It’s been more than six years since Redman’s last album, and it’s not like the Funk Doc has been featured on many other artists’ tracks during that span. Simply put, Redman has been nonexistent in the music scene since the release of 2001’s Malpractice, but listening to his latest album, Red Gone Wild, you’d have no idea he’s been away at all.
Gone Wild’s standout track is the Timbaland-produced first single “Put It Down.” Timbo’s not at his best, but the constant kick-drums and synths drive the uptempo beat, which Redman rides with ease. On “Hold Dis Blaow!,” Rockwilder – who has produced many of Redman’s past hits – delivers a dark, sleekly pounding beat to accompany Red’s signature flow.
Now these two aren’t much better than the other tracks – and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes Gone Wild so solid. Despite his long hiatus, Red has managed to deliver an album that’s consistently strong throughout. Even 23 tracks (three of which are skits), there’s not much filler here.
That’s not to say the album is flawless. There are some songs, like “Freestyle Freestyle” and “Sumtn 4 Urrbody,” which could have been better had the beats not been so similar to previously released material. Produced by Scott Storch, “Freestyle,” with its overall simplicity, is reminiscent of Clipse’s “Grindin.’ ” “Sumtn” is comparable to Lil’ Wayne’s “Fireman” with a hook featuring a Weezy sound-a-like. Despite their obvious problems, these songs are still solid and surrounded by above-par tracks like “Wutchoogonnado.”
Redman is well known for his collaborations with fellow Wu-Tang member Method Man, and while he makes an appearance on the album, the results are unspectacular. Other big names like Snoop Dogg also deliver forgettable performances.
It’s hard to be disappointed with Gone Wild. And unless you were thinking Red would be rusty, it’s difficult to imagine anyone being surprised either. In other words, Red provides what he’s always provided: mischievous rhymes and a general disregard for anything too serious. His eccentric, in-your-face flow and clever lyrical twists are what make him so unique. Lines like “I got my P.O. thinking that my system clean / before I seen her, I gargle with the Listerine / so she can turn my felony to a misdemeanor” from “Pimp Nutz” are what separate Red from other rappers. He’s just a pot-smoking, fun-loving dude and his personality has always shown in his music. Gone Wild is no exception. He sticks to the successful formula he’s used his entire career and once again provides entertainment from start to finish. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to wait six more years for Redman’s next album.