Redman has had a storied career in hip-hop, releasing some of the best albums the genre has ever produced, including the classics Whut?!? Thee Album and Muddy Waters. But the rapper that prided himself on being “raw like Reservoir Dogs” has found it challenging to transition from “The Headbanger” era to that of “I’ll Be Dat”. While Red has always maintained his position in the game, it seems an overall lack of direction has effected the latter years of his career.
The biggest change this time around is the absence of Erick Sermon, who has been missing in action the last few years. That being said, it’s almost impossible for the Funk Doctor Spot to maintain his core sound without the Green-Eyed Bandit, lending a completely different sound to Reggie. The album’s lead single, “Def Jammable” finds Red in his usual off-kilter style, with a slightly insane beat by DJ Khalil to match. This, unfortunately, is the album’s lone moment of greatness.
Instead, we find Red completely outside of his element, with the phat basslines of his past traded for soulless synth. Songs like “That’s Where I B” and “When The Lights Go Off” find him pandering to the pop/club audience with little success, while the syrupy “All I Do” is a thoughtful, yet poorly executed tribute to Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, “Full Nelson” finds Red sharing an autotuned hook with Saukrates and guest verses from Ready Roc Runt Dawg, while the strange “Tiger Crane Style” finds him as secret service agent with a mission to protect the president. Still listening?
Earlier Redman albums have had a cinematic quality, a clear direction, and a unified sound. Here, Red seems more eager to please the machine at the expense of his longtime followers. While talk of Muddy Waters 2 has been mentioned, we’d only want to hear it with Erick Sermon on the boards and the corporate influence nowhere in sight. There’s still hope….
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