“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence,” – Robert Fripp.

The Red Cup hip-hop showcase was created for Detroiters, originating six years ago. This concert has blossomed as a stage for local hip-hop artists looking to gain exposure. As proprietor Charles ‘Chuck’ Bouler explains, “The Red Cup was always an event that allowed local talent a platform to showcase themselves and on a bigger stage than fifty people. I was sixteen, and an artist without many outlets to spread my sound- so I took the initiative of creating one.”

Prada Leary is another artist on the line-up this year, a member of Detroit-based crew Zagteam, and recalls an organic intro and collaboration with the event founder Chuck around 2009. The two met at Street Lord Juan’s Capitol Park Studio, which served as a hub for Detroit rappers like Earlly Mac, Dusty McFly, and Big Sean at the time. He remembers first The Red Cup being a major kickstarter for his ascending career. He explains that without events like The Red Cup that he would have missed out on valuable connections and exposure to a greater crowd.

Leary remarks, “Back in the early years, we was just teenagers trying to shine and get a foot in the door. The Red Cup was the first real place we could really flex and get shows!” Prada nostalgically recalls.

While describing the purpose of the event, he spoke of concepts such as diversity and inclusion. In one word, the Zagteam MC described The Red Cup event as “unifying.” Prada’s sentiment is echoed from Charles Bouler who explains,  “I just feel it’s good for the city. It will be an opportunity for different sections of Detroiters to be in one place, for the same reason.”

“Whether they come to see Oba [Rowland] or Supakaine, or Detroit Che, they’ll be exposed to someone they’ve never heard of and will become their newest Soundcloud follower- which means I was successful in achieving my goal.”

As Chuck and Prada remember humble beginnings, the two offer seedlings of advice for nascent artists looking to cultivate their craft: “My biggest advice would be to never lose sight of your purpose. Listen to advice but always do what you feel is best — And go for it! When it seems like it’s getting more difficult, that’s because you’re getting closer to the goal.” Charles recommends. Prada advises, “Be patient, listen to mentors, keep an open mind and always try to improve.”

Charles Bouler (seen in image)

Charles Bouler, The Red Cup founder (Above)

On hiatus for the last few years, The Red Cup plans to rejuvenate its ingrained origins in the community. Bouler mentions that for this year’s event, he has teamed up with associates Chip$, Randi Rossario and ViceTeam Stewe to take the event to the next level: attendees can expect a memorable experience packed with vendors and giveaways, “Awesome music, positive vibes, some special surprises and great giveaways from businesses across Michigan.” Interviewee Prada Leary alluded to the appearance of special guests on stage, and explained that he’s most excited about the diversity of the acts on the bill and the sheer amount of performers involved in the show.
This year’s splendor comes as the result of years of hard work. Event founder, Charles Bouler weathered many storms while putting this event together over the years and describes that age sixteen, it was difficult for people to see his vision. He speculates that it was because of his young age. Where there was no scene for the things they wanted to accomplish at the time, innovators like himself, Sheefy McFly and Chip$ rolled up their sleeves, got their hands in the dirt and created the change they wanted to see in the city. He now is, “ecstatic to see the trajectory of the events success over the years as he has worked tirelessly to improve upon The Red Cup Concert.” But he couldn’t have done it without the help of his family, and early investors such as Chip$. Charles reflects that he is glad to be able to enjoy personal success while planting the seed for the city’s rising stars.

Both budding and ripe artists will unite for this event to create a breathtaking bouquet of homegrown Detroit ‘steeze.’ As Bouler explains, “The goal is almost a Detroit Summer Jam. I wanted people to look at the bill and feel like there wasn’t anybody missing… I think the bill speaks for itself.”

The Red Cup runneth over with Detroit talent from collectives such as, Verbal Vomit Enterprise, Zagteam and 777 Renegade. The line-up of performances is impressive: from Edward Elektro, Nolan the Ninja, Earlly Mac, Chavis Chandler, Jaye Prime, Evan the Twerkgod, Detroit Che and more. As usual, this year the Red Cup concert aims to reach across aisles bonding a sundry collection of rap and hip-hop artists on stage.

Exposure to a wide and receptive audience is invaluable to the city’s creators. The support we provide enriches the deeply embedded roots of Detroit artistry, and allows these cultural anchors to maintain a relevant existence though the wake of any storm. We are the planters that nurture our cities best and brightest, so show your support at the Red Cup event and witness the growth of a sustainable and vibrant network of artist connection.


Oba Rowland, Earlly Mac, GT, SupaKaine, Prada Leary, Chips, Detroit Che, Jaye Prime, Hellios Hussain, Sam Austins, Kenny V, Kash Tha Kushman, 777Frvnko, Chavis Chandler, Tommy Malibu, Evan The Twerkgod, Tyler Taz, Fresh Juan, Milfie, Bun Lee, Richy Marciano, Jolo Reeves, Nolan the Ninja & Perrier Rosewood. Hosted by Stewe & Randi Rossario Sounds by DJ $Quid X DJ Sky X Edward Electro X Rossvario.

When: Saturday May, 07 2016

Where: 1111 Beaufait street Detroit, MI



Featured article image: In photo, Prada Leary, photo credit: @aunt_shotta (instagram) /Shelby Lancaster

Words & Interview by Hailey Dukes. New kid on the block + sponge for all things Detroit. Student to this earth and the people, places, and things on it. Walking an unceasing journey to observe, feel, analyze, understand. Inspire me! Follow Hailey on IG @wolf___hailey // Twitter @heyygirllhai