New Music Tuesday: Redman

Redman has always been one of those rappers you just had to listen to. His bubbly and raucous vocal style combined with what have always been hard-hitting yet ridiculous lyrics have made him both extremely fun and extremely respectable as far as modern-day rappers are concerned.

But in “Reggie,” his seventh studio album, Redman takes a new approach to his music in an attempt to branch out a bit as an artist. Think Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show;” everybody expected comedy, but what they got was something completely different, yet still surprisingly watchable.

The new record is, as Redman puts it, written in the voice of Reggie Noble, the rapper’s real name. Oddly, he calls Reggie a pseudonym, even though, ya know, it’s not, but either way the gimmick breathes life into a Redman album that’s quite a bit different from his predecessors. I don’t want to call it more serious, necessarily, just less ridiculous.

Musically, it’s about 300% more pop-friendly than anything you’ve ever heard from Mr. Raunchy in a while. EPMD’s Erick Sermon didn’t produce a single track on this album—the first time that’s ever happened—and what’s left is a gaggle of tracks that could easily find their way to Top 40 radio. “Def Jammable,” “Lift It Up,” and “Lemme Get 2” are just a few of the songs with potential to hit, but the entire album has rife with tracks that give it a level of replayability I haven’t seen in many hip-hop albums this year.

And my favorite thing about the album—no skits—something I know a handful of hip-hop purists love but I loathe because it breaks up the flow of the music. It’s just one more indication that “Reggie” is a different kind of Redman album, one that closes out the 2010 music season with a vigor only Redman could manage.

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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