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Review: Redman: “Redman presents Reggie”

redman-7

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Redman presents Reggie is the seventh solo album by Redman  and the album is a departure from the “hardcore, rugged and raw” style of old and presumably is an album by Reggie Noble – the guy behind the rap persona. So, based on past interviews, this is the character Redman offering fans a dose of who he really is at this point. But, in an age of characters, do we want a legend to give us himself? Lets find out.

“Intro”

Excellent into to Reggie. As a long-running fan of Redman, this was exactly what I wanted to hear. A song that made me what to hear more.

“That’s Where I B”

POW! Out of the gate, Reggie lets it be known – Redman is still around. He is skillful, lyrical and in the hood. That’s what “That’s Where I B” represents as Red runs down all the places that he lurks. Nice record that features the infamous DJ Kool. The song serves as an excellent way for the 40-year-old to lay the smack down on those that may be confused about who he is.

“Def Jammable”

The funk is thick and the flow is free flowing. “Def Jammable” is a nice departure from Redman’s signature flow. While it is funky as week-old collard green, it sounds fresh, unlike funktified ventures from the past (think Erick Sermon and Dr. Dre). Great song to back up the intro and “That’s Where I B.” 

“Full Nelson” featuring Ready Roc, Runt Dawg and Saukrates

“Full Nelson” slips Reggie into the run of the mill from the moment the hook comes in. Autotune? Most of the music world has dumped the tool, but Reggie uses it as an anchor. Unfortunately, Ready Roc, Runt Dawg, Saukrates and Reggie can do little to salvage this one.

“Lift It Up”

Lift it up is a full-sounding song with a mighty powerful beat. Redman sounds laid back on the song, as he has thus far in Reggie. On the song he said, “You Kat Stacking Me, going through the phone on me.” Every so often you get an old school vibe with references to “Stella’s Got Her Grove Back” and being from the “9-zero.” But, it also speaks from the point of view of a grown man that happens to indulge in some of the same thinks the kiddies do.

“All I Do” featuring Faith Evans

Reggie has some success as he drops bars over plush, R&B production with Faith Evans crooning in the background. Sound lame? Nope. Another refreshing change of pace like “Lemme Get 2.” The song is a definitive statement of how the 20-year veteran is in love with music and how it has sustained him for such a period of time. “MJ, I hope he’s hearing this song,” Reggie proclaims in a segment devoted to the King of Pop.

“Lemme Get 2”

At first the song, “Lemme Get 2” sounds lame, but soon, it is evident that Reggie scores again. “Lemme Get 2” is a welcomed moment of introspection from Reggie and friend Saukrates. “I love traveling and seeing people / showing the ignorant my color skin is equal,” he says. The hook has a bit to be desired, but overall enjoyable.

“Mic , Lights , Camera , Action”

“Its time like this when we need change, n***a,” Reggie says at the beginning of “Mic , Lights, Camera , Action.” Why Reggie is still talking about “change” when the election is over, is baffling. But, perhaps he is talking to Redman and letting him know that he’s taking over. The only other rationale is that the material is old and just got taken off the shelf. There’s a reference to the year 2009, which makes it apparent that a lot of this material has been on the shelf for sometime..

“Cheerz”

“Walked in, look cool / I flow like the pen got Red Bull,” Reggie drops. The New Jerz vet and Ready Roc get together and lyrically beat down a slow dragging organ. This is Reggie Nobel’s definitive proclamation that he is a growing veteran, a true man of respect. “Me stopping anytime, I think not,” he proclaims in the final moments of “Cheerz.” Wondering what Redman thinks.

“Rockin With Da Best”

Oddly, the song that appears to be the strangest, works the best. Rap legend Kool Moe Dee plays shotgun on “Rockin With Da Best” as Redman re-appears again, rhyming over an ominous, dark beat. The song is fairly reminiscent of Redman’s work on Dare Iz A Darkside, his second album from 1994. This is my favorite song on the album.

“Lite 1 Witcha Boi”

One for the smokers, “Lite 1 Witcha Boi” is a coming together of three titans – Method Man, Redman and Bun B. The results are lovely for the fan. The cosmos comes down to the Earth a bit, or maybe these guys actually go up. Nevertheless, Redman’s core base and new fans will be able to appreciate this one. Reggie may feel a way about it since Redman is definitely saying…some things never change. Puff. Puff. Pass.

“When The Lights Go Off” featuring Poo Bear

“When The Lights Go Off” is ambitious. It sounds like a very big record by producer King David. The problem is…it sounds like the Gilla House team was aiming for a “big record” and therefore, “When The Light’s Go Off” comes off very forced.           

“Tiger Crane Style”

“Tiger Crane Style” makes for a solid ending to Redman Presents Reggie. The record offers Redman in his traditional element of beats and rhymes. “If I carry two cannons, no time to pull out / I bust out the side of my jeans like Bruce Banner,” he spits. After a lot of songs that feature Reggie, this song is a welcomed change of pace and a fitting ending.

THE CONCLUSION

Redman presents Reggie is an uneven album. There are times when Redman seems to want people to bear witness to his evolution (Reggie Nobel) and others where he seems rooted in the glory of the past. The album is bookmarked by quality songs, but the songs that seem to highlight Reggie (the other side of Redman) are generally muddled by mediocre material. Those looking for the Redman of Muddy Waters, Dare, or Whut! Thee Album fame are certain to be a bit disappointed. Those days are gone. However, the upside is for a newer generation unattached to those classics will bear witness to a vet that still has his legs under him and a wicked jumper. The main issue is, we, the super fans, are looking for monster dunks and 360 slams.  Prayerfully, Redman will come back with out Reggie alone when he releases the anticipated Muddy Waters II. “Def Jammable” [Official Video]

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