Redman Revisits "Dare Iz A Darkside" And Talks Gilla House, Saukrates

Exclusive: Redman explains why he's opting to make a sequel to his third LP in lieu of his second, and how "Reggie" was born as a mixtape during "Blackout! 2"

Last Friday (December 3), HipHopDX spoke with legendary emcee/producer/actor Redman at Def Jam's New York offices. Slouched in a leather chair with his black Nikes resting on the pool table in what Red called "the Jay-Z room," the emcee spoke to DX about his just-released album, Reggie and well as his decision to create a sequel to his 1996 effort, Muddy Waters.

Many fans are noting Red's decision to break from his traditional Erick Sermon and Rockwilder-produced Funk base on past albums for more R&B and Electronic-tinged tones on Reggie. Asked about what he's experimenting with his sound after 18 years, Redman explained, "I've got artists to take care of. I'm not naive to the game [and] I'm definitely not a sore veteran rapper," as far as changing trends. The emcee once mentored by EPMD, who now guides Gilla House, pointed to the luxurious room at his label and said, "But I want to be a boss. I want to be a Lyor Cohen." As far as the bold musical changes, Red revealed that it was not label-directed, as some have stated. "This shit right here started out as a mixtape. I was doing the [Redman & Method Man Blackout! 2 album], engineering it, and I was doing a mixtape at that time. It ended up an album."

Within that Gilla House clique is an artist familiar to underground Hip Hop fans in Saukrates. The Toronto, Ontario-based emcee/prouducer/singer appeared on Reggie's "Lemme Get 2" and "Full Nelson." Asked about their relationship, Red explained, "I met Saukrates a while ago...I heard his tapes [first]," referring to 1997's The Brick House and 1999's The Underground Tapes, which featured Common, Xzibit and O.C. Redman continued, "I got real familiar with his music and what he was doin' up there in Canada and I liked the movement they got up there, that whole Circle movement. If you do your homework on Saukrates, you'll see where Drake came from, as far as singing and rapping at the same time." The two began working on albums together for Red's 2001 effort, Malpractice, where Sauk produced "Uh-Huh." "When I put Saukrates on, he had an album out - that they're very familiar with in Canada, he's got a fan-base up there. He wasn't with a team, besides The Circle, but I knew he needed that pull. He's still reaching for that too. He needs distribution. He has a hot album with Universal Canada, but we're tryin' to get him [exposed] down here in the states." Redman hopes to change that domestic recognition as be brands Gilla House in coming years.

Another element of Redman's future is his sequel to beloved 1996 album, Muddy Waters. HipHopDX asked Redman why that album, as his first three albums: Whut? Thee Album, Dare Iz A Darkside and Muddy Waters are often debated among fans as their favorite. "Because [Muddy Waters] was one of my pivotal albums, in branching from that darkness of Dare Iz A Darkside," explained a candid Red. "I was doing a lot of drugs on Dare Iz A Darkside. I have chicks that come up to me and say, 'Yo, Dare Iz A Darkside is my favorite fuckin' album, ever.' I swear, I have not played Dare Iz A Darkside damn near since I did it. Seriously! I was so lost, I was so fucked up during that album."

Looking back to the November of 1994 album that lived up to its name, Redman was asked if the musical outcome was intended during the creative process. "Come on, I produced some of that shit on that album. I was wylin' back then. I ain't care, I was wylin'."

As news of Muddy Waters 2 has already dominated websites and blogs, Redman clarified that the album's importance may change the title. "Muddy Waters is the one that branched me out from that darkness to the light and started gettin' me to where I was. Plus, I have more concepts on there too, so that was [why]. I probably won't even call it Muddy Waters 2, 'cause that's a classic, I'll probably call it...Muddy Waters...Even Muddier."

Redman Presents...Reggie is in stores now.

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  • khordkutta

    Damn, is that why I like "Dare..." so much, Green Island is my favorite Red cut by far of all time.

  • t

    i wasn't sure what to expect when i heard red was going to try something different with reggie.however, as a die hard fan since day one i was very sounds damn good over todays sound.his lyrics are still sharp,if he were a new artist and dropped this album cats would be going crazy over this album.good job doc! just make sure the next album is longer!

  • Anonymous

    respect Duce Rivas -F*ck The World [Official Video]

  • Marco Danewon Paschal

    I gotta get this. He just showin these dudes that there is a reason why he a vet

  • Doubl Negative

    Well, this is one LP I won't cop. RnB based hip-hop is only tolerable when idiots like Solja Boy do it, not veterans I respect like Red. I only bump Reggie's first 3 joints, though.

  • junMaf*ckn

    Red is 1 of da GOATs. Top 10 dead or alive yo... Without Red there woulda never been a Canibus, Ludacris, or even an Eminem.

  • achpe2

    May not like his new stuff, but Redman will always be well respected. Too many classics to name and can outrhyme your favorite rapper today. Out of the first three albums cant pick a favorite.

  • g-hoppy


  • Anonymous

    If it takes him more then 10 YEARS to get Saukrates out...I doubt he will ever get him out. Hopefully they are still eating well, and being treated right. I remember some pretty hot stuff wayyyyyy back in the day when I was still listening to Radio on my cdplayer lol.

    • recognize

      Saukrates album is coming next year, book it, from what i've heard he's done it and ready to go it's just a matter of months now.

    • Charles ExSavior

      Man I hear that. I had FM on my Momorex Discman if I wanted to save some battery power, lol.

  • Indeed

    "Dare Iz A Darkside" is a classic, it's better than "Muddy Waters" even though "Muddy Waters" is my chit.

  • beezlebud

    lol Red's that dude I remember him sayin durin Dare iz a Darkside he was doin all kinds of drugs not jus like now where he gets baked but back then he was doin crazy ammounts of Acid n was hallucinatin all kinds of crazy shit, which from experience all I can say is im surprised Dare is a Darkside wasnt even crazier n shit jus shows his skills that he was even capable of recordin/producin and writin while doin Acid plus all the other shit he was on BEEZLEBUD hollah at me on twitter

  • Anonymous

    i got all of redmans albums but i don't belive him fully. i don't think reggie was fully his idea but edf jam certianly had a say in it's outcome.

  • damn

    damn good interview/comments.

  • Charles ExSavior

    lol... I believe Redman when he says he was fucked up making Dare Iz A Darkside. The mood in that album is definitely crazy, and his energy was unlike the majority of artists coming out at the time. I'm a Muddy Waters fan to the fullest, but joints like Bobyahed2dis and Can't Wait will get play from me in any given moment. Peace to Saukrates... I listened to some of his stuff when was my one place to go for ANYTHING underground. and Wow @ "Reggie" not being an album for the label... I guess that makes me respect Redman a little more seeing that he actually tried a new style in making his music but still keeps it true to his sound.

    • Charles ExSavior

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