Method Man and Redman
Blackout! 2 (released May 19, 2009)
There were a ton of albums that hit stores May 19 - Busta Rhymes and Freeway among them. But while nearly everyone was scrambling to get a copy of Eminem's comeback joint Relapse, I was much more eager to cop Meth and Red's new album.
Meth and Red have always been the perfect pair. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Or to be more accurate, weed smokers and tardiness.
Blackout! 2, is the sequel to their first collaboration Blackout!, which was released way back in 1999. See what I mean about tardiness? Never trust a weedhead to be on time.
Despite that, even a hater like me must admit this album has been worth the wait.
Method Man has really stepped up his game lately, almost returning to the greatness of his early Wu-Tang days, and Redman has never lost a step, so it's no surprise to hear them running amuck over their first single, "A-Yo." "I'm Dope Ni**a" is another high point (heh, "high") not only for the duo, but for Havoc's Mobb Deep, who produced the track. He's still got some gas in the tank. And speaking of gassed up, Keith Murray shows no ring rust on "Errbody Scream," as his verse takes the track from decent to dope. And when Raekwon and Ghostface show up for "Four Minutes to Lock Down" you'll think it's 1996 again.
Y'all know I love that 90s-era hip hop, and the album only stutters when the duo try to cater to get all new school on us. Yep, that's auto-tune you hear on "Hey Zulu" and "I Know Sumptn." Thankfully they don't totally go T-Pain on us, as the vocoder is used pretty sparingly but its inclusion is still pretty jarring. "Mrs. International" also sticks out like a sore thumb - it sounds way too "adult contemporary" for this album.
And even though I wanted to hate on "City Lights", which features Bun B and seems more like a UGK song with Meth and Red playing backup, they sound so comfortable that you have to go along for the ride.
But Blackout 2! is clearly the Red and Meth show. On the aptly named "Dis Iz 4 All My Smokers," when Redman says "if you smoke more than us it's beginner's luck" he's telling the truth. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and Blackout! 2 brings the heat. It's easily one of the best albums of the year thus far.
Not bad for a couple of old weedheads.
Best tracks: "A-Yo," "I'm Dope Ni**a," "City Lights"
4 stars out of 5