Redman - Red Gone Wild

Posted April 2, 2007
Tags: Redman,

Redman is the pride of Newark, and like his hometown he’s unglamorous, loud, and doesn’t...

Red Gone Wild Album Review

Redman is the pride of Newark, and like his hometown he’s unglamorous, loud, and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. His new album Red Gone Wild is a tribute to the no-holds-barred hip-hop Reggie Noble lives for. Red Gone Wild has been six years in the making; Red’s concerns about Def Jam’s ability to promote the album lead to repeated delays. In the meantime he focused on his TV and movie work, leaving fans laughing but still longing for Red’s funky and raw style. The wait has been worth it. Red Gone Wild is an expert blend of old-school energy and new-millennium club bangers, the type of album you can throw on at a party and never have to fast forward though a track.

There aren’t many MCs who can be as simultaneously hardcore and hilarious as Reggie Noble. By recruiting some of the best production talent in the game Redman ensured he’d have some serious heat to back his blunted and raspy vocal style. The debut single Put It Down is the perfect example of what can happen when a beat and an MC match each other perfectly. The track features Timbaland’s trademark driving percussion, slightly strange samples, and anthem-like chorus. Lyrically, the Funk Doc delivers three smashing verses that make no apologies (the radio version is heavily edited to say the least). Listening to Redman is like taking that third slice of pie at Thanksgiving; you know you shouldn’t, you know it’s probably unhealthy, but damn if it isn’t so good you just don’t care.

With Redman you know exactly what you’re gonna get; there isn’t a verse on the album about the Iraq War or the struggle of single mothers, just “music to break your neck to,” pure and simple. There’s little musical variation on Red Gone Wild, yet the album never gets tired. Just when you think things may be mellowing after the back-to-back slow funk tracks Diz Iz Brick and Rite Now, Red comes strong with his ode to a certain substance, Blow Treez featuring his partner in crime Method Man. By the time the next track is over, the brilliantly offensive Pimp Nutz, there’s no doubt whose album this is.

Red has relied heavily on Erick Sermon and Rockwilder’s production on his last five albums, and Red Gone Wild prominently features their funk based beats again, but there’s also a solid list of guests. Scott Storch contributes a surprisingly stripped down beat on Freestyle Freestyle, and the Doggfather and Nate Dogg trade punch lines with Red on the aptly titled Merry Jane. The standout track is Sumtn 4 Urrbody, which finds Red flowing over a franticly bouncing beat with his Gilla House crew. These other voices only solidify the party vibe of the album, but Red never relies on others to carry the track. This is always Red’s product, and he’s offering no excuses for the show.

It’s been a while since hip-hop has heard a strictly hardcore album that manages to keep a sense of humor. Red is never soft but doesn’t have to rely on gangsta bragging for material. The man will shoot you if he has to, but he’d rather just smoke and knock some huge beats. You may not love Red, but you’re sure as hell gonna hear him, and Red Gone Wild is loud enough to get the whole block turning their heads.

DJBooth Rating - 4.5 Spins

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Posted April 2, 2007
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