Listen closely. If you don’t smoke bud, have never smoked bud, are against bud, or have recently arrived from another planet and have no idea what bud is, please hop, skip, and a jump away and read another article.
WARNING – If you are going to continue to read this, I am in no way responsible for you catching a contact high.
These two coming together was destiny – magical even, in my opinion. On one side, you have an incredible edgy wordsmith from Brick City, NJ killing the mic like it’s a matter of life or death. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s Redman, one of my favoritist rap artist of all time! Wait is ‘favortist’ even a word? Doesn’t matter. Is now. Look, I don’t know where you were when his solo album came out (Dare Iz a Darkside), but I know exactly where I was – a group home is Orange, NJ. Yup, I was in a group home on Heywood Ave. down the street from Scotland Rd. where I would hang out and drink 40’s of Crazy Horse and Crooked Eyes aka St. Ides! Man, I can still taste that malty ghetto garbage as I type this. You have no idea what it’s like to be chilln’ wit the fellaz when somebody comes driving by playing Redman music for all to hear through a sound system so ridiculous the driver should be dead from listening to it.
I already had the D.I.A.D.S. cassette tape and not long after that bought Method Man’s Tical. Listen, I was in hip-hop heaven. Those two tapes were in my army fatigue pockets at the same time when Illmatic was holding it down in my Walkman. What’s a Walkman you ask? Google it cause I’m from the stone age. Yeah, I was black’n out to those two albums way before Blackout! existed. Over a thousand 40-ounces, a few jails, and a couple institutions later I would finally be able to purchase the album hip-hop heads were waiting for all around the globe.
Wait, let me rewind some… first I remember hearing How High. Hooooooooow Hiiiiigh! This is the all-time greatest weed song!
[Verse 1: Method Man]
Scuse me as I kiss the sky
Sing a song of six pence, a pocket full a rye
Who the fuck want to die for their culture
Stalk the dead body like a vulture
Tical get, hmmm
Blacker than your blackest stallion
Hit your house’n projects
I represent the Shaolin my nigga
Hell yes, Apocalypse now, the gun blow
It be goin down, diggy diggy down diggy down down
[Verse 1: Redman]
While the planets and the stars and the moons collapse
When I raise my trigga finga all y’all niggaz hit the deck!
Cause ain’t no need for that, hustlers and hardcores
Raw to the floor raw like Reservoir Dogs (roof)
The Green-Eyed Bandit can’t stand it
With more Fruitier Loops then that Toucan Sam Bitch
Plus, the Bombazee got me wild
(Fuckin’ with us) is a straight suicide
If you’d never heard that song, it’s about time you do. How High came out in 1995. Damn, sounds like I said 1895, but yeah it came out in ’95 and six years later it became a movie starring ’em. If this doesn’t make it legendary, I don’t know what does. Method Man from the WuTang Clan and Redman from the Def Squad rapping and making a movie together? I wish I had a DeLorean and Doc’s flux capacitor so I could travel back in time right now.
Blackout! was one of the most anticipated albums ever born in hip-hop. I mean, my gang’ve guys knew it was gonna happen, we just didn’t know when. Then 1999 came and that baby got delivered. “The Blackout! album is here!” I went straight to the liquor store, grabbed me a 40 and blunts, then hit up my plug for the best weed they could provide. I had already grabbed the album from Dazz Records in my hometown of Camden, NJ. That record shop is closed now but Dazz had all the pop’n hip-hop artists come through when their albums dropped. It was truly a great record store and it’s a tragedy most will never have the pleasure of visiting it.
Ok, back to the future: I’m ready now. I got everything I need to begin my hip-hop ritual: poured out some drank to the homies who no longer wit us, the L’s are rolled, and the seal and plastic are ripped off the CD case. Time to drop this cd in my box and hear some greatness!
As expected, the album starts off with some Cheech & Chong-ish, hippy type bungalow melodies and get-high talk. Right after that the song, the title track drops. Redman set it off like:
[Verse 1: Redman]
It’s Funk Doc, where the weed at, bitch?
I speed backwards down a one-way from cops, see that shit?
Believe that shit, slaughter straight to camcorder
I’m Too Hot for TV, rap draw water
My windpipe’s attached to project boilers
You yell, “Turn the heat down!”
My voice DVD ’round sound so I’m heard round town
The chances are y’all leaving ’round now
Wait later, we’ll make front page paper
Date raper with juvenile eighth graders
Hit the high school and 187 Caesar
When I bust y’all need to back four acres
Doc y’all and that’s my man Jabberjaw
The shitlist ready, who next to scratch off?
I’m from the underground, my sound lift
Platform shoes to bitches, 400 pounds
Did Red just make a joke in that last bar about fat females? Hell yeah he did. Lines written like that in 2018 would will have social media deep in their feelings, but back in ‘99, Al Bundy would be proud of that bar fasure. After Red’s lines, Method Man comes in with his own darts (that’s Wu Tang slang for bars, if you didn’t know). He go:
[Verse 2: Method Man]
And I’m the street talking, dog walking
Approach me with extreme caution
Oh now you forcing my hand to rock your cradle often
I’m hot scorching but stone cold like Steve Austin
If you smell what Tical cookin’
Ain’t tryna see central bookin so tell ya goon stop lookin’
Know what you did last summer so I started hookin’
You past shooken off an open can of ass-whoopin’
Ain’t no tomorrows in the Method’s little shop of horrors
Go ask your father who to bother from the hill to harbor
You know the saga, marijuana blunts and Goldschlager
With deadly medley, y’all ain’t ready for Shakwon and Reggie
Don’t even bother, the radio for back-up, alright then
Your man got slapped up, extorted for his ice an’
Street life is triflin, “Body over here!”
Don’t make me pull a Tyson and bite a nigga ear
Precise and slicing jugulars, the cutthroat
Ruggeder, predator, viking, etc
People’s Champ, niggas be taking on competitors
Reaching for the microphone, relax and light a bone
Straight from the catacomb, the Children of the Corn
That don’t got a clue, prepare for Desert Storm
Ok, I’m back, but would you please look at those majestic bars again? By this point I’m choking on weed smoke just rewinding the track and I know I shouldn’t because I want to play it all the way through to see if this epicness is consistent. But nope! I had to rewind it. I waited years for this and some of my folk will never be able to hear it due to them passing away on these evil streets. I’m drinking this drink and smoking this bud for them while getting my mind blown by two of the greatest artists in hip-hop culture.
Another favorite song of mine off this epic album is Run 4 Cover feat. Ghostface Killa and Streetlife. If that’s not enough, the track is produced by RZA too—vintage basements, ashy track RZA. When Red says:
Grass smoker, in the cut for the lawnmower
I water, I ride the whale that ate Jonah
Over, your faced wit the black cape over
You woke up four gorillas wit a makeover
… I dropped my 40 and it shattered on the ground. Bottom line is this album is packed with more bars than a Snicker’s factory. If you’ve never heard this album, I take it you just woke up out of a coma. Get this album and add it to your collection of incredible emcees. In my book, Red and Meth are one of the top-5 rap collaborators of all time.