UK Hip Hop: International
Fredi Kruga
Frdi Kruga - CarsFredi Kruga aka Jon Doe or Harvey2Face has been getting a lot of interest from UK labels at the moment, but he has been doing his thing for over 12 years, since 1987 when he first started performing. In the early days he worked as a bodyguard/doorman, but through his good looks and hunger has progressed to where he is now as part of the horror crew 'Salemslottt'. He has presented 3 of the Channel 4 'Flava' programmes and is also in the shortlist for the 2000 Mobo 'unsigned' talent award. He will also be showcasing his new single at the Music Industry conference 'In the City' in Manchester. Continuing his set of promo performances he will be appearing at the first UK Hip Hop Awards and a large showcase at Subterrania on 28th September along with other up and coming acts including 57th Dynasty & Malarchi.

Previously Fredi Kruga has performed with an impressive line up of artists such as: H-Town, Capelton, Lord Tariq, Peter Gunz, Kool & The Gang, Glamma Kid, Phoebie One, Jagged Edge, Buju Banton, Gabrielle, Aswad, Donnel Jones, DMX, Kele Le Roc, Red RAT, Curtis Lynch and Wu International. Which also point to his style which is very much a versatile ragga vocalist. 

Fredi Kruga - LiveHis next single 'Carz' is released on Halloween (October 31st) 2000 on Kai Records, which is a re-working of the 80's track 'Cars' by Gary Numan,  but with Fredi's words. Apparently the date of Halloween was chosen because his live show includes coffins, which he is brought to the stage in, snakes, voodoo dancers alongside a live opera singer! Fredi is unashamedly aiming for commercial success, so along with the Hip Hop mix there is also an R'n'B version 'the Road Rage' mix featuring AV in the chorus, and a Garage version 'the Write Off' mix by Alec-andra da Great from Cali which bares very little resemblance to the original version.

The original makes nice use of Gary's arrangement and instrumentation, but keeps the pop market in mind with the additional production, making it all really smooth, polished and a bit too nice for my taste. This is bound to be popular with both the younger kids and those who remember the original version. For me, maybe I prefer Fredi's vocals on the R'n'B version which are more ragga, rather than the toned down Ragga mixed with Hip Hop lyrical patterns of the Radio version. But altogether this is a strong release. Far too commercial for my liking, but delivers a good concept and much more skills that some one like RB for example. Expect lots of radio rotation.

Quote: 'SWV - Sisters Without Vehicles'

Additionally Fredi has recently been over to the US where he has rocked shows in Daytona and Atlanta. Hopefully he can open their eyes to some of the stuff we have to offer.

Britishhiphop.co.uk had a few words with the man, check out what he had to say:

Fredi KrugaWhat are your thoughts about the state of UK hip hop? 

I think that it is most defiantly on the up although it could do with a lot more backing and support from the major players. You need to invest money to make money and given some of the marketing and promotional packages these pop catz are getting, UK Hip Hop would blow!!!! 

Do you think it is going somewhere or is it stagnating? 

I think the answer above answers this. 

Who are the UK artists you listen to and admire? 

Right now, I'm into my dirty South Niggaz 57th Dynasty, Malarchi, Out Da Ville, Da Essence, Salemz Lottt, Rodney P, Fallacy, Black Twang. There is probably a few others but cant think right now. Oh Yeah, B Sharps also tight. 

Who are your UK influences? 

Those Niggaz on the streets in Brixton, Hackney, Stonebridge and Tottenham. I get nuff Vibes from 57th Dynasty coz we grew up in da same same hood plus I get nuff inspiration from my brother Fidel who has a recording deal with Green Card Records. 

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from, who your crew are and who they are associated with ? 

I am originally from South London where I have lived, I'm both Brixton and Streatham. My crew Salemz Lottt is a mixture of both male and female rappers, singers and producers and includes Juxi Demus (aka Animal Lector), Creamo (aka Norman Bates), A.V (aka Ayo,s Voice), Carrie, Jaye Relf and Jayson. They are all up and coming artists although Juxi Demus is also part of band Mushtaq and has also featured along side Damage and Phoebie one on collaberations. Jayson has worked heavilly along side LINK from the US while Jaye Relf has produced both my last singles and has done production for Phoebie One and Slice. A.V was formally part of a group called Public Demand. 

Are there any other producers or MCs in your crew to look out for? 

Look out for the whole crew. 

What do you think of the Wu Tang Connection? 

The link is heavy. Being the first and only UK member of the family is a real honour and kinda makes you feel proud to be waving the UK flag. The US tend to look down on UK Hip Hop but now all thats about to change. Trust Me!! It has defiantly given me the underground recognition around Europe and opened a great deal of doors for me. 

How did that come about & how will it work? 

I was doing an interview on the radio and playing a number of tracks when the telephone rang. It was the financial director of Wu Tang International. He said that he was feeling my shit and that he wanted to arrange a meeting. We had several and after a short while I became the first UK member of the Wu. I must stress though that I am not actually signed to Wu Tang as a recording artist but as a member of the family. 

How do you feel you are positioned within the marketplace and is that through your wishes or the marketing dept of a larger label?

I feel that I am in an excellent position in the market place because up til now I have done everything independently. I have brought myself to where I am at the moment without help from a label. I set up UN4GIVEN ENTERTAINMENTZ with my partners to basically make sure that I and all our other artists are ready to hit the mainstream but keeping a heavy under ground connection. This in turn I hope shows all the other catz out there to have more Faith in the UK struggle and I hope inspiration, not to give up when things look shady. By the time I am picked up by a big label I will already be polished with an already hungry underground fan base.....I hope!!! 

Check out my web site. www.un4given.co.uk plus the interview in the next Hip Hop Connection......plug plug plug. 

Thanx For the LUV.

Upcoming performances:

  • 21 Sept Hip Hop Awards, Subterrania, London
  • 24-26 Sept 'In The City' Manchester
  • 28 Sept Elm Street Showcase @ Subterrania, London

Look out for Fredi's new LP 'Micmare Pon Elm Street' due early 2001.

Visit Fredi on the web: www.un4given.co.uk
Contact: Cathy Burns @ Crimson Management
22 Gt. Marlborough Street, London, W1V 1AF
Email: cathy_crimson@hotmail.com :: Tel: 020 7287 6599 :: Mob: 07958 313 208

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