While Redman prepares to release his seventh solo album, Redman Presents… Reggie, on December 7, the New Jersey MC promises fans can expect to hear a slight departure from his earlier works. On the effort, it’s apparent he’s ditched the moniker legions of fans have referred to him by for years, but Red’s playful style is still ever-present on tracks like the fitting “Def Jammable,” where he rhymes choice lines like, “I’m tryna be set for life like a Jew kid, and me not runnin’ the block like a New Kid, that’s like Hov not doin’ Blueprint.”
So wherein lies the difference between the man, Reggie Noble, and the charismatic rapper, Redman?
“The difference [is not about] personality too much, it is just the music,” he tells Rap-Up.com while eating a plate of chicken and rice inside Def Jam’s New York offices. “I wanted to get out of that box of Redman. When you listen to a Redman album, you know what to expect. I just wanted to do something different.”
Previous works, including his 1992 solo debut Whut? Thee Album, bear production credits from the “How High” rhymer, yet, of Reggie‘s 13 tracks, not one features his beatmaking abilities. The decision to focus solely on lyrics was a conscious one.
“I don’t need to be keeping it real with beats no more,” Red explains. “I need some ballpark beats that’s gonna get me in this ballpark ’cause we in a new era now. I was never a sore artist like, ‘Who’s these new ni**as?’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, OK. I don’t have to agree with most of the shit ya’ll doing, but ya’ll are keeping it turning.'”
Rather than come ill-prepared at a time when producers like J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Stargate are banging out hip-hop’s hottest hits, Red’s preparing himself more on the production tip.
“Instead of sitting back and going against it, I’d rather bring my knowledge into this new shit and do some up-to-date shit that’s gonna get looked at,” he says. “The heat that’s going on now, I need advanced heat.”
With Reggie ready to hit store shelves next week, Redman can turn his attention toward Blackout! 3, the follow-up LP to his 2009 joint effort with Method Man. Busy since October traveling the globe, the longtime collaborators have yet to discuss which producers and artists they’ll tap for the forthcoming project.
“You know what, we didn’t really get into all that,” Red reveals. “We just got home off tour like two days ago from Russia. We still talking about what kind of outlook we want on [Blackout! 3].”