You gotta give people their flowers while they’re still here, but when it comes to Redman, a sack of buddha is probably better.
Since his arrival in the early ’90s with the cosign from EPMD, Redman has established himself as one of hip-hop’s unsung heros, and one of the craziest motherfuckers to ever bless us with music. The dude is consistently all the way out of pocket with his ridiculously nonsensical, drug-fuelled, self-deprecating rhymes, coming across as this schizophrenic and oddly affable ghetto superstar. It’s quite a feat, and one of the best things about the guy is that he doesn’t take himself seriously in the least. Case in point, if you haven’t seen the infamous MTV Cribs episode featuring his regular ass house in Newark, NJ, you really haven’t lived. But that’s Redman for ya. He’s just all the way out there. Plus, he can rhyme well, he’s dropped a few classics, AND he’s best buds with Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan, making for one of the best duos in hip-hop.
After a classic debut in 1992’s Whut? Thee Album, Redman dropped the comparatively dour follow-up Dare Iz A Darkside in 1994. The slower, funkier, and woozier feel of the record turned off some folks, and Redman himself later shared that he was in a dark place during its recording. Despite that, the record still has some really great moments, where Red goes off and gets into a zone, hitting you repeatedly with the wildest and most out-there shit possible. “Noorotic” is one of those standouts, with the phat-bass, endless quotables from Redman (“Motherfuckers from the East Coast to the West Coast, to your breakfast toast!” makes me grin even though it makes no sense), and that overly hostile but catchy hook, it all comes together to make a really surreal listen. We don’t deserve Red.