Redman Says People Who Show Money Don’t Really Have It (Video)
For more than 25 years, Redman has built his public-facing brand as a blue-collar MC. Even as a superstar with How High presumably raking in box office dollars, a handful of platinum and gold albums, and arena tours, Redman still stands as a reflection of his faithful fans’ lifestyle. Beyond ideology, Redman’s lyrics and visuals echoed this trait. In a 2001 episode of MTV Cribs, Reggie Noble welcomed cameras into his Staten Island, New York residence (which he still calls home), complete with a cake box of rainy-day dollar bills, a sound asleep relative overstaying his welcome, and a freezer full of Gordon’s fish-sticks. Redman later revealed that none of this was for show. The artist who toured the globe with JAY-Z has never been about “counting his M’s” in public. However, that does not mean that Reggie Noble is not about his paper.
Speaking with Hip Hop Motivation, Redman opened up about his fiscal philosophy and why unlike Rap, showing is never proving when it comes to money. In the last year, the aforementioned headliner (JAY-Z) of the same Hard Knock Life Tour that featured Red broke down his acumen on the Grammy-nominated “Story Of O.J.”: “Y’all out here still takin’ advances, huh? / Me and my ni**as takin’ real chances, uh / Y’all on the ‘Gram holdin’ money to your ear / There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here,” Jay spits at his peers. In the same song, Shawn Carter admits financial regret in his own borough. “I bought every V12 engine / Wish I could take it back to the beginnin’ / I could’ve bought a place in Dumbo before it was ‘Dumbo’ / For like 2 million / That same building today is worth 25 million / Guess how I’m feelin’? / Dumb-o.”
At the top of the interview, Redman admits that, like JAY-Z, he was not as wise about his wealth as he could have been. “[I made] little investments. I planted my seed. But nothing major yet, where I can say, ‘You know what? F*ck Rap, I’ma just do this sh*t for fun; I got enough money goin’ on back here where I can just make me a CD and go out on tour and have fun. I don’t really need to make a record to feed my babies.’ I haven’t reached that goal yet,” he says.
“It takes a lot of learning and being around a great circle of people that will allow you to learn that process. Everyone wants to do investments [and such], but it just don’t work that way. Because people who make real f*ckin’ money, they ain’t lettin’ that information out to you.” Redman believes that those tools and tips are exchanged from those in the know over time, with patience, respect, and “academic learning.” “No. You’ve got to do a little work. You’ve got to earn your position.” He continues, “I don’t really have the investments like I want [to] right now, but I’m on my way. And I know what I want. And I turn down a lot of [endorsement] money. I don’t want to just endorse no more. Like, I turned down $500,000 endorsements.” Alluding to offers from the vape industry and other platforms, Red’ says the contracts would have been short-term and “whored out” his name and brand. “Redman and Method Man, our name is sacred,” says the Muddy Waters creator. “That’s why we’re still working like it’s the ’90s.”
He then states that he wants “grandchildren gonna be straight kind of money,” referring to generational wealth if he leverages his brand in an investment, “not that buyin’ a [Mercedes] Benz and jewelry kind of money. Ni**as that show money, they ain’t got no money. They ain’t really got no motherf*ckin’ money.” He makes one exception: boxer and promotions mogul Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
In terms of Redman’s business plan for the days ahead, the Def Squad MC reveals that he aims to build upon his acting abilities, and hopefully, in turn, his resumé. He aims to enter the marijuana business “the right way.” Red’s native New Jersey is one of the states actively pushing to make marijuana legal. Beyond capitalizing on a recreational drug that has been a staple of Red’s lyrics and brand, he says he wants to use legal pot to help those suffering from deadly medical conditions, and serious life ailments. He also wishes to someday enter women’s footwear with a “high-heeled shoe.” The most important investment in Red’s eyes is putting his children in a position to do better than him.
Last week, an artist that Redman has called a peer in the past, 50 Cent, was reported to make several million dollars from increased valuation after accepting cryptocurrency as payment on a recent independent album.
Redman is presently gearing up to release Muddy Waters 2 on his own Gilla House imprint, with distribution from InGrooves. He has suggested the possibility of a Def Squad sophomore album, 20 years after the debut. Additionally, Funk Doc confirmed an appearance (alongside Busta Rhymes) on Phife Dawg’s posthumous LP.
#BonusBeat: Last year, Red’s Gilla House artist released a new mix to his “Hate Runs Deep” single:
This video is part of Ambrosia For Heads‘ “Now You See Me” series.