A lot of people have been asking where Redman has been since 2001′s “Malpractice”. The answer is watching the game and what it has become and waiting for the perfect opportunity to come back. He didn’t really leave with movies, TV, and guest shots but as far as official releases the public has eagerly been waiting. The wait is officially over on March 27th when “Red Gone Wild: Thee Album” drops. If you are hoping for “Muddy Waters” or “Whut Thee Album” you maybe disappointed, but according to Redman himself, “it’s a good album and an introduction to Gillahouse”. From the looks of things “Red Gone Wild” is just the beginning for a renewed Reggie Noble. I got a chance to chat with Redman, who for one cracked my ass up and for two was very honest about himself, the state of hip-hop and where he is trying to go.
HHS: What’s up man, how are things?
Redman: Everything is great.
On a site note your episode of “Cribs” is classic….you still living there?
Yeah man, I still have my spot that was on Cribs but mostly I’m around my kids. I’m staying with my kids most of the time. You know what though, I renovated my spot and I wanted to do a before and after
I wanted to show it how it was before and now you know here it is now.
It’s been since 2001′s “Malpractice” since you dropped an official album, what’s the hold up over at Def Jam?
It’s a Red Jam thing. First off you have to look at from ’92 to 2001 I dropped 7 albums. I dropped my 5 albums, the Def Squad album and the Red and Meth album. So this is really my first hiatus. So now we look at 2001 to now and the game has changed dramatically. It was getting to a point of either you had to get down or lay down. I wasn’t ready to sacrifice my What thee Albumness since 1992 just to fit in. So I looked at the game and was like I’m just going to ride this out. Since then I did the “How High” movie and ventured off with Meth and did a TV show. I did “Seed of Chucky” and built my own studio. I got pro tools and now I engineer my own shit and learned to work the Motif. This shit takes years, so it was time for a break. I also had 2 beautiful kids since then and frankly I look at the game and I haven’t missed shit.
(Laughs) That is so true.
Exactly. I’m coming back at the time where mufuckas want some real shit, like….I need some real shit and I’m tired of this shit. I’m coming back right when y’all need it. Another thing is my label. During “Malpractice” I had a whole new building and now in 2007 I have a whole new staff. When I walk in the office and I don’t see anybody from the “Malpractice” days it’s like….wow. But it’s all good, we are making it happen.
The wait is over March 27th when “Red Gone Wild - Thee Album” drops, is this your best album to date?
No! “Muddy Waters” is my best album. “Whut Thee Album” is my best album because that is the time that hip-hop was fucking great and everyone appreciated it. Now it’s more business and what you have to do. What I want to get across is that this album, it’s a good album and it’s an introduction to Gillahouse. It’s a movement with Redman behind it and it’s something that he believes in and he knows it will make y’all move. I want y’all to recognize this album as an introduction to a continuing movement. I want this album to be looked at as…ok; yeah I want to hear more from the Gillahouse camp. I want to hear more Redman on this level, I want to hear what he can do on the next album and I want hear what they can do as a crew, that’s what this album is about.
Are we going to see the “Dare Iz Tha Darkside” Reggie Noble or more of the happy go lucky Redman from “Doc’s the Name”?
You are going to hear a Muddy Doc’s the Name. Put it this way, my album has samples like a muthafucka on it. Which is rare in hip-hop now, muthafuckas don’t even get the culture or the attention to pay any hip-hop mind to an album full of fucking samples. The new generation doesn’t even know what it’s like to have an album full of samples. I provide that on “Red Gone Wild”.
So you are keeping the soul in hip-hop? The last 5 years have been pretty much soulless.
Exactly, it’s to that point, because let’s be honest, this is a business. The business side has taken over the culture side of hip-hop and we all know that. There is nothing we can do about that, but you can do your business right. But, there is a way you have to do these songs.
The new single “Put it Down” is produced by the “it” man of the moment Timbaland. Do you think having Timbaland on production will help garner more mainstream success, or do you even care?
You have to look at it like this, I like “Put it Down” is a great song not just because of the beat but because of the lyrics. One thing about “Red Gone Wild”, it’s not about Redman wiling out and acting crazy. It’s about breaking the mold of what I have done on previous albums. I have artists to introduce on this album. Second, on the production tip, I usually have Erick Sermon and Rockwilder. “Red Gone Wild” has other producers, like Timbaland and Chill. Even the big names that I have tracks from I did not go after that big beat sound that they usually do for artist. Timbaland is not on the record, there is no change up on “Put It Down” its straight energy. I wasn’t trying to reach mainstream just because Timbaland is hot. I had that track before Timbo got hot again, when he was chillin since the last Missy album. I did “Put It Down” back then and now by the time I’m dropping my shit, he’s burning it up with Justin and Nelly Furtado. I’m going to get in where I fit in and you can do your thing. I’m not trying to bounce the club I’m going back to the energy. Look at “Time 4 Sum Aksion”, same thing, same movement, it just the 2007 version.
Yeah, that’s exactly what the record reminded me of, that up tempo party hip-hop without selling out lyrically.
Aww shit man, I said N*gga throughout the whole record. I said it so many times had to replace it with Gilla, so you know that’s not selling out lyrically. Even I know I said N*gga too many times.
Why do you think rap sales in general are in such a slump?
The Internet, come on man, you know that shiiiit. With all that internet who the fuck is going to the store to buy the album, they are going to check it out before they go get it. The only mufucka records that are going to sell are mufuckas that has to have the whole fucking package. Like fuck this shit, did you see the fucking album cover, did you see the beats and the samples on that shit. I need to have this fucking thing in my muthfucking collection. I need to have this on CD and I’m going to go purchase this shit.
Do you think that the public is getting tired of dumbed down thuggery and want that old thing back?
You know they do, c’mon man. Everything that comes up must come down. On the topic of thuggery, I wouldn’t even say that. You have mufuckas that are thugs out here and they brought thuggin into the game and that’s what it is. Who am I to say because even when I came in the game? Cats where like, who is this snotty nose skully cap wearing dude coming in the game. When Das Efx came, who are these crazy dudes wearing Timbos and Hoody’s with their pants all sagging, that’s not what hip-hop is about. That’s the fad that was going on and that’s what the hood was about and people were respecting it. As far as thuggery goes you can only take that so far. You can only shoot so many n*ggas, you can only run from so many cops. What’s it’s been embedded into your head about what’s going on in the hood, it’s like, alright now everybody knows what’s going on in the hood. Mufuckas want something different now because it’s been worn down and it’s been watered down. Even with thuggery, it’s not as fresh as it used to be. Oh..you a thug…big deal, you rock a bandanna too..yada yada.
On this album I don’t talk about thuggery. I talk more to the point on “Red Gone Wild” and on my new mixtape which is out right now!
(Laughs) The mixtape is fire, that’s why I’m eagerly anticipating the album.
So I let you know, I’m not a thug and I’m not a gangsta. I don’t represent that. I want to let y’all know, this is the shit I do without being a gangsta. This is the shit I’ve been doing.
So “Red Gone Wild” has a more grown up feel, similar to what Jay and Snoop did? So many albums are marketing towards children and they seem to forget us late 20′s early 30′s were the one’s buying albums in ’94.
It’s to that point. That’s what’s going on and I can’t knock that. Who am I to say that the next man is not doing what they feel is hip-hop. If that’s what it is, then that’s what it is, I can’t call it. I know that the appreciation for lyrics had left, because radio driven, everything is hook driven. It takes a couple of guys like me, to come back and let them know, yeah that’s cool but this is what has to be done and they way we do it, to get our point across.
You have practically a legend in the game, but if you could work with anybody dead or alive who would it be and why?
First of all I want to do an album with Jamiroquai.
I think mufuckas like Jamiroquai and he’s been on the scene for a minute and I like that kind of music. I really want to do an album with that cat. I want to do “Blackout 2″ with Meth and I’m really excited about doing that. Dead or Alive, I wanted to do a real song with Biggie. I have been on some Biggie cuts but before he passed we used to see each other in the hood. We didn’t see each other events, we would see each other in the hood. We used to talk about doing a record, like yo we should, we should, when the time right, when the time right. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but I thank Puff for letting me get on the “Rap Phenomenon” record and I could complete my mission after his death. Another fellow I wanted to do an actual record with is Johnny “Guitar” Watson. He passed, but I really wanted to do a record with him to show him how much respect I had for him as an artist and as a person. I’ve been using his shit since my first album and his shit has really helped my career. Big up to the Watson’s, big up to his family and his kids. Please contact me Watson family, holla at Redman. Get at me on www.funkdoc.com or www.gillahouse.net for anything y’all need.
I hope it’s not another 6 years before the next Reggie Noble opus, but what do you have coming in the future?
Man, stop it. Next up though is the Gillahouse album.
So that’s the first thing coming?
You know what, let me stop. You know now a days you have to work 2 or 3 things at one time.
Immediately I’m writing my verse for the Pete Rock album because Pete Rock did a beat for “Red Gone Wild”. Big up to Pete Rock. After I write my verse for Pete Rock I’m doing into the Gillahouse album or the new Def Squad album. I’m working on the new Ikadon album and finishing up the Saukrates album. Also, beginning in May or June I’m going to be working on “Muddy Waters 2″. I’m going to let you know right now I’m only doing limited copies. I’m only doing like 500,000 copies. I’m doing backwards, I’m not going to get new sounding beats. I’m going to find some verses that didn’t get used for “Muddy Waters” and I’m going to flip them shits and I’m going to make an old sounding “Muddy Waters”, it’s going to sound old…not new.
So this is independent or under Def Jam?
It depends, I might put it out under Def Jam or I might do it indie, it just doesn’t matter. I’m doing only a limited edition only. I’m not trying to top “Muddy Waters”, I’m not trying to compare, I’m just doing for the fans. I’m doing it for all the “Muddy Waters” fans, just to have it, just the fucking name you just have to have it. Instead of just selling you the name I’m going to give you a “Muddy Waters 2″ sounding feel, even with the lyrics. I’m going to step backwards. I’m not going to try to win with a big sounding single because I’m going think like I did back then. It wasn’t about big singles back then it was about having fun on the album. So REMEMBER, that shit is LIMITED EDITION….stay tuned.
You know what man, you listen to the new album and I hope everybody is interested in wanting to hear more. Gilla means over the top, it means patience is what you do, Gilla means not accepting anything less musically than what you are supposed to get. We want to introduce this new movement and you like the artists and knowing that we are putting out good music. I want you to know that is what we are dedicated to do. Second, I want everybody know I’m opening up a sneaker store in Staten Island. It was misconstrued that I was opening up a woman’s shoe store.
It is a sneaker store, me and my man Tariq. We don’t have a name yet but it’s a sneaker for any action footwear but especially for the skateboarders. We know that the skateboard culture and the hip-hop culture are intertwined and I’ve always wanted my own sneaker store. Also, I am designing a women’s shoe, everybody knows that of all the rappers in the game I have the biggest foot fetish out of everyone. If you have pretty feet and you love Redman, woman stay tuned because I will be doing it, it takes time because I want to do it right.
The “How High 2″ and “Blackout 2″ make sure to be on the lookout for those. Anything coming from new Wu-Tang, please go out and support. If you are complaining about hip-hop don’t just sit on your ass and complain get up and do something. Be a part of the solution and support these real artists that are doing hip-hop. I don’t think hip-hop is dead but hip-hop needs a little fine tuning. I love everybody and what they are doing. Big up to Gillhouse and everybody.
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