Method Man and Redman "Blackout 2" Album Review

"Blackout 2"

Part One

Something’s are meant to never change; the Red & Meth tandem is a testament to that. Blackout! 2is the duos first release in a decade, and while each of their respective solo careers weren’t anything to laugh at; it’s comforting to have them back together (I confess, I found their sitcom somewhat amusing).

Red & Meth’s symbiosis hasn’t evaporated, which seems to be the trend of contemporary hip-hop, that same allure that turned us onto them ten years ago is ever-present. While Mr. Mef struggled avoiding the don persona cliché on his solo work, Redman resisted conscious lyricism.

Meth serves as the structural straightjacket for Red, as Red returns the favor reminding Meth to keep it occasionally whimsical. Blackout! 2personifies a party album from the get go, with a triumphant Mathematics production to start the show. Together Red & Meth possess a certain appeal that appeases both mainstream and hip-hop purists alike. Whenever Meth begins to embody his inner Wu-Gambino Red steps in to relieve the track of certain Wu-Tang-esque griminess; the reason they succeed.

"Ayo"

Part Two

 

On Blackout! 2 Red & Meth employ seasoned producers (Erick Sermon, Mathematics, Pete Rock etcetera) that distinctly mesh with each MC’s verse. On “Ayo” Pete Rock provides a characteristically amazing beat, incorporating a piano melody looped over exclamatory horns that surely influence 9th Wonder; Red & Meth transform the smooth production into a unexpected mass appeal weed anthem.

“City Lights” is a clear standout with a catchy Pimp C (R.I.P.) hook “I get to’ (torn) up under city lights” over a heavy bass accompanied by a classic Bun B verse. “I like a girl that roll me a blunt” states Red on the smooth slow jam “Mrs. International”, which although cliché and somewhat corny stays true to formula. As if the whole album wasn’t already dedicated to marijuana Johnny Blaze and Red unleash the DJ Scratch produced “Diz Iz 4 All My Smokers”. Blackout! 2 delivers all that’s expected of it, which is rare nowadays, but doesn’t excel. Overall Blackout! 2 succeeds where most have failed, Red & Meth stay true to their roots while incorporating new production styles with their rhymes.

They’ve proved that they are fixtures in the game, modernizing their style while demonstrating that they have enough wisdom to conform without forgetting their pedigree. While subject matter remains stagnant its not a concern; the duo has nearly perfected their craft, and Blackout! 2 indicates that they’ll only continue to get closer to their creative summit.

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