At one point in time Redman was
well-regarded as one of Hip Hop’s best and most consistent artists. From 92 to
96 his three albums (Whut! Thee Album,
Dare Iz A Darkside, Muddy Waters), were all straight dope,
and a weak verse was nary found from the hilarious Brick City emcee. Despite
murdering every guest spot in sight in the late 90’s, Red‘s Doc’s Da Name and
collab with Method Man failed to
meet the lofty expectations (impossibly high in the case of Blackout). After 2001’s Malpractice, Red slowly faded out of the
spotlight and here we are 6 years later, with Redman trying to stake his claim once again.

Much has changed in this game since Red
was a platinum artist, but Ludacris
– who many maintain jacked Red‘s
style (which I don’t agee with) – has shown there is still some room for humor
in Hip Hop. Don’t be foolish enough to expect any new and improved Reggie Noble; he may not be permanently
clad in a bubble goose, timbs and a tissue stuck up his nose on that PPP shit,
but Red Gone Wild is still some good
ol’ Brick City mashin.

As his albums usually do, Red Gone
starts off with some of that “Fire,” literally. Really though, it is
really just a spark considering the infernos that Red gets cooking. Both “Bak Inda Building” and the Timbaland-produced “Put It Down” throw
some considerable gas on the flame. Red
takes it from the club (“Put It Down”), to the headphones with the Pete Rock-laced “Gimme One,” an easy
winner. The posse cut with his Gilla
crew, “Sumtn 4 Uuurbody,” doesn’t quite keep up as the beat is a bit
cookie cutter and the whole crew doesn’t pull their weight. As Redman shows over Scott Storch‘s minimal production on “Freestyle, Freestyle,” the Fuck Doc is still running in a
different lane.

As expected there is the obligatory Def
cut (“Walk In Gutta”), which also has the legendary Biz Markie joining the fray.
Unfortunately, it is only for a ho-hum hook. There is also the mandatory Rocwilder (milk carton!!) banger in the
form of “Hold Dis Blaow,” this should kick down the door at any jam. The usual
weed cut – well, one of them – is a definitely let down as Red, Snoop and Nate
don’t really make it happen over Rocwilder‘s
soft track. Thankfully the other smoke out and the always anticipated Meth collab lives up to the billing as “Blow
Treez” is real dope. Always a fan favorite, the “Soopaman Luva” saga continues
and not only is it as amusing as ever but it brings back another milk cartoner
in Hurricane G.

Much like Red‘s glove box, there
is no shortage of dope here; “Pimp Nutz” is so nice as Funk Doc dances over Vitamin
‘s plodding keys. The same goes for the Melanie Rutherford-assisted “Wutchoogonnado.” Shit, the man even
brings back DJ Clark Kent (the same
who used to produce for B.I.G. and Jay if you didn’t know), for the albums
quintessential Brick City anthem (“Dis Iz Brick City”). Hip Hop may be in a
much different place with a whole new cast of characters since Reggie‘s last album in 2001, and
definitely since his first album in 1992. No matter the year and no matter the
competition, Redman does Redman and there is no one who can
replace what he brings. Sadly, a lot of you probably know him better from How High and deodorant commercials than
from “Time 4 Sum Aksion” or “Tonight’s Da Night.” This is an all-time great
still putting it down, and this is thee album.