An Argument For Why Redman Is The Greatest Rapper Of All-Time (Video)
It’s been less than a year since Redman released his last solo album, Mudface, but the short time span has not quelled the fervent interest in what he’s reportedly got on the horizon: Muddy Waters 2. This year marks the 20th anniversary of arguably one of his most celebrated albums to date, the gold-selling home to songs like “Whateva Man” and “Pick It Up.” Muddy Waters, however, is just one of the eight solo albums that makes Reggie Noble a remarkable MC, not to mention his classic material with Method Man and Def Squad.
However despite his illustrious recording career, eight top-ten solo singles, and appearances on memorable songs like “Symphony 2000,” “Oooh,” and his major crossover smash with Christina Aguilera in “Dirrty,” the Funk Doc’s name may not be mentioned in discussions of the game’s top lyricists as much as some Heads would like. Last year, in Ambrosia for Heads’ quest to name the Greatest Of All Time MC (G.O.A.T.), our readers’ votes crowned Eminem the winner, a particularly interesting coronation when taken within the context of Redman. On Eminem’s song “Till I Collapse,” he called Redman his all-time greatest MC, high praise from someone whose name likely populates more lists of the G.O.A.T.s.
In a video released by HipHopDX today (August 13), a case is made for why the Newark, New Jersey rapper deserves to not only be mentioned in the same esteem as MCs like Biggie, Tupac, Rakim, and others but that he is indeed “the greatest rapper of all time.”
It’s a bold statement, but one broken down with itemized reasoning that is compelling. For starters, according to the video, “Redman has at least two classic albums, arguably three.” 1992’s Whut? Thee Album is singled out not just for its “breakout singles” but also “How to Roll a Blunt,” which DX’s Justin Hunte says offered “a generation of Americans more relevant, real-life information than all of the Algebra 2 teachers combined.” After reviewing all of the LP’s stellar ratings from respected outlets, its being self-produced (and reliant on much of the G-Funk samples found on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic three months later) in large part by Red is noted to give it even more well-deserved acknowledgment.
Also given the nod is 1994’s Dare Iz a Darkside and, of course, Muddy Waters. The former is lauded for being “grittier and more experimental” and having “one of the greatest album covers ever.” The latter, it’s argued, is “more universally acclaimed” but the point is made that, when all three LPs are taken together, it speaks to Redman’s longevity. Hunte refers to Red first appearing on EPMD’s Business As Usual in 1990, a full two years before he would drop a debut solo LP. Most recently, Red dropped 2015’s Mudface, a breadth of time spanning a quarter of a century. All together, with mixtapes and collaborative albums, Hunte points out, Red has released 16 albums in 26 years – an amount of content “matched by few G.O.A.T. contenders not named LL Cool J or E-40.” Plus, he says, Redman is “commercially competitive.”
Any argument for Redman’s position as one of the most successful MCs in the game naturally must make mention of his platinum-selling efforts, namely 1999’s Blackout! with Method Man and his own Doc’s da Name 2000. “Seven of his 11 studio releases all received a plaque,” Hunte rightfully claims. “That’s an incredible hit rate. Red puts numbers on the board.” To be the G.O.A.T., you have to have a strong lyrical reputation,” argues Hunte. And, Redman certainly matches that description.
But it’s not all about what Redman has achieved from the beginning – it’s also about what he’s able to accomplish within the current industry. As proof, Hunte points to Red’s performance in last year’s BET Cypher, which he did nothing short of destroy. “All this from a 45-year-old rapper,” says Hunte.
Also mentioned is Red’s influence on the Detroit Rap aesthetic, the success of the 2001 film How High, his business ventures in the marijuana industry, and much more.