September 13, 2001

Seeing Red

Print More

Nowadays, a rapper cannot just produce and create an album as a solo venture. Perhaps this is due to the recent trend of hip-hop collaboration (artists are producing plenty of CDs, featuring twenty members of their own crews). Of course, Malpractice, the new album by Redman, has plenty of featured artists, including Missy Elliott, George Clinton, Scarface, and Method Man, who skipped the Method Man/Redman concert at Cornell in 2000.

Redman’s skills are not limited, but they are unique and appeal only to a select audience. His beats are choppy, and his lyrics rhyme only half of the time. But at least the skits that appear periodically are well-written, and his background music is usually well selected. The “Jerry Swinger Stickup” skit is quite funny, even though it has that played-out story of a black gangsta whose girl is sleeping with a dorky white businessman.

The biggest problem with the skits, however, is that you rarely know who the actors are and what the artist was thinking when he decided that he needed to copycat Saturday Night Live skits instead of writing more rap songs.

That said, being that most albums nowadays don’t surpass fifteen tracks, this 23-track album doesn’t give one much to complain about as far as length goes. The bonus track, “Smash Sumthin,'” is the album’s one radio hit, with a great classical intro and a melody reminiscent of old James Bond themes. “Enjoy Da Ride” (featuring the Meth, Saukrates, and Streetlife) includes a rather surprising rendition of the Inspector Gadget theme in the background, and fast flowing lyrics. “Dat Bitch” is another good track, with Redman going head to head with the leading producer herself, Missy Elliot.

Yet, that’s about it. One humorous skit and three redeeming tracks aren’t worth the price of an album, especially since Redman hasn’t yet imposed his copyright on and Morpheus. To be honest, the Redman/Method Man spin Blackout wasn’t such a chart-topper either. But, because both of these guys have the skill and the motivation to rap, it had its moments. But it’s apparent that Redman tried to shy away from his counterpart, the Meth, on this CD — not a very smart move.

There is always the possibility that the hip-hop community is getting tired of the mainstream East and West styles. If that’s you, maybe you should check out the new rappers coming out of North Carolina and St. Louis — hey, at least that’s original.

Archived article by Josh Plotnik