If you watched ‘Show Me The Money 5‘, you already know who Reddy is. If you didn’t, then pull up a seat because you’re about to meet one of my favorite rappers on the Korean hip-hop scene.
Reddy is a member of Hi-Lite Records and I’ve been screaming at them on social media for over a year now to bring his ass to America. So imagine my pure delight when I found out he was going to be performing here in Los Angeles! Even more so to find out it would be at Club Los Globos, which is a local favorite venue in Silver Lake (Hipsterland). I shot an e-mail to Kloud 10, the promoter (thank you!), and received word back that we were good to cover the show. So I packed up Empanada and drove out to Silver Lake.
It was a pretty big lineup of artists performing that night, all being Asian American local rappers spittin’ rhymes to a packed crowd. I walked around the venue, texted the promoter and loaded up the camera. He told me to meet him in the green room, so I headed down an abnormally steep flight of stairs and through a hidden door. I entered, only to have the entire room stop and stare at me like I had grown a second head and that second head was making the most impressive derp face in the history of derp faces.
Anyway, Reddy sat with Killagramz (‘Show Me The Money 5’ alumni) and other members of his crew including Big Banana, the producer who has worked with everyone from Dumbfoundead to Junoflo. I do this awkward nervous laugh and ask for the promoter by name. A member of the MKIT RAIN crew kindly tells me he’s just stepped out. I was an awkward mess, basically.
Thankfully, I finally found the promoter and he tells me I have time for an interview. I luck out, as not only do I get to do an interview with Reddy, who’s the sweetest bundle of hip-hop swag, but I also get the pleasure of Killagramz acting as interpreter, as Reddy’s English is as proficient as my broken-ass Korean.
As you can see, the interview was just an eclectic smattering of questions I pulled outta my hat. And can I just say how genuinely kind Killagramz is? On stage, it sorta looks like he will be the one to end your life, but when he talks to you, he smiles and laughs and his whole face lights up like a teddy bear. Not to ruin his cred or anything, but I’m a fan now.
At the end the interview, I thanked them profusely, forget to ask to take a selfie (as is my crappy tradition), and headed up to shoot the rest of the show.
The show started with Yun J, Luxe, and Absint firing up the crowd, each giving a taste of the craziness that was to follow. By the time Los Moonwalker hit the stage, the club was packed and people were ready to party hard! I wandered the crowd shooting as he performed his set, his voice booming into the mic. He was followed by Sean Rhee, and thankfully this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen him perform. Sean has a way with his melodic rap that entrances women in the audience to get hyped like crazy, and during his set he rapped and sang both chill tracks and hardcore bangers.
Sean was followed by one of my new favorites from the MKIT RAIN Crew, Young West. From the moment he stepped on stage, everyone went ape shit. Young West is tall and thin, but he was all over the place on stage, and his voice mixed with the beats drove the crowd hard. By this time, I’d wandered over to the side corner of the stage by the VIP section, staking out my spot and firing shots like crazy.
Cycadelic Records was in the house and we got a real treat with their baby-faced hard hitter, Hoody Boy. The girl standing next to me screamed herself hoarse the moment he stepped on stage, probably setting some kind of thirst record in the process, and he proceeded to plow through his tracks before bringing on his labelmate … Killagramz.
Killagramz did a track on his own and then brought on his labelmate and girlfriend, Kid Kat. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they performed Killagramz newest track “Birthday” together and damn does she have a voice.
After Killagramz’s girlfriend stepped off stage, she passed the mic to a familiar face, as Killagramz surprised the entire venue with his special guest, Junoflo! I’m sorry, but I proceeded to scream like a 15-year-old.
All the way from South Korea and fresh off of signing with Feel Ghood Music, home of MFBTY, Junoflo stepped out on stage and the night became an insane blur of blasting beats, swift, sharp rhymes. and a raging crowd. He performed a few tracks with Killagramz and stepped off stage, only to disappear into the night.
During the DJ break, I went and found Junoflo downstairs just hanging out on the patio. I approached him like a shy baby deer, all wobbly and confused, but I managed to introduce myself and mentioned I shot photos of him before. As I was congratulating him on his new label, he looked me square in the face and said, “Wait wait wait, you’re @pixeletry?” I said yes, and then I asked him why, to which he replied, “I saw you online! I saw your photos. They’re good! I like your stuff.”
I then proceeded to die. The ghost of Yaaaaaas proceeded to thank him profusely and even hand him one of my adorable little mini cards. I asked for a selfie (I finally remembered to do this for once!) and walked away, leaving the man to hang out with his pals.
Anyway, I walked back into the venue just in time for the show to continue, and I was back in business mode! Kero One stepped on stage, and after taking some time to successfully DJ his way through the world, he reconnected to his hip-hop roots, spittin’ bars with his relentless flow to a packed club of screaming fans. LA knows their roots, so we always support our locals, and it’s become quite evident that Korean-American hip-hop has a deeply embedded root here.
After Kero One finished his set, he passed the mic to Yung Koconut, who brought the crew on and absolutely destroyed any last vestige of civility in the joint. Dude had the party rollin’ hard as he flew through his set and left the crowd screaming for more.
Finally, after a full roster of artists, Reddy took the stage. It was such an intimate setting with nothing between him and the audience, and his chill yet thundering beats pushed a crowd that was already nuts to go harder as they sung along while he performed tracks like “Chi Kwon” and “Think.”
Reddy then introduced us to his new track “Ocean View“, the meaning of which he elaborates on in the video interview with Asian Junkie. The song is fantastic live, pulling you in and forcing you to sing along. He partied with the audience and flirted with the front wall of girls reaching for him, flicking at fingers reached out for his touch. He was so engaging that the show suddenly felt short when it ended and the DJ took over for the rest of the night.
At the end of the night, I proceeded to drag my tired ass back to my car, taking with me the realization that the show only made me hungry for more. I read about these label shows in South Korea and become so incredibly jealous, so I hope Hi-Lite Records brings him and the whole crew out here again soon. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to see Reddy, Palo Alto, G2, and the rest of crew on stage together. Here’s hoping.