It has been a long time since we’ve heard from the Funk Doctor…. 6 years to be exact. Between alleged label drama, making movie and television appearances and handling the responsibilities of being an adult, Redman has simply been away from the studio. With his highly anticipated 6th solo album, Red Gone Wild: Thee Album, Red finally gives his fans what they’ve been asking for and reminds this new generation that he’s still a pretty good rapper.
If nothing else, Redman is consistent. If you were a fan of his previous efforts, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll get those hilarious skits (“WKYA Radio” and “The Stick-Up”) that you’ve grown accustomed to hearing, there’s another installment in the “Soopaman Luva” series and there’s the traditional Def Squad posse cut (“Walk In Gutta”). Red Gone Wild is what you would call a complete album; an album that holds you all the way through and keeps you entertained until the final track.
Lyrically, Reggie Noble hasn’t lost a step. His witty and comical punchlines will still have you nodding your head and rolling on the floor in laughter. On “Wutchoogonnado” he spits, “I’m in your college campus corridor/ you should call me ‘UNO’ the way I draw the four.” His voice inflections and ability to change the speed of his flow give his rhymes that extra spark. Songs like “Suicide” and “Freestyle, Freestyle” fully display Red’s skills and shows that he is still worthy of praise and props.
This album does have a few shortcomings. In attempt to give artists on his new label some shine, he lets them rap on several tracks. However this effort backfires as their sub par performances take away from the quality of those songs. On “Blow Trees”, Ready Roc’s lackluster verse ruins an otherwise stellar tag team effort from Red and Meth. There is a thin line between emitting feelings of nostalgia and sounding dated. Certain rhymes, while still good, sound like they could have been on previous albums. Lines like, “Roll up to the jam/ and party like Little Penny” make you wonder when they were written. “How U Like Dat” and “Rite Now” are solid songs but the beats makes you feel like you’ve heard them already.
At the end of the day, Redman definitely delivers a solid album. He knows how to cater to his core audience and there might be enough good material to attract new fans. With today’s music scene, it’s hard to ask for more when an artist provides both banging beats and creative rhymes. Although you might get “deja vu” once too often, it’s more of an observation than a complaint because a ’98 Redman is still better than 90% of what’s on the radio.
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