Method Man & Redman Interview
|Artist:||Method Man & Redman|
|Next Project:||Blackout 2|
|Twitter:||Method Man & Redman on Twitter|
Hip-hop’s given rise to countless iconic duos, but few can match the popularity and renown of Method Man & Redman. Though Meth and Red both rose to fame as members of rap supergroups (the Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad, respectively), it was their work together on television, films, and, most importantly, their acclaimed 1999 LP Blackout!, that made them household names, not to mention two of the best-known weed-smokers since Cheech and Chong. With their debut’s release almost a decade in the past, it’s high time the twosome dropped a sophomore LP—fortunately, Meth & Red have heeded fans’ call and are back with Blackout 2, a musical sequel that promises to be just as electrifying as its predecessor.
Set to hit stores next Tuesday (the 19th) via Def Jam, the forthcoming LP has created tremendous buzz in the Booth and beyond. With singles “A Yo!,” “City Lights,” and “Mrs. International,” as well as recently-featured street cut “4 Minutes To Lock Down,” Meth & Red earned nearly unanimous reader acclaim and elevated fan anticipation to a fever pitch, showcasing seasoned flows that, though blunted as ever, remain two of the game’s sharpest.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Method Man and Redman step into the Booth to discuss their ground-level approach to album promotion, what it will take for them to commit to a How High sequel, and which two locales have the most to offer weed connoisseurs.
Listen to the Interview
Method Man & Redman Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy, “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth are two emcees who turned the lights out in 1999, and, 10 years later, are back to flip that switch once more. Please welcome the gentlemen that made playing with electricity look so cool on television, Redman and Method Man—how you guys doin’?
Redman: Beautiful f*ckin intro! I didn’t mean to curse.
DJ Booth: No, it’s all good—curse away!
Redman: All right, how you doin’ man?
DJ Booth: I’m all right, I’ve got this small little head cold—you guys got any remedies, as far as quick recovery’s concerned?
Redman: Head cold? Ach.. try Alka-Seltzer Plus!
Method Man: Try some soup, man.
DJ Booth: Sounds good to me! I will have a bowl of mushroom barley awaiting me. But enough with my cold, let’s talk about you guys. You are a part of quite the release schedule in the next two weeks: Eminem, Busta Rhymes, and Redman & Method Man all have new albums dropping. Fellas, what type of impact can these simultaneous releases have on hip-hop?
Method Man: I don’t know.
Redman: Those that wanna get that ‘90s feel, and all the new jacks that didn’t know what the ‘90s felt like, I think you should pick our album up May 19th; you can get a feel [for] that. And all those who love the ‘90s feel will love our freakin’ album—May 19th, Blackout 2!
DJ Booth: Red, in a viral video, you said that hip-hop has been missing out on the ground-floor level of true promotion, like visiting local record stores or barber shops. So, essentially, are you saying you feel like album promotion has become very impersonal?
Redman: Yeah, for the most part it’s up to the artist to go out. You can’t just look at it like, “Yeah, I’ve gotta go out,” you’ve gotta want to go out, like, “I’m ready to go, I’ve got the attitude to go meet these people and let them know, ‘I’m here for you!’ I want to feel you, touch me, yes! And go pick that album up.” I think a handshake and touching can go farther than just a whole lot of shoutin’, can you dig it?
DJ Booth: Absolutely! Fellas, few artists have experienced similar success as both a solo artist and as a member of a duo or a group. What is the secret behind the accomplishments and the longevity of Method Man & Redman?
Method Man: Fan support, good music, and great shows!
DJ Booth: Speaking of great shows, I spoke with Midwest native Tech N9ne last month, and he obviously is best known for his very impressive live show. You guys [are] also very well-known for your enthusiastic, high-energy live show. What do you guys do in preparation, before you head out on stage, to get that crowd so crazy?
Redman: You know what? I listen to some music. I listen to other music besides rap.
DJ Booth: Like what?
Redman: I listen to a lot of disco, a lot of old R&B, a lot of reggae, too—as a matter of fact, I listen to reggae before I go out as well.
DJ Booth: Just to get you in the mood?
Redman: Yeah, absolutely.
DJ Booth: Just the other day, fellas, I told a friend that you’d be joining me inside the Booth for an interview, and he said, “Man, I need some new Meth & Red in my life!” After I told him that his wish would be your command on the 19th, I began to think, what other artists would I be sayin’ that about: “Man, I need that in my life.” So guys, I’m curious, who are a few artists who you’re fans of, who are due for a new album out in stores?
Method Man: M.O.P.
DJ Booth: Very good.
DJ Booth: [laughs] Okay, some blasts from the past. Anybody else from the ‘90s you guys wanna see back?
Method Man: Heltah Skeltah.
Redman: Def Squad, I wanna see another Def Squad album! Erick Sermon and Keith Murray!
DJ Booth: Absolutely! Well, you guys are friends; make some calls, make it happen!
Redman: I know!
DJ Booth: Fellas, last month we featured one of your singles, “Mrs. International,” at DJBooth.net. We know you guys prefer the women who roll up the blunts and make the food, but what are a few other important qualities that you’re lookin’ for in a prospective female?
Method Man: I don’t know… I just like ‘em to be nice. Just be nice to me.
DJ Booth: Red?
Redman: You’ve gotta… ach... besides havin’ pretty feet, you have to generate some cash. You have to be on the move, you have to be quality. Like the record say, you got to be international, you’ve gotta be able to step anywhere in the world and make it happen—I need that kind of chick.
DJ Booth: Okay, so an independent woman who’s very nice, rolls up blunts, and makes food, that is your ideal chick.
Redman: Well, she ain’t exactly gotta roll my blunts, ‘cause I can roll my own blunt, man. She ain’t gotta roll a blunt as long as she can step in the building and make me shine.
DJ Booth: Okay. And, more importantly, she doesn’t mind that you’re rolling the blunt. Obviously, that would be a problem.
Redman: Absolutely! You can’t mind it if I wanna smoke.
DJ Booth: Gotcha, very nice. Guys, we took a hell of a lot of reader questions, and narrowed that pile down to five. The first one comes from Brent of Baltimore, Maryland, and he wrote, “Why are Redman & Method Man not on the Rock the Bells 2009 tour lineup, and furthermore, who needs to be shot because of this?”
Method Man: [laughs] I dunno, man… maybe you should talk to the same people that didn’t book us on the last one either. I mean, I don’t know, these things happen—plus, we’ve got a great tour goin’ on ourselves, so if we come to your town come see us.
DJ Booth: Did you guys piss anybody off over at Guerilla Union? What happened?
Redman: Yo, I love Guerilla Union, man. Actually since they started, they’ve had us on the majority of the tours, so if I miss a couple it’s no thing. I mean, we ain’t had new material out. They would’ve loved to have had us on the tour headlinin’, but, you know, we ain’t come out with new material in like 10 years, and they had to keep that door open for other artists that been bangin’ as well. So I understand that. Since we got this album out, I know definitely we will be on the next Rock the Bells.
DJ Booth: Second question comes from mmmoore1127 of Naptown, Indiana, and he wrote, “What are the chances that you convince Hollywood, a studio, that the world needs a How High sequel?”
Redman: I’ll put it like this, man: to any movie studio that wanna pick it up, even Universal, who had the movie. As far as How High 2, we did seven years of promotion. That’s something you can’t pay for—matter of fact, that promotion right there would’ve cost ‘em like 20 million dollars, all the promotion that we do. They can go outside their building right now and ask anybody on the street that’s a fan of Red & Meth, and say, “Would you like a How High 2 movie?” and they would [say] yes. So I would let ‘em know that they’ve got seven years of promotion in the can right now, and [we’re] still promotin’, but we’re about to shut it down if we don’t get no down for it, can you dig it?
DJ Booth: So, guys, if I make some phone calls and I set something up on your behalf, can I get a cameo in the film?
DJ Booth: Okay, so you’re gonna have a part for a suburban white guy?
Method Man: Absolutely!
DJ Booth: Okay, well then I’m gonna make some phone calls when we get off this one.
Method Man: Hey, listen: I know you know some big players, too—you ask any of your people if they wanna buy the movie, come buy the movie. We’ve got a new idea and everything, we’ll give ‘em the movie. We need 20 million.
DJ Booth: Okay, we’ll get a treatment on the table and we’ll make it happen…
DJ Booth: Next question, guys, comes from “Talent 4 Da Fam” from Columbus, Ohio, and he wrote, “On his debut album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, Asher Roth has a record entitled “Blunt Cruisin’,” however, the track is really missing something. So, since you guys are the undisputed kings of the smoking anthem, what suggestions would you make if he decided to go back in and re-record?”
Redman: Oh, I’ve gotta hear the record to make that statement. I can’t really go off that statement, I’ve gotta hear the record.
DJ Booth: Okay, so let’s spin the question and say, when you’re making a smoking anthem, what are some of the key elements that you infuse?
Method Man: Weed! [laughs]
Method Man: Lots of weed.
Redman: Weed and… what kind of weed. And if your city smoke the most, what’s the name of your city, where it’s at, and what do y’all call it.
DJ Booth: But, if it was that simple, everybody would make good smoking anthems, and the reality is, they don’t.
Meth & Red: Yeah…
DJ Booth: Fourth question comes from Rizzo of Cedar Rapids, Iowa—you guys got some fans out in the sticks—and he wrote, “How much ganja, on average, do you guys smoke daily, and what city produces the best bud you’ve ever smoked?”
Method Man: First question is, I don’t know. Nobody really knows how much weed they smoke, ‘cause you’ve got the short term memory loss. And I like Amsterdam, ‘cause there’s such a big variety and you can get hash—you can’t get hash everywhere you go out here.
DJ Booth: Okay, Amsterdam is Method’s choice. Red, what would be your best city?
Redman: Northern California, baby! And Oregon, up around there, and the middle parts around there and the Bay? Yessir!
DJ Booth: Got that nice Pacific breeze.
DJ Booth: Last reader question, guys, comes from Brandon of Wisconsin. He wrote, “Have you ever thought about what your career would be like if you did not have the presence of weed in the studio?”
Method Man: It would probably be the same for me.
DJ Booth: How about you, Red?
Redman: If I didn’t have weed in the studio, or weed in my life?
DJ Booth: If you could not record while high.
Redman: It would be the same… I’d be more of a pain in the ass.
DJ Booth: For who?
Redman: For me.
DJ Booth: [laughs] Okay.
Redman: I’d be more picky. But I think I’d be a little bit more phenomenal, ‘cause I tried it and I was clean as a whistle on that motherf*cker but I was a pain in the ass ‘cause I got too choosy.
DJ Booth: So would you say the creative process is easier and comes to you more naturally while high?
Method Man: [laughs] Ask anybody that smokes that question and they’ll tell you it kind elevates what you’re already dealin’ with. If you’re already a very creative person, it makes you even more creative, and that’s just my opinion.
DJ Booth: All right. I know plenty of people who smoke weed and they have nothing to offer the world once they’re high, so obviously it all depends.
Method Man: [laughs] Well, it depends on how you came into the habit; if you was just sittin’ on the couch playin’ video games, every time you ‘re sittin’ on the couch playin’ video games you’ll feel like you’ve gotta smoke one. For some people it’s the movies, they’ve gotta smoke before they go to the movies. Maybe some people do it who write books, smoke a little joint before they go in. You know, people that write rhymes, same thing: smoke a little blunt and get it in.
DJ Booth: If I’d gotten high before this interview, there’s no telling how much fun we would’ve had today!
Method Man: Yeah, you crazy, man.
DJ Booth: [laughs] Fellas, May 19th, Blackout 2. For everybody who has longed for this album for the past 10 years, why do they need to go scoop up a copy as soon as it’s available?
Method Man: It’s something that I think everybody can get ahold of. If they really miss Red & Meth and never been to one of our shows, they know that this album is a reflection of all that right there. So it’s a definite must-buy, and if you don’t take our word for it you’ll see the critic approval when it drops.
DJ Booth: Red, you echo all of Meth’s sentiments?
Redman: Yes, absolutely.
DJ Booth: All right. Fellas, one of you go ahead and give a website, a MySpace page, so people can find out more about you and the release.
Method Man: You can find me on that Twitter sh*t, @therealmef, myspace.com/methodman.
DJ Booth: Do you guys actually Twitter yourselves, or do you have impostor Twitterers Twittering for you?
Method Man: I don’t Twitter yet, my sh*t just got put up, but I plan on getting’ it in.
Redman: I’m about to get a… not a phone, but the f*ckin’...
Female Voice: Kyte!
Redman: Kyte! I’m about to get a Kyte, and I’m gonna be live on it, so hit me in a week or so!
DJ Booth: Sounds good. Fellas, thank you so much for joinin’ me inside the DJ Booth. The best of luck!
Methed Man: A’ight.