Redman Reggie

Redman Reggie
Redman's back with his seventh album, his first without production by mentor Erick Sermon; it's a change from the Jersey rapper's typical funky production. Reggie largely features a more futuristic, synth-heavy sound, with lots of Auto-tune; it's good to hear a veteran rapper adapting, but the production is a weak fit for Red, the rare MC who can rap to anything. The man born Reggie Noble simply sounds better over dusty, thumping tracks and there are not enough of them here. Even token weed song "Lite 1 Witcha Boi" is sunk by a rinky-dink beat and weak verses from Method Man and Bun B. When Red just spits rough shit over rugged headbangers, the listener's briefly transported to '96. "Reggie Intro" is a minute-and-a-half of shit-talk over the same Ahmad Jamal sample De La used in "Stakes is High," while "Tiger Style Crane" is easily the best thing here, a succession of hilarious punch lines over a taut guitar loop and tough drums. Red fans would be advised to wait for the long-promised Muddy Waters 2. (Def Jam)