The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Album Review: Redman-Red Gone Wild

From day one, Red has understood something that Hunter S. Thompson once knew: he would always be a far more interesting character than anyone he was writing about. So when you listen to a Redman album, you don't expect the character sketches of Ghostface, the faux-West Coast gangster mythologizing of the Game, the bleak prophecies of Pharoahe Monch, you expect to hear punch-line filled songs full of weed slang, shit-talking, and "Supaman Lovas'" served over soulful Erick Sermon produced (or creatively indebted) beats. With the occasional visit from Dr. Gonzo. Or Method Man as they refer to him in Staten Island.

Except Hunter S. Thompson certainly hadn't ever been to Redman's mom's squalid apartment, a dirty dingy dimly lit apartment in Newark, that Red chose to show when asked be on MTV Cribs. In probably the best Cribs ever, Red distilled his essence better than any song could've. Something that no amount of Deodorant commercials or failed Fox sitcoms could ever obliterate, as a show filled with images of cartoonishly opulent mansions and cars featured Red stoned in his old room, eyes like bright red tomatoes, sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing his PS2. It's this image that runs through the entirety of Red Gone Wild, his first record in six years, as Redman presents yet another successful edition of the Redman character that has been in place since he taught a nation of impressionable teenagers "how to roll a blunt in 1992."

We Were On the Edge of the Sofa, When The Drugs Began To Kick In
Perhaps the most fun hip-hop record released this year, Red Gone Wild sounds remarkably untouched by anything that's happened in hip-hop since 1998. Fine, it does have a Scott Storch beat which to quote Wayne Campbell is "both sad and lame," but the song is called "Freestyle Freestyle" and Redman sounds vicious and swaggering over the beat's hiccuping "Drop It Likes It's Hot" minimalism.

Besides, there's little time to waste lamenting the fact that Scott Storch named his yacht Stochavelli, when Method Man and Red are trading verses on "Blow Treez," 2007's early year favorite for stoner hip-hop anthem of the year. Over the song's squealing melodicas and reggae drone, Red and Meth unleash their best collabo since "Da Rockwilder" nearly a decade ago. "Pimp Nuts" overcomes the shortcoming of being named "Pimp Nuts" as Red's wild but controlled flow overpowers the beat's spry bouncing funk. Hell, Red even has a West Coast, G-Funk era sounding collabo with Snoop and Nate Dogg, called "Merry Jane." Which to put it blunt (pun sadly intended), made me feel 14 again for at least two, maybe three bong rips.

Of course, it's a Redman album made after 2000, so predictably it has several flaws. It features some useless guest spots from the Gilla House Crew (though it does feature a Keith Murray appearance, proving once and for all, that Keith Murray isn't actually dead) and there are the predictably superfluous skits (which are still better than anyone else's). But while it never hits the heights of Muddy Waters, its easily Redman's best solo since. Another colorful chapter of Fear and Loathing in Newark.

Rating: B+

MP3: Redman ft, Method Man-"Blow Treez"
MP3: Redman ft. Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg-"Merry Jane"


At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Rap Jack Bauer said...

The thing I like most about Redman in 2007 is that unlike these other coddled, major label dinosaur MC's (LL Cool J, DMX, Method Man, etc.), he DOESN'T expect Def Jam to blow him up like it's 1998, meaning he just needs to make an album, play some shows, do magazines and go double platinum in the process.

Redman (and Ghostface) decided to hustle like a new indie artist/label while stranded on Def Jam. Now people actually CARE about Redman still, 15 years deep into his career, because he kept his own buzz going with the mixtapes, shows, freestyles, honest interviews and now a strong album.

All those other MC's I listed sold WAY more records than Red and probably made more money in the 90s, but Red will still be making records for the next 10 years easily. DMX? Probably smoking angel dust in a laundromat somewhere in Ohio, barking to himself, cursing Jay-Z, Sony, Irv Gotti, Ja Rule, Jet Li and Steven Segal because he ain't "hot" no more.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger ian said...

i just hope redman doesnt go the way of his comrade meth and become old sad mr grampy-pants, complaining about everything that DIDNT happen with his record/promo. those of us who pay attention to this shit already know. so all it does when these guys whine is make them look like, well, whiners. not to say their grievances arent legitimate, its just tiresome to hear all the time. its the year and possibly the future of the independents, so if i were them, thats where i would start looking.

= my two.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugh, why did he have to put awful southern style beats on there?
they spoiled the album with those lame beats. i hope when red drops 'muddy waters 2' in november he doent have any bullshit southern beats on it.


Post a Comment

<< Home