Code Red Plants His Flag With ‘The Return To Jamaica’ EP
In his breakout effort The Return to Jamaica, Connecticut rapper Code Red reminds us of the importance of authenticity. In our hyper-connected society, where success is quantified by the number of likes and followers you can amass, Code Red stands apart from the herd. While most artists flit from one trend to the next, acquiescing to the changing tide of popular culture; here, we find an artist who can channel the timeless classics he grew up on while imparting his own innovation on his audience.
With his new seven track EP, Code Red etches out an impressive swath of real estate for himself. Rooted in a foundation of jazz and blues, The Return to Jamaica embodies the type of hip hop that I was raised on. Soaked in daring wordplay and centered around honest subject matter, this EP is a departure from the type of hip-hop that numbs the mind and stifles the imagination.
Building on the infectious lead single “Intro,” Code Red bolsters his catalog with even more slick tracks ranging from sinister to heartfelt. “Never Fold” perfectly displays Code Red’s intent to bet it all on himself and go for broke. The east coast wordsmith declares his eagerness to take the game by the throat regardless of the doubters who may stand in his path. The smoldering jazz motif continues into the EP’s enigmatic banger “Hyde Out“, where lush bass lines and suave key strokes pair ideally with Code Red’s clever wordplay. With this track we see Code Red’s devilish artistry, exploring the balance between the duality within himself and those around him.
In “Gold Chains” Code Red calls to attention the change in times and reaffirms the authenticity with which he approaches his craft. With almost a tongue and cheek flavor, Code Red readies the world for his advent. Refusing to be placed in a box or within the confines of what is deemed as trendy, Code Red takes aim at those played out rappers who only seek to flow with the status quo. “Oh Nah” and “Need to Know” take The Return to Jamaica to a very personal place. With these two smooth tunes a more vivid portrait of a well rounded artist comes into focus. We find ourselves emoting with a real human being rather than trudging along with another caricature rapper. It’s in this way that Code Red makes himself not only memorable but worth rooting for. We find a rapper, a philosopher, a poet who has a story worth learning and a voice worth listening to.
The EP’s marquee track “Rex” is a declaration of intent from this budding MC. As a slight departure from the jazz infused beats that comprise the rest of the EP, “Rex” hits with an indignant angst that drips of regality. Directed by Jeremiah Kipp, the video for “Rex” displays Code Red’s distinct style, set within the wooded environment that this CT rapper’s ambition was forged in. Culminating in a perfect bravado braised banger, The Return to Jamaica pulsates with the authenticity and ingenuity that made east coast rap king during the golden days of hip hop.
Check out Code Red’s SoundCloud and take a look at the dope video for “Rex” below.