I decided to rock out all weekend with one of my favorite albums of 2007. For me, Redman’s ‘Red Gone Wild’ recalls the days of rolling up my trees in White Owl cigars and enjoying some ice cold Olde Gold. These were the early days of the Rudolph Giuliani administration and until we had been arrested for puffing els in the park one night I hadn’t realized that the fun loving weed smoking lifestyle was over. I didn’t feel like I needed to own a Maybach to relate to my favorite rappers either. It was always about the flow for rappers back then. That’s all I really care about now, but some people will argue that how a rapper dresses and walks makes him the nicest. Nah mayne, give me a nigga that’s sick with the pen any day over a dude that wears a name buckle and doesn’t write down his verses. To tell you the truth, most niggas shouldn’t be writing down their shit since it isn’t even worth the paper it will be printed on.

So leading up to the KanYe West album release of ‘Graduation’ I decided to bump all the albums that I have enjoyed the most so far this year. Let’s start with ‘Red Gone Wild’. Redman hasn’t had a studio album in about six years and his rhyme flow hasn’t been diminished during his absence. Redman loves to rhyme. He loves to insert anecdotes, pop culture references and punchlines wherever he can drop them. Redman is one of the emcees who can show us that he is having fun when he rhymes. Most rappers are too busy faking their thug style to smile. From his first album Redman’s persona of stoner rabble rouser has been balanced by a rhyme style that focuses on slick wordplay and pinpoint precision. ‘Red Gone Wild’ is more of a continuation of the ‘Doc’s The Name’ – ‘Muddy Waters’ character then the Redman who released the ‘Malpractice’ CD. I can allow Redman a lackluster, unfocused effort because his catalog is so original. ‘Dare Iz A Darkside’ should both be on your GOAT 50 list and and ‘Whut Thee’ should be in your top 20. I’m just happy that someone that has been to the top of the mountain as far as touring and acclaim still loves to be an emcee.

How many other rappers have been in this game for over a decade and still genuinely love to rock the mic? I have the feeling that Redman would do this shit for free and I also have the feeling that is essentially what is happening with his deal at Def Jam. There’s virtually no way to recoup album production costs without placing several ringtone songs on your CD. The classic boom bap has been replaced with the newer blip beep and the only people that seem to be able to produce this kiddie brain rap weren’t making tracks for Redman. How the hell does one of Hip-Hop’s best albums languish around the retailers with only about 150K sold? That’s why I am still bumping this CD. There is fire for days on this joint if you are into listening to rappers that can really rhyme, but since this is a new day in rap music, maybe not so much.

From ‘Fire’ all the way to ‘Suicide’(no Sean Kingston) there is classic Redman and Def Squad all over this CD. Okay, I could have done without so much Gilla House entries, but it still doesn’t undermine the listening pleasure of the album. My favorite track is ‘Wutchoogonnado’ for the Bob James sample and Redman’s spit. “Walk In Gutta’ reunites the Def Squad and ‘Hold Dis Blaow!’ is more classic Redman goodness. I almost want to go roll up a blunt and listen to this album again. Except there’s no smoking allowed here in my mom’s basement. If you stole ‘Red Gone Wild’ back in February you should support real Hip-Hop and Redman’s weed habit by going to Target and picking up a real copy with liner notes and shit. Listen, one hundred and fifty thousand white dudes can’t all be wrong?

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