Two of the most iconic and innovative hip-hop artists of the last two decades, Method Man and Redman got their start with Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad respectively in the golden age of East Coast versus West Coast hip-hop. After teaming up in the mid-'90s they have produced two full-length albums as a team, been featured together on countless tracks and dabbled in film and television—not only making music, but building themselves a hip-hop empire. The Source caught up with Reggie Noble, aka Redman, as the pair of hip-hop royalty pulled into a show in Pittsburg, and chatted about up and coming acts, How High 2, and the future of the industry.
SW: Being a hip-hop innovator for the last 20-plus years, what do you think the next 20 years holds for hip-hop?
RM: More expansion, more cross-promotion. There's some guys out there that actually don't have nothing to do with hip-hop, it's more of a business tool. I'm glad businesses are starting to see that hip-hop is a universal language. That's the point we've been trying to get across. If it wasn't for hip-hop the world would be f**** up right now. There wouldn't be any understanding between each race. We wouldn't understand each other, we wouldn't communicate the way we do. I think hip-hop eased racial tension. In a way, it gave an open door to anyone who listened to music that liked hip-hop to be understood as a person and understood as a culture what they're trying to bring.
SW: You and Meth are fans of the up-and-coming A$AP Crew, what do you think sets them apart?
RM: Redman and Meth have love for them. What I like personally about A$AP Crew is first off, they know the world don't turn without a little bit of respect and acknowledgment and having an appreciation for the generation before you.
A$AP firm knows how to work the crowd like a '90s dude. They go out and earn it when a crowd isn't with them, and they get the respect they deserve on stage.
Big-ups to the A$AP crew. The crew is doing a great job with keeping the quote, unquote "hip-hop" alive. Not many new artists understand the word hip-hop and what we built, and how to keep that going.
SW: When can we expect Muddy Waters 2 to come out?
RM: Next year, maybe next spring. Why? Because I'm independent, I'm paying for samples out of my pocket and I want to make sure my i's and t's are crossed. Before then will be the Preload album (Muddy Waters 2: The Preload EP), songs that were not fitting the fabric of Muddy Waters 2.
SW: Muddy Waters 2 was scheduled to be released in late 2013, why has it taken longer than expected?
RM: If people don't know, I'm very self-contained. Red and Meth are self-contained. We do most of the work ourselves. He's more on the movie side, I do the engineering at home in my studio. I get shit done.
Just knowing and learning from dealing with Def Jam with samples and how to go about it the right way, I'm very big on quality control. This is a key pointer for other artists, quality control is one of the biggest things. Making sure quality control is getting done. What I've noticed is you're paying for the samples make sure publishing is correct. Waiting for answers to come back and forth it's a big mess and it always takes more time than expected. Now I'm more reasonable with my planning.
SW: What can you tell us about How High 2? Will it be written by Dustin Lee Abraham like the first?
RM: We have a different writer. Dustin is always our boy. Understand Red and Meth, like I said, we are very self-contained. You might not see the credits, but our ideas are defiantly 70 percent of that first movie. With Dustin I guess it was just a move that we had to make an executive decision. Do we want to go that route? We had to move fast. We got some writers that came up with a pretty dope idea for us. The story had to be epic and the guys that wrote it did a very good job. Universal opened the door back up and set us up over there.
I just saw a Dumb and Dumber 2 preview, and it looked great. It just made me feel even better about doing How High 2 because Jim Carrey came back and did Dumb and Dumber 2.
SW: Any news on your shoe store/women's shoe line?
RM: I'm not going to forget you women. I'm working on the website called Intoenesia, it's a women's lifestyle website. What I learned is I don't have to spend my money all the time. I cross promote with hip-hop, that's the new way.
Redman wants to do a shoe and everybody knows it. Anyone who has a shoe to get across, a promotional shoe with a red heel or something, I'm here for it.
SW: What do you think about Oregon?
RM: I used an Oregon audience for a new record I did. The audience was so hype I had to get some audio. I love Oregon. They got the bomb weed and bomb-ass chicks and grow bomb-ass weed.
SW: What do you think about the upcoming marijuana legalization vote in Oregon?
What the f*** are ya'll waiting for? Don't get caught up in labs. Do right by the patients, not by the public, by your patients and by your welfare of your state.
Redman and Method Man
With special guests: B-Real (Cypress Hill), Berner & Smoke DZA
8 pm. Tue., Nov. 4
Midtown Ballroom, 51 NW Greenwood Ave.
$32.50-75. Tickets at bendticket.com