On this day, Dec. 8, in hip-hop history...

1998: In a year that many view as a transitional year in hip-hop, and a massively successful year for the Def Jam label in particular, seasoned veteran to the game Redman released his fourth studio album Doc's Da Name 2000 exactly 20 years ago today. 

Having dropped three successful solo albums in the eight years since the night fellow Def Squad member, Erick Sermon, famously invited a young Reggie Noble onto a New York stage to spit a life-changing freestyle at an EPMD show, Redman stayed true to form with Doc's Da Name 2000. With intense, often comically clever rhymes that the Newark, N.J. MC had become known for, mixed with familiar production from Rockwilder, the aforementioned Erick Sermon and Reggie himself, the album carried on the momentum that was built off of Def Squad's El Niño, which was released earlier in 1998. The LP contained hilarious skits strategically laced throughout, and much of the album's lyrical content showed tons of love for Redman's home state of New jersey, more specifically the city of Newark, to which the Funk Doc is infinitely loyal.

Funk Doctor Spock released three singles from Doc's Da Name 2000, the first of which, the Rockwilder-produced "I'll Bee Dat," was released in October of 1998 and through its lyrics, the Brick City legend told the game that he knows exactly who he is and owns it. Next up was "Da Goodness," which saw Redman and Busta Rhymes matching each other's infectious energy over a dope guitar sample from Buddy Merril's "Caravan." The project's third and final single release, "Let Da Monkey Out," was the very first song on the 24-track album, and was eventually featured in the 2005 George Clooney flick, Syriana. 

Doc's Da Name 2000 proved to be Redman's most commercially successful solo project, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and becoming certified platinum by the RIAA in under two months following its release.

Having long been recognized as one of the game's most revered lyricists, Redman's fourth solo LP earned him the commercial success he so much deserved and paved the way for his first full-length collaboration with partner in rhyme, Method Man, which would drop less than a year later in the form of their critically acclaimed Blackout! album.

Def Jam

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