Method Man and Redman were on top of the world in the late ’90s and early 2000s on the heels of their first duet album, Blackout! and the feature film How High. But with the failure of their sitcom Method & Red and a string of unmemorable solo work, their stock has been at its lowest as of late.
Enter Blackout! 2. The duo is rejuvenated, and with production help from some of hip-hop’s best beatmakers, the disc is a refreshing throwback to the mid-’90s.
“A-Yo” is a summer ode to cruising with Meth and Red indulging in their favorite hobby (smoking weed) backed by bluesy guitars and funky horns courtesy of producer Pete Rock and a smooth chorus sung by Toronto rapper Saukrates.
Meth and Red’s respective crews are well represented on Blackout! 2. “Four Minutes to Lock Down” features Method Man’s brethren Raekwon and Ghostface Killah and sounds like a vintage Wu-Tang Clan record. Meanwhile Redman’s Def Squad co-horts Erick Sermon and Keith Murray assist on “Dangerous Mcees” and “Errybody Scream,” respectively.
The album’s highlight, though, is “City Lights.” The Southern-flavored track pairs Meth and Red with Texas duo U.G.K.. On the song, Bun B vividly boasts about his car while his deceased partner-in-rap, Pimp C, is represented in spirit on the chorus via vocal sample.
Blackout! 2 is limited in scope by subject matter. Method Man and Redman rarely rap about anything besides partying, smoking, and having fun. But older hip-hop fans yearning for something more than the usual bleeps-and-bloops of most top 40 hip-hop will be very pleased.