Redman Salutes Shaq’s Raps. He Also Knights 50 Cent As The Last Of His Era (Video)

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Redman is a true Hip-Hop character. When the Def Squad MC sits in front of a camera, he commands attention. Appearing in First We Feast’s “Hot Ones” hot wings challenge, Reggie Noble is no exception. As the hot sauces turn up the spice, Funk Doctor gets teary, he puts his head on the table, and he even breaks into speaking in tongues. It’s all funny, but Redman’s insights early in the challenge are quite interesting.

Host Sean Evans asks the Gilla House founder about some mile markers in his extensive 25-year career. They begin discussing the Hard Knock Life Tour. Headlined by Jay Z (and named after his album at the time), the Def Jam Records-supported tour featured DMX, Ja Rule, DJ Clue, and Method Man & Redman.

“I was just thinking about that tour the other day! That was the biggest, best tour that ever really went out,” reflects Red’, who began his career appearing on stage with EPMD and DoItAll (of Lords Of The Underground). “The tour lasted for like three months and a half. We went to every major city there was. We partied in every major city there was. We went fuckin’ nuts on that tour.”

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Although Redman was the first MC on the bill to have an album out (1992’s Whut? Thee Album), he was often an opener, alongside Meth’. Asked about that experience, Red’ recalls, “Sometimes we’d be [performing] and niggas would still be stackin’ chairs in front of us, but it was still an audience.” The Def Jam duo’s set ended in the two strapped to zip-lines and soaring above the crowd. Redman notes, “So ’bout time we flew through the air, the place was packed!” He jokes that the grand stage show may have intimidated his tour mates DMX and Jay. Putting himself in their head-space, he says, “Okay, we know we headlinin’, but we know we gotta beat these flyin’ mothafuckas.”

Next up, Evans shows Red’ a photo from a late 1990s MTV Rock n’ Jock baseball game. The photo features Redman, Dr. Dre, a newly No Limit-signed Snoop Dogg, and K-Ci & Jojo.  “That was a good time in Hip-Hop. Look, Dr. Dre! With K-Ci! K-Co and Jojo was humongous with Jodeci back in the day, but they here, ’cause they knew MTV Rock n’ Jock brought out positivity,” expresses Redman. “It brought out artists to do something for a cause. [Fans] can see all of us together, and see that this Hip-Hop and R&B community, it can work for them—make them want to be a Hip-Hop artist or an R&B artist. That’s just a picture of a good time in Hip-Hop that don’t happen no more.” Filmed around the time of Doc’s Da Name 2000, Redman asks, “Where the fuck are these events?” Remembering the taping with professional athletes and top entertainers, he says, “It was fucking hilarious!”

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Further along, Redman is shown a photo of him, Eminem, and a newly-Shady Records backed 50 Cent. “50 Cent was like one of the last of the main ingredients of our era, I would say,” Reggie deduces. “50 Cent was the last Mohicans of our era that could have our DNA in him.” Sean Evans points that around the photograph, circa 2002, the G-Unit honcho’s “plane got off the runway.” Powerfully, Redman adds, “That’s when Hip-Hop started going down.” There was a six-year break in Redman’s career during that time, between 2001’s Malpractice and 2007’s Red Gone Wild: Thee Album.

Later in the interview, Evans brings up Redman’s production for basketball superstar-turned-rapper Shaquille O’Neal. In 1994, Red’ produced two songs (one with Erick Sermon) for Shaq Fu: Da Return. “Shaq’ was actually dope!,” says Red’. That sophomore Jive Records album would be gold-certified. “Compared to basketball players, Shaq’ was dope […] He would not let nobody write. He’d go in and write his own shit—and he was nice.” Shaq’ worked with other producers such as RZA, Warren G, DJ Quik, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad over the course of his four releases.

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Elsewhere in the interview, Redman states that he hopes How High 2 will begin shooting in 2017. He also recalls a mid-1990s experience being tasered in the crowd, while on LSD. He also confirms his favorite smoking partners. Of the two answers, one should not surprise anybody.