Although it’s been over 14 years since Redman’s episode of MTV Cribs first aired, it’s long been believed that the 2001 journey through his Staten Island home was faked.
To settle the debate, Thrillist chopped it up with Redman and the show’s creators to get their take on the episode that was in fact genuine.
Nina L. Diaz, creator and executive producer of Cribs, first recalled Redman’s desire to want to show fans the reality of how he lived, not fabricate it for the cameras.
“Redman had the chops, the originality to want to really show how he lived,” Diaz says. “Other people would wait until they got this ballerific place to let us in because they had watched all these other ones like Master P, who was living in a gold Louisiana mansion. People saw that and they would say, ‘I’m not ready… You have to give me another year. I have to make some more bank.’”
With his crib, Redman wanted to portray the message that not every entertainer is rich.
“While everybody was trying to show a lavish house, the lavish life of living, that’s not always the case,” Redman says. “Not every entertainer’s living lavish. They may have a more lavish set on the street, but it’s still real for a lot of cats out here in the entertainment game. We’re okay, but we’re not rich, and that’s what I wanted to display to my fans… I always try and think about what the ‘hood would say when I do things.
“It was supposed to be my first real-estate project,” Redman adds. “I bought the place for real cheap, and I was going to fix it up and rehab it and put it back on the market. But I ended up keeping it because I just loved the space, and I loved the seclusion of it.”
Later in the conversation, Redman recalled the arrival of the camera crew.
“They show up fucking early,” Redman says. “I wanted to at least clean up a bit, since I ain’t have any real furniture in there and shit, and I thought I had a little bit of time and I didn’t. When they knocked on the door I was still sleepy-eyed and they were like, ‘You know what, this is good, let’s just roll with it. You just get back into bed and we’ll make it like we just disturbed you,’ and we played it right on out from there. Not too much setup, not too much dialogue to go over. We just winged it.
“When they were in there filming, I did have a moment of thinking, ‘I don’t want to show that my city can’t live the good and lavish life too,’” Redman continues. “But then I was like, ‘Fuck it, this isn’t about nobody else but me. I invited these guys to my house and now I got to go with it.’ This is just something that we do. Everything you see was real. It’s just everyday life for us.”
To view the full conversation, please visit Thrillist.