Yeah. So you were a free agent again?
Yeah. My lawyer is a monster. I got the monster Jewish lawyer and he believes in me. He's like fuck it, if they're bullshitting let's go and he got me out of there. I'm a free agent at this time. I went and did the Co-Op.
That's when Akon took notice?
Yeah, I did the Co-Op, that was cool and I did some shows, so now I'm hustling and Akon wanted to sign me now and this is before his debut album came out.
How did you meet him initially?
He was locked up with some niggas that were locked up with me and they were like, "You need to hear my dog Red Café," so when he came home [from the stolen car bid] he wanted to meet me. So we met and we were kicking it and we were just figuring out a way for me to get out of my deal with Universal so I could get into a new deal. I signed to Konvict for a year and nothing really happened and I just kept pushing and doing my thing and I had other opportunities and the Puff opportunity came around. Tone brought it up to Puff in regular conversation and Puff was like "I can get him? He's available?" because nobody knew I was available because they thought I was signed to Akon and Akon kept claiming it so all the labels wanted me but they didn't know that I wasn't signed and Akon wanted me to sign with his brand at Interscope, but there were certain business things that we just had to fix and so it never really happened.
But creatively you and Akon were on the same page?
It was really timing. We were on the same page. We went in and recorded a few records. I recorded with him and Gaga in the beginning. We all recorded in the same studio. We're banging joints out and I got joints with everybody. They're telling me that I'm signed to Interscope, so I'm thinking I'm signed to Interscope, but I was never signed.
I thought you were with Interscope, Konvict....
I'm with Interscope now.
But at that time you weren't, so when Akon was running around saying that…
I was signed to Konvict. His intentions were to go. He had great intentions. Everything just wasn't officially done. I didn't know that. I thought it was done. So anyway my contract with him was up so I was like, "What are we going to do. I got the interests over here with Puff and I think we should all get together and do it like that," so that's how that came about.
You were trying to include him?
Yeah he's included. Akon's a great guy.
So Tone passed the word to Puff?
And he was just like "What?!" and we figured it out and I got him on the phone with Kon and told Kon about it.
Was it a no-brainer to sign with Puff?
Yeah, definitely, because I'm a different kind of guy from his other artists. People are always like you shouldn't fuck with him, like don't do it, don't do it, like don't go in that door Jack.
Honestly did you hear a lot of that?
Hell yeah. C'mon. I know you hear it. It's not no bullshit. People have their perceptions of people but they don't know them. They just know what other people say and another person's situation, but you don't really know that other person's situation because he ain't telling you everything. There are other people that might approach their situation different when it comes to something like this. I don't think they maximize every opportunity Puff gave to them. Puff gave these motherfuckers platinum albums, hit records, and I just don't think these motherfuckers were ready to be their own men. They just wanted to be Puff's little men. That's where the problem was. They weren't prepared to take the wheel and drive and it's like "Nah I'm cool in the backseat or the shotgun seat. I'll let him drive." If they give you the opportunity and usher you to the front, go, go, go, you got to go. His knees might be hurting. I can get you here, but now it's your time.
Are you signed to Bad Boy?
I'm signed to Bad Boy/Interscope now. So the album will be coming out on Bad Boy/Interscope the first week of February. I want to go for February 14.
So that Gaga, Akon, Red Café record, what happened to that?
Is it going to be on the album?
If it makes sense because I have some serious records on here.
Who else is on there?
I don't want to give away everything. I want to give things in parts, like in two weeks leading up to the album, I want it to be some excitement. What I will tell you is that I'm putting out the single in two or three weeks. It's produced by Ryan Leslie, featuring Ryan Leslie and featuring Rick Ross. The single is called "Fly Together." I'm not even doing a buzz. They know what it is. I just gave them "Above the Clouds."
Some people get confused and think you're a Street Family artist, which you're not, those are just your people, right?
Right. We have like a group that we're working on now called Bedrock Boyz and we were trying to get this Bedrock Boyz project out now, like in fall, but we just got to see, depending on the red tape. We were trying to put it out between mine and [Fab's] because his is coming as well.
What's the title for your debut?
I was keeping that quiet. I want people to be excited about it. I already have the title. It's going to be a catchphrase. We're going to create marketing vignettes around it. I just want it to be exciting.
You mentioned Shyne was from your block?
Not when he was younger, but as he started getting into music, yeah. We were going to rock with Shyne also. Mark had put us together on a musical level and that's when that shit happened with him.
Y'all were going to be in a group?
He was already solo, but we were going to be like his team. Mark had set it up. This was right after he had the accident in the car. One of my dudes was in there and he died and not long after that, that shooting happened and everything kind of changed.
Anything else you want to sneak in there about the album?
I know you're trying to get some more sauce out of that. Listen, man, I'm putting the sauce together and on a bi-weekly basis I'm going to give you a couple of different ingredients for the recipe, so at the end of the day you can see how it's being put together. Of course I got L'Oreal, that's my artist I'm working with, and she'll on there. I'm just excited man. If people just reach out to me –RedCafe.tv, that's my website and it leads you to all my social networks. You can stay in touch and I'll tell everybody what's going on.
So it's still a Shakedown thing and Bad Boy thing?
Always. It's Shakedown. It's Bad Boy. The album will be debuted on Shakedown/Bad Boy/Interscope. Guaranteed. Got the date. The single comes out in two weeks. I got the second single; I got the third and fourth single. Everything is done. Shakedown!