Jason Griff served up an enjoyable project with his five-track EP “The Red One Is Here. Run.” Released in collaboration with Alex Ludovico, the vibrant project features additional appearances by Zilla Rocca, The Dutchmastser and Scorcese.
Ahead of the EP’s release on Wednesday (March 4), we reached out to the Chicago-based producer to find out more about the upcoming project, his growth as an artist, his learning process and more.
Full interview with Jason Griff lightly edited for content and clarity.
Creative-HipHop: You recently teamed up with Alex Ludovico for ‘The Red One Is Here. Run’
– How did this project come about?
Griff: This is actually our second EP together. We wanted to do another one
after “Scarf Tissue” which we put out last year and follow a similar
What’s the significance behind the title?
The title and art were both done by my 10-year old son. When Alex and
I were beginning the project, my son was sitting there drawing and he
made this one with the writing and everything. We saw it and it was
like “That’s it! That’s the art, that’s the title.”
What can fans expect from the EP?
Quick, hard-hitting songs. So many bars from Alex, he’s really rapping
his ass off on this one.
Did you go into it with any specific ideas in mind?
Not really, or at least, we didn’t want to over think the process. We
went in with a real punk rock mindframe. We put the songs together
quickly, just going hard on each one and moving on to the next before
we started over analyzing each little bit of the song.
How did you link up with Alex Ludovico?
We’ve known each other for a long time, at least 10 years. We have
some mutual friends like Zilla Rocca and Fresh from 33 Jones that
connected us years ago and we’ve been cool ever since. We just
recently started regularly collaborating on music in the past couple
Do you intend on making more songs with Alex in the future?
Describe the process behind ‘The Red One Is Here. Run’s’ creation and
some of your favourite songs on the project?
Most of the beats were made as like a stream of consciousness
exercise. I’d spend about 10-20 minutes on them and then pass it to
him. Sometimes it was just a 4 bar loop, sometimes more than that.
He’d come up with the concept and lay down vocals and then I would
finish the beat from there. I love all the songs but Monsters Inc. is
probably my favorite because it just hits so hard and Alex and Dutchy
go hard on it.
You’ve been making music for quite some time now – How have you grown as
an artist since your first release?
I think my skills and knowledge of the craft increase a little every
day. But my most important growth came from realizing who to work with
and who not to work with. I’ve invested a lot of time collaborating
with people that expected me to do most of heavy lifting and I just
can’t and won’t do that anymore. Eliminating unmotivated fools from the circle was the smartest move I ever made.
You talked about your most important growth coming from your learning process. How do you determine who to work with?
Well, first off I have to like their music. It also helps if I like them personally too. If somebody is an asshole, they better be really talented to make up for it. Beyond that, I look at their track record…how often they put out music, how is the quality, etc. Also check out their socials and see how active they are. Social media isn’t the best measuring stick, but you need to be pretty active on there for promotion and engagement. If your page says coming soon for 2 years, it’s probably not gonna happen.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
So many people! Tree and Billy Woods are at the top of the list but
it’s a really long list.
Which artists are killing it at the moment for you?
I think the Griselda guys are doing great things. It’s inspiring to
see dudes that are “older” in their 30s, making boom-bap street rap
and getting so much mainstream recognition. I also love what Billy
Woods is doing, he’s consistently putting out such high quality work
and pushing the boundaries of rap. There’s also so much talent in
Chicago- Vic Spencer, Tree, Defcee, Brittney Carter, Free Snacks and
so many more.
What’s next for you?
I just made a stop-motion video for the song “Independent’s Day” off
of the Dream Team album I did with Scorcese, it’s gonna drop Feb 28th.
Scorcese and I are also working on a new album that should drop
sometime later this year. I have a punk rock inspired project that
will start dropping in the next month or two. Alex and will probably
do another EP (or two) before the end of the year and I’m also working
on some stuff with Curly Castro for his next solo album.
Sounds like you have a busy year ahead. Good luck on all your 2020 endeavours.