I miss Meth and Red.
Brought together by their mutual love of marijuana, mischief and grimy ass music, Johnny Blaze and Funk Doc will go down as one, if not the best bromance in hip-hop history.
After meeting at a Kris Kross album release party, Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad’s star stoners joined forces and lit up the late ’90s and early ’00s with their Blackout! LP and cult-classic stoner comedy How High, as well as a slew of tag-team appearances on songs by Biggie, Tupac and D’Angelo. From kissing the sky at Jay Z’s Hard Knock Life tour to coming out in nun costumes at the Hot 97 Summer Jam, the pair’s live performances never failed to entertain.
In their prime, Meth and Red were like Cheech and Chong meets Beavis and Butthead—if any of those four actually got laid.
Because the internet just loves comparing today’s rappers to heroes from the past (let’s settle this now: J. Cole is not the new Nas and never will be), it got me thinking: who, if anyone, is the closest thing to a modern day Meth and Red? Before we start, let’s lay out the strict criteria that must be met in order to qualify for 2017 Meth and Red status.
First, duos can’t be part of the same group already—Meth and Red were stars in different crews before making Blackout!, and as such, that will be respected. Second, they have to have collaborated in at least some capacity, whether it be on music or on tour. Last, but not certainly not least, they have to be homies in real life. An appetite for weed is not crucial, but it definitely helps.
With that said, let’s begin the search for the modern day Meth and Red.
Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y
On paper (the normal kind, not RAW), Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y check most of those aforementioned boxes. A long history of collaborations? Check. Leaders of their own crews? Check. Iron lungs? Triple check. In fact, Wiz and Spitta are probably the only duo on this list that could keep up with Meth and Red when the joint gets passed around. Shame the same can’t be said of Wiz’s pen game, though. With his horizontal personality, you get the feeling Meth and Red would find Curren$y a touch boring, too.
How Fly is a fan favorite, but Blackout! it is not.
Danny Brown & ScHoolboy Q
Danny Brown and ScHoolboy Q isn’t the most obvious duo. Sure, they’ve performed and recorded together numerous times—most notably on “Dope Fiend Rental” and “Flight Confirmation”—but it’s not like they’ve done anything that screams rap group waiting to happen! With that said, these guys are a fucking riot.
Last year, Q dedicated an entire Snapchat story to driving a heavily intoxicated Danny home, during which he took a leak on the side of a road and tried valiantly to do more than 10 push-ups—both of which Q clowned him for. ScHoolboy’s knack for ribbing combined with Danny’s role as the jester is a recipe for comedy. “This is the ugliest on the lineup,” Q said, pointing to Danny, during a presser for A$AP Rocky’s LONGLIVEA$AP Tour in 2012. “I feel like I’m sexy, so hey,” Danny replied.
Talk of the Detroit rapper joining Black Hippy never came to fruition, but if Danny Brown and ScHoolboy Q ever do decide to cut a record or hit the road together, we’ll have found our new Meth and Red.
A$AP Rocky & Tyler, The Creator
An A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator alliance seemed unlikely just a few years ago when their respective crews—A$AP Mob and Odd Future—were engaged in something of a cold war. In the midst of a Hodgy Beats shot and an A$AP Ant threat, however, Rocky and Tyler always spoke highly of each other. Since calling a truce and going on tour together last year, Pretty Flacko and Wolf Haley have practically become BFFs.
It’s safe to say Tyler has a smaller weed budget than Rocky, but what he lacks in THC levels, he more than makes up in personality. When you see them racing a Ferrari, fooling around in Best Buy and clowning each other in interviews, Rocky and Tyler embody that same mischievous spirit that Meth and Red possessed. Plus, the guys are naturals in front of the camera.
So far, the pair has only worked on two songs (if you count that “Freestyle 4” remix), but there’s a good chance the future holds a lot more collaborations between A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator—in whatever exciting capacity they choose.
Earl Sweatshirt & Vince Staples
Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples are on a kind of reverse Meth and Red path. Having both recorded at Syd Tha Kyd’s home studio as teenagers, Earl and Vince showcased their wicked on-wax chemistry on “epaR,” off Earl’s self-titled 2010 debut. Since linking up on “Wool”—probably the closest thing to a Blackout! cut—in 2015, the Left Coast youngsters have been more focused on developing themselves as individual artists—building towards their own Tical and Muddy Waters, if you will.
Earl and Vince may not share the same blunt-blowing, crotch-grabbing, party-crashing humor as Meth and Red—theirs is more cynical and bone dry—but they do have a similar telepathic connection when it comes to music, as showcased in the pair’s 2014 documentary, Inside the Beat. It’s only a matter of time before Earl and Vince’s paths cross again.
RetcH & Da$H
If we’re talking Method Man and Redman, it’s only right the East Coast get some love. Hailing from Hackensack, New Jersey (hence the capitalized “H” in their names), both RetcH and Da$H take the cake when it comes to John Blaze and Funk Doc’s rebellious side. RetcH wound up in jail last year for armed robbery, which makes his Instagram antics—like yelling, “fuck everybody on this train, do sum’n!” on the subway—seem like child’s play. Meanwhile, Da$H’s “Grade-A” is a middle finger to everything his teachers expected of him.
After teaming up for the La Cienega mixtape in 2012, the New Jeruz duo has all but gone their separate ways. But it’s never a dull moment when RetcH and Da$H reunite.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.