Happy Birthday, Redman!
Redman is trying to follow a trend that many '90s rappers have been doing as of late: making a sequel to their opus that never comes out. AZ (Doe or Die), Ghostface Killah (Supreme Clientele 2) and GZA (Liquid Swords 2). Muddy Waters 2 has been "coming soon" for a while, but there's a reason the album deserves a follow-up. Redman is still a lauded rapper as he turns 45 today (April 17).
After making his debut on EPMD's Unfinished Business, Redman took Erick Sermon with him to produce his first few solo albums (Reggie, his latest, is the only one without a Sermon production credit). The New Jersey native was a fully developed force by the time Whut? Thee Album came out in 1992. Sermon's funky sample cuts and Redman's schizophrenic on-record personality was a fresh spark in East Coast hip-hop. Muddy Waters, his third, is also highly regarded.
However, many recognize Redman for his affiliation with Method Man, who's also known for his charisma. Method Man and Redman put out Blackout! in 1999, four years after the lifelong friends reunited at Tupac Shakur's recording studio (a meeting that became All Eyez on Me's "Got My Mind Made Up"). While the project is a treat, it's mostly noteworthy for including "Da Rockwilder," one of the most recognizable hip-hop instrumentals of all time.
The last decade saw some new, not-as-acclaimed music from Redman and two infamous television appearances: MTV Cribs and the terrible short-lived sitcom Method & Red. Despite the shortcomings, Redman stands today as something like hip-hop's cool uncle: infrequently present, but always welcome.
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