyone out there that is pursuing music, modeling, acting, anything…YOU CAN DO IT! Do not give up, keep pushing with confidence and conviction and you will succeed. I love you!
How can fans get hold of you?
My fans can connect with me on Instagram and Twitter:@NaturalRedDiva * Facebook/NaturalRed * Snap chat: TheNaturalRed. I also have my website NaturalRedMusic.Com. You can always log on there and check out what’s going on now and what’s coming up next.
See you guys soon!
Natural Red’s Latest Video “Wit It” Below: