If anything can be said about Redman it’s that he’s been the poster boy for consistency. In a music game where yesterday’s rappers try to keep up with Generation Y by emulating the latest style and thus changing up their whole sound, Redman has continuously been that gritty MC from the Bricks that Marshall Mathers has at the top of his all-time list. The chronic-induced lyrics, zany metaphors and steady-as-that-time-of-the-month flow has kept Reggie Noble in our ears a full clip and some extra shells. And he’s still popping off.
Now I’m not one to advocate the use of Auto-Tune to make hip-hop music (maybe R&B). I think it’s a cheap ploy that rappers use to mask their lack of talent and skills, but I’d be lying if I said Redman didn’t take that electronic sound to a new, entertaining and maybe even satirical level on Pancakes And Syrup. By combining his madcap style and creative lyrical content with the reason T-Pain can afford ridiculous $12,000 top hats, Reggie was able to make joints like “I’m Sick,” ”Haterz” and “F.L.Y.” as comedic as groove-able.
But regardless of how much fun Red sounds like he’s having when he’s making “computer love,” he proves that he’s still the same old Reggie on “Mr. Jigsaw” and “Soopaman Syrup,” where he spits, “They seen me in ‘How High,’ they say I’m dumb funny/A grown man making moves like Young Money/I never share my weed, you get none, sonny/you either run with me or you run from me/stay outta mine before it be part 2 of a Colombine… Don’t stand to close, boy, it’s not proper/you seen the DVD on Math Hoffa/buy weed everywhere. I’m a grasshopper/no bodyguard, baby. I’m Kev Costner/veteran, stay on the medicine/no sleep. Working late nights – Letterman/shine like I’m blood relative to Edison.” Yep, same old Red.
While the mixtape served more as an example of the levels of nuttiness that Mr. Noble can reach rather than an actual body of work where he fully demonstrates the mythical beast that is Redman, Pancakes & Syrup was a damn good appetizer to the main course, Reggie. And even though hearing Red experiment with a new element and actually creating something worthwhile, I’m hoping that it was just that: an experiment. Hip-hop needs Reggie to continue to showcase the Soopa MC that showed us that there wuz a darkside before Joseph Cartagena did. —Omar Mazariego
Hottest Joint: “Mr. Jigsaw”
Weakest Joint: “Big Spendaz”
Rating System: G’d Up (Gangst’d Up), A (All good in every hood); B (Block Leveler); C (Could’ve been better/worse); D (Doodoo); F (Fugazy)