This song's charms – a very basic beat hidden in slightly cacophonous production, the vocal distortions – reveal themselves pretty quickly, but deepen on subsequent listens. With the right video treatment, this could really be a big single for Redman I think.
But then, Reggie probably wouldn't give a damn. Though I've always felt that Lil Wayne owed Redman royalties for stealing his whole persona and career, in truth, Redman is not unhinged and insane the way Wayne is. He's not an outsized persona that cleverly masks average mic skills. He's just a gleefully simple dude who likes his weed, his women and having a good time.
Of course, one shouldn't see the word "simple" and think that Redman isn't a beast on the mic. Because he is a beast on the mic. But for all the boasts in his material – and there's plenty here ("i'll blow ya mind out/with a dynamite/Louis Vuitton belt") – Redman is the quintessential hip-hop journeyman. He diligently, consistently churns out very strong material to a small, dedicated fanbase that enjoys him for being Redman, nothing more. He is uninterested in doing anything other than making the music he wants to make for the audience that rides and dies for him.
There really is something to be said for that. At this point in the life of hip hop, journeymen are the ones we look to to make sure hip hop is still there, alive and kicking. And artists like Redman will never get the attention and the accolades, even though many of us would be quick to cite Reggie as one of the best currently working. And I'm sure he'd be fine with that.
The hip-hop journeymen do it for the love of it. In ways that are far less cliche and sentimental than that statement intimates.
I haven't watched a music awards show in ages. And errybody knows I think BET is largely responsible for all the ills in the black community and that I think everyone involved with it will go to that level of hell with the lawyers and Judas.
But it looks like BET stepped its game up in one major way on the BET Hip Hop Awards this year by having 5 cyphers with an array of emcees, all of whom acquitted themselves quite nicely (even Kanye who, with this performance and his Monster verse, seems poised to be the emcee that people foolishly think he already is).
But this one was my favorite:
Wait…wait…run that back again. Watch Cube and Run closely:
The word "insouciant" jumped into my head when I watched Ice Cube and Rev. Run in this video cause real heads use that word all the time lol. Cube and Run perform like they don't even know that they are (ostensibly) too old for this form. There is not a single moment of doubt in either of them. The confidence is not even confidence, man. They are beyond all that.
This is what it is to watch masters do what masters do.
I'm reminded watching this that the emcees around the way that always struck me the deepest as a kid were the unassuming cats who stepped into the cypher and ran the shit almost like it was second nature. Offhandedly. It wasn't boastful. Not really. It wasn't showy – with lots of moving around and arms punctuating the line.
Naw son, it was death by a thousand shallow cuts. And you ain't even know you was cut and bleedin and dying until a few seconds after dude dropped the mic.
Or as Run says here:
"stunning, cunning and funny 'cause Run be running this art"
*places fist over mouth* *jumps up and down* *gives Run dap* OOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!!
Before Tupac and Lord Jamar, LL Cool J was the emcee I wanted to be like. I went through a stupid number of cassette tapes of Bigger and Deffer before I finally got a CD and treated it like the Holy damn Grail.
As we all know, over time LL’s attention was split and he fell off hard, releasing shitty album after shitty album. But there was a brief period in the late 90s — you know, around the time he was beefin wit Canibus — when I thought LL was going to reassert his dominance and become the longest running great rapper alive.
This verse is one of the main reasons why:
I’m incredible I mix up shit like cake mix
Keep it blazin hot, rhymes burn to keep you frost bit
MC’s is assed out cause they lost it
Peep my foundation, the way I reinforce it
I monitor movements precisely
Makin niggas hit high notes like the Isleys
Finally some asses I can touch up
Tie em to the grill of my Six pop the clutch up
Hush up I rush up, inside your cut
Make you puss up, then bust up, cause my shit bumps
This Don’s Trumps, kill straight cats and all chumps
Cause “Life is like a box of chocolate,” Mr. Gump
Uh, the ultimatum, lets abbreviate em
LL platinum again, don’t you hate ‘im?
A thin line between darkness and sunshine
Five Percenters that was raised on swine
Known to be wise, and you wise to understand
Bringin me drama’s a handstand in quicksand
I’ve been hot so long, I’m immune
Your rap career get cut short like Poom-Pooms
Simply – economy of phrasing. There are no extra words in this verse. Every word hits hard.
Treach has always been the heart, soul AND fire of Naughty By Nature. Vin anchored all of this nicely. On this joint Vin actually steps his game up and spits a lil fire himself. It's straightforward and dope as shit!
See I'm a one man dynasty; motherfucker every artist on your label don't equal half of me Rippin lyrics like they supposed to be, most'll be plottin dreamin and scheamin to get close to me Cause I spit shit, rip shit quick, and I'm sick wit lyrics to mash that ass is what I'm equipped wit So fine-tune that bullshit, bring your best competitor I'll be on that ass as if I was a fuckin Predator Niggaz wanna battle at a show, yeah I'll set it up I go toe to toe, blow for blow and leave it wetted up My time to hypnotize you, OK? Never disrespectin the laws of Nature — Obey Yo' Thirst Vin Rock'll serve as the quenchin Here's the last thing I'd like to mention That when it's time to set it off, trust me son I ain't the motherfuckin click, I'm the motherfuckin one I do my dirt all by my lonely..
Sony sucks and won't let you embed the video (watch it here), but peep this live performance of the song. Drop the needle at 0:54 for this the whole performance. Treach seems a bit bored but Vin brings the requisite fire for his verse.