Redman Has Been Volunteering At Music Festivals Undercover. Here’s Why (Video)
One of the most iconic moments of Redman’s career is his episode of MTV Cribs. At the top of the millennium, Reggie Noble brought cameras to his Staten Island, New York residence (which he still owns). On a show known for grandeur and decadence, Funk Doc’s crib featured a DJ setup, fish sticks, passed out relatives, and a box of rainy-day dollar bills. The moment was both entertaining, but also revealing of the straightforward lifestyle of a platinum rapper, actor, and celebrity.
Almost 20 years later, Redman is doing something similar. He volunteered at Governor’s Ball, a New York City music festival. Without being paid for it, or mentioning his identity, Reggie Noble drove talent golf carts. The moment was documented on social media.
VIBE‘s Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas brought up the volunteering during the pair’s The Real Ones interview. “You would think you’re doing it as a joke,” Datwon says near the 45:00 mark.
“It just so happens that my boy Josh, who is my engineer as well, he worked festivals,” Red’ explains. “I always told him, ‘Man, I want to drive a cart at festivals,’ he was like, ‘Yo, man. You could drive for [Governor’s Ball] festival. My first job was [at Randall’s Island with them]. I drove that cart for the first time at a festival, very, very intrigued, and willing to learn. Because, like you said, people might see me on that cart and be like, ‘Oh sh*t, he bein’ corny; he havin’ fun.’ No. I’m a kinda dude that likes to start from the bottom and work my way up. I don’t like to start [at the top], talking about I’m the man, and trying to progress. Because your downfall is waiting for you when you start there.” Perhaps Redman will follow The Roots, J. Cole, Tyler, The Creator, and Lil Wayne in establishing his own festival.
“I’m starting from the carts to learn how to move to stage manager,” admitted the Newark, New Jersey native. “Everything starts from the ground up. So once you get in good with the people with the carts—the ground ni**as—then you move your way up. So the cart driving was an experience to learn behind the stage and what the cart drivers go through. This year [when] I drove the cart, I had a scarf on. So they didn’t know who was drivin’ ’em. And I’ma tell you like this—on some real sh*t, not to fall off subject—but this world, y’all communication level is f*cked up right now! Because they didn’t know who I was; I was just a Black dude driving a cart. And man, ni**as get funky wit’chu!” While some artists talk down to staff, Redman asserts that he is different. “I am just so blessed; thank you, God, for making me who I am that I have the upper-hand to look outside and in of making money and being a regular person.”
Redman adds that he was wearing the bandana mask to keep away dust more than disclose his identity. However, the Def Squad lyricist did not introduce himself either. “I’m pickin’ up people in the back of my cart, and they’re not knowing who I am, and man, the funky-level, it was respectful.” He shares that later on, talent acted differently when they reached for a handshake. “A couple of ’em saw me later [without] the mask and [were stunned]. And I know they checked they self and felt [poorly for their attitudes].” He proclaims, “I’m a real ni**a, at the end of the day. I build off and I feel off energy.”
However, Reggie Noble suggests Heads may see him helping out backstage again. “Getting back to your question, the cart thing was a learning experience. I had fun with the Randall’s Island staff. They do that festival every year; they allow me to work every year now. I also did it to tap into the new artists. I had to drive some of the new artists, like Childish Gambino, everybody.”