Method Man & Redman Blackout

Having first hooked up on “How High” a few years ago, two of hip-hop’s most charismatic and rugged MCs team up for a surprisingly enjoyable side project. After all, every song Meth and Red have recorded together since that ’95 collaboration has been sadly lacking. Here, they seem rejuvenated and genuinely having fun, spitting out new flows on tracks like “Y.O.U.” and allusions to hip-hop classics for hooks for several tracks, although they should have thought twice about covering Das EFX’s classic neck-snapper “Mic Checka.” The album leans more to the Redman side of things given that Erick Sermon provides most of the beats, though Method Man, who it seems can handle any beat, joins in to rhyme about nothing in particular, a practice that only MCs of this duo’s calibre should probably try. And even when the beats are lacking (“Tear It Off”), which happens a lot more than it should, the duo don’t really seem to notice at all. (Def Jam)