Ranking the Best Redman Albums

God bless Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. There wasn’t too much to love about 2020 but their Verzuz series, pitting our favorite artists head to head, made for some entertaining viewing.

Last week we got one of the best editions yet, with rap’s preeminent dynamic duo Method Man and Redman sharing the Verzuz spotlight. And as I’ve been saying for the decade-plus lifespan of this site, it proved that Redman is one of the most underrated artists in rap history.

Influential albums that have inspired everyone from Eminem to the Notorious BIG, classic songs, some of the most memorable album skits in rap (shout out to Uncle Quilly), starring roles on both the large and small screen – including an upcoming spot with Meth in the Power sequel, Redman deserves way more love for pushing hip-hop’s boundaries both within the world of music and beyond.

And yes, I’m obligated to mention the realest episode in the history of MTV Cribs.

Today, we’re revisiting the Funk Doctor’s incredible discography, ranking his albums from bottom to top. Usually we only focus on solo LPs but Red’s my guy, so we’re also adding his collaborations with both Meth and his Def Squad partner to the mix.

Redman is truly the total package. Here’s the albums that made him rap royalty.

11. Mudface (2015)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 3 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Don’t feel bad if you totally forgot about this one – I sure did, and I reviewed it! At the time, Mudface seemed like a brief teaser before Redman dropped his long-discussed sequel to Muddy Waters. Six years later and … we’re still waiting. As for this album, there’s not much to say. A couple OK tracks can be found here and there but it’s largely unremarkable.

Forgotten favorites: “Bars,” “Let It Go,” “Gettin’ Inside”

10. Malpractice (2001)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: Malpractice had the dubious reputation back in 2001 of being the first Redman album that wasn’t universally praised. That mixed reaction is understandable – the energy is as manic as ever but many tracks lack the bite we were accustomed to. There’s very little here that encourages repeat listens. Wanna know the real standouts on this one? The skits.

Forgotten favorites: “Diggy Doc,” “Muh-F***a,” “Soopaman Luva 5 (Prt. 1)”

9. Reggie (2010)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Reggie is a quietly historic landmark for the Funk Doc – it was his final album for Def Jam after a nearly 20-year run. As you’d expect with that much experience on his resume, this is a much more mature sounding Redman and I didn’t mind the change of direction. Now, I did mind the sometimes slipshot product and unimaginative hooks. They don’t measure up to the Reggie we once knew. However, Reggie is far from a disaster – I revisit several of the tracks here often – but it’s a slight step down.

Forgotten favorites: “Reggie (Intro),” “All I Do,” “Lite 1 Witcha Boi”

8. El Nino (1998)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said:  El Nino is the one and only LP from Def Squad, one of the most underrated crews of their era. Redman, Erick Sermon and Keith Murray may have vastly different styles but their chemistry is undeniable. In many ways El Nino is a love letter to classic hip-hop, from the Kurtis Blow samples and Biz Markie features to the beloved “Rapper’s Delight” remake “Def Squad Delight.” The throwbacks are fun but there’s still a missing intangible that could have taken this one to the next level.

Forgotten favorites: “Check N’ Me Out,” “Yall N****s Ain’t Ready,” “Def Squad Delight”

7. Blackout! 2 (2009)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Ten years after the original Blackout! we finally got our sequel. Sure it’s on CP Time but The Red and Meth Show is always worth the wait. Blackout! 2 is a surprisingly well-rounded album, blending fun, lighthearted tracks, party starters and spittin sessions all in one package. It lacks the grit of the original, which I’m sure turned off the die-hards, but if you judge it on its own merits, Blackout! 2 is a sturdy sequel.

Forgotten favorites: “A-Yo,” “Father’s Day,” “Four Minutes to Lockdown”

6. Red Gone Wild: Thee Album (2007)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Another album that seems to have been lost to the seas of time, Red Gone Wild is an overlooked gem. Featuring all-star production from heavy-hitters like Pete Rock, Timbaland, Rockwilder, Scott Storch and Erick Sermon, it also serves as a homecoming for Red’s Def Squad running buddies and frequent collaborator Hurricane G. Of all of Redman’s latter-day releases, this one shines brightest.

Forgotten favorites: “Fire,” “Put It Down,” “Pimp Nutz”

5. Doc’s da Name 2000 (1998)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: There was a running joke in the late 90s among fans, and Redman himself, that he could never, ever score a platinum album. All three of his releases prior to Doc’s da Name stalled at gold. Well, Reggie finally struck platinum with this one, his biggest commercial release to date. As usual, Erick Sermon made magic behind he boards while Redman’s insane imagination and lyrical prowess ran amok. Like a lot of late-90s releases (and several Redman releases in general), the album feels needlessly stuffed and long-winded in spots. Despite the filler, the highs are so high (no pun intended) that it’s still a great time.

Forgotten favorites: “Jersey Yo,” “Da Goodness,” “I Got a Seecret”

4. Blackout! (1999)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: When Method Man and Redman teamed up for “How High” circa 1995, we all knew that we were witnessing magic. But before the tours, movies and, yes, even TV shows that would emerge from their union, it all started Blackout!, a gritty, chaotic LP that is a ton of fun yet never compromises their roots. Like Doc’s da Name, trimming a few of the lesser tracks would have made this an even better release but a little filler can’t derail this train.

Forgotten favorites: “Blackout,” “Run 4 Cover,” “Fire ina Hole”

3. Whut? Thee Album (1992)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: It’s safe to say that when Redman emerged from the mud in 1992 hip-hop had heard nothing like him before. Reggie’s personally jumped off every track – you couldn’t wait to hear what insanity he’d come up with next. But what was most impressive was his unpredictable yet effortless flow. Today, clunky, awkward deliveries are often labeled as “unorthodox” as if it’s some brilliant creative touch. Nah, Red was the benchmark for rewriting the rules but maintaining artistry. Whut? still stands as one of the most groundbreaking debuts in rap history.

Forgotten favorites: “So Ruff,” “Jam 4 U,” “Redman Meets Reggie Noble”

2. Dare Iz a Darkside (1994)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: It’s rare that a sophomore album can surpass its groundbreaking predecessor, but that’s exactly what Dare Iz a Darkside dared to do. Red’s funkadelic roots run even deeper here, with the beheaded album cover being a nod to Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain album. The mood may be dark and heavy but Reggie’s visceral rhymes are so captivating that the journey never drags. No one can paint a lyrical picture like Red and Dare Iz a Darkside proved he was only getting better.

Forgotten favorites: “Basically,” “Bobyahed2dis,” “Sooperman Luva II”

1. Muddy Waters (1996)

Soul In Stereo ranking: 4.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Some consider Red’s groundbreaking debut to be his best. Others might lean on the sophomore release. But in my eyes, it’s the third installment in the Red trilogy that’s truly the king. Listening to all three albums in succession, as I did for this post, you can really hear Redman’s evolution over each release. Yet when I think of the definitive Redman sound, I think of this album – the energy, the personality, the humor, the effortless flows and the infinite bars. Muddy Waters is the maturation of Redman, his best work to date.

Forgotten favorites: “Case Closed,” “Pick It Up,” “Creepin’”

What’s your favorite Redman album? Did you prefer Def Squad or were you on team Red and Meth? Let us know in the comments below.


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