Kool DJ Red Alert
Real Name: Fred Krute
D.O.B.: Bronx, New York
DJ Red Alert is one of the founding fathers to the hip-hop movement, a cultural legend of the art. Starting as a house party deejay for the legend, Kool Herc and Coke La Rock's jams and opening shows for Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation. He witnessed the O.G.'s as they built the house of hip-hop and became a pivotal player in the growth of the culture and industry. DJ Red Alert now is a renowned and highly-respected elder in the hip-hop media with several for his own radio shows. He has the World Famous Radio Mix Show on WRKS 98.7 Kiss FM in New York City and a show on 102.5 Grown Folks Radio in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sirius Satellite Radio he has a show entitled "Red's Classic Collections" found on Backspin Channel 43. Lastly, "Article One" Mix Show on Youth Radio 92.5 in St Martin, U.S. Virgin Islands. He has received numerous awards and accolades including an award at the first annual Rap Hall of Fame Awards show, the Lifetime Achievement Award from IMPACT music trade publication for 1998 and the 1997 Mix Show DJ of the year award from GAVIN. He was also named in the 50 Most Influential People in Music by Rolling Stone magazine. In the Radio Section of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio Red Alert has a display. These accolades make Kool DJ Red Alert the only DJ of this era to be as honoured. The United Nations awarded Red by receiving him as an honorary ambassador in recognition of his contributions in the field of music. The Bronx Walk of Fame awarded him in June, 2003. His is a voice of hip-hop and luminary icon of the original culture.
Red was raised by his grandparents in both the Bronx and Harlem boroughs, originally from Antiqua. Red had a passion for the local basketball tournaments games. He played on the high school team at DeWitt Clinton. Apparently his name derived from his red hair and alertness for the on-court plays. By his senior season he received a college basketball scholarship. His other passion was in house parties and DJing. During his senior years at school, Red frequented the Saturday night parties thrown by Boogie-Down DJ Kool Herc and his MC Coke La Rock at West Bronx club circuits. He studied the way Herc blended the vinyl selections of The Bongo Rock records, James Brown funk, Dennis Coffey and other Jamaican reggae joints. On Fridays, Red found himself venturing down town to check out star disco deejays, such as: Grandmaster Flash, Together Brothers, and Pete DJ Jones. Before long he picked up the proficiency of DJing and was housing his own parties on his own equipment. In order to keep up with the dynamic trendy culture of New York at the time, Red attended parties throughout the Bronx, witnessing the work of Grandmaster Flash at the Black Door and the Dixie Club, Afrika Bambaataa at JHS 123 and Kool DJ A.J. at the Morehouse Center.
Red had by now gathered enough record selection and record spinning insight to teach his cousin DJ Jazzy Jay the basics of the art. Jazzy Jay in turn introduced Red to Zulu Nation leader, Afrika Bambaataa. Bam taught Red the finer aspects to the culture and the way of the Zulu Nation. Learning the various styles of new wave and dance oriented music, Red was recruited as the deejay for the Zulu Nation parties, joining Afrika Islam, the Soul Sonic Force, Grandmaster DST and the Rock Steady Crew. With these connections Red began to spin records down-town at hip-hop supporting clubs, Negril, Danceteria and later The Roxy. While at The Roxy deejaying, he met Barry Mayo, (then program director of NY's WRKS 98.7 KISS FM.) Mayo was considered to have impeccable taste and hired Red to inaugurate the "Dance Mix Party." Red remained at 98.7 KISS FM for 11 years, becoming the top DJ at the station. During this tenure, Red became the first individual to popularize dancehall music at a major radio station. In '94 DJ Red Alert moved to New York's Hot 97 radio station where he did two daily shows. They were the "The Twelve O'clock Old School at Noon Mix" and the "Five O'clock Free Ride." In the year 2007 Red returned home to 98.7 Kiss FM in New York City.
Through DJ Chuck Chillout, Red met with Vintertainment Records producer Vincent Davis to produce Red's First record, "Hip Hop On Wax, Volume 2." Red was already becoming one of the most noted names in hip-hop radio. Red previously deejayed for Sparky D during the Roxanne wars era and became a touring member of the Boogie Down Productions. Now aa a radio jock he is considered a seasoned veteran and a premier DJ in the music industry. Red Alert owns a production and management company, Red Alert Productions which garnered a reputation for developing and promoting new talent. Red Alert was the first to introduce numerous hit records including "Soul II Soul" by Jazzy B and "Hold On" by the group En Vogue. He is responsible for launching the career of the Jungle Brothers, Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep and Queen Latifah, not to mention the insurmountable influence he leaves for the rest of the worldwide community. Red Alert is an ambassador for the history and future of the hip-hop culture and industry. He is a trail blazer surging and striving forward, pushing new limits in the dirty business of music.
"You have to learn how to break a new artist on record by working it in and out with familiar records. People are scared to fall. It's OK to fall. You must learn how to fall and be strong so you can come back. A DJ is like the pied piper."
- Kool DJ Red Alert.
(Davey D interview w. DJ Red Alert)