When people speak of rappers who were influential in the resurgence of '90s East Coast rap, Redman's name is often overlooked.
The New Jersey native was discovered by EPMD and appeared on the duo's 1990 album, 'Business As Usual.' In 1992, Red released his debut effort, 'Whut? Thee Album,' which went gold thanks to anthemic singles like 'Time 4 Sum Akshion' and 'Tonite's Da Night.'
'Dare Iz A Darkside,' the Funk Doc's follow-up LP, was released on Nov. 22, 1994. Largely produced by himself -- with help from Erick Sermon -- the album earned Redman his second gold plaque and proved he was far from a fluke.
Redman earned praise from critics for his lyrical precision and strong production on the effort, which would become one of the most memorable of that year. 'Dare Iz A Darkside' is considered a classic by many rap fans.
With today marking the 20-year anniversary of Redman's classic second album, we've selected and ranked what we feel are the five best tracks on this masterpiece.
Take a look and listen below.
'Winicumuhround' sees Redman attacking the mic with the ferocity of a starved pitbull with steak in its presence. Co-produced by Erick Sermon and Reggie himself, this amped up cut wins with punchlines like, "My format spins wheels like Pat Sayjak / I rub n----s out like Ajax, now hit the playback." In addition, Hurricane G's voice is sampled subtly on the hook. Powered by a sample of Grover Washington Jr.'s 'Hydra,' the song is organized confusion at its finest and the freestyle on the end over the 'DWYCK' beat serves as an added treat.
'Cosmic Slop'Featuring Erick Sermon and Keith Murray
The Green Eyed Bandit and Keith Murray make an appearance on the groovy 'Cosmic Slop.' Co-produced by Sermon and Redman himself, the Def Squad trio drops funkadelic bars over kicks and snares. Sermon is steady as ever with his verse while Murray comes correct, but Redman walks away with bragging rights on this joint. "I'm like an eclipse on a Friday, the 13th / With black cats in Haley's comet, blazing blunts in my driveway," he spits.
Released as the LP's first single, the self-produced 'Rockafella' is the equivalent of audio dope on acid. Featuring samples of Leon Haywood's 'I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You' and Parliament's 'Flashlight,' tambourines, kicks, and snares dominate the record with Red's lyrical hijinks completing the cipher.
On the Redman meets Mary Jane Girls track 'Can't Wait,' the Funk Doc raps, "I'm like RAHH RAHH, like I had cerebral palsy, my flows be's wet like all you girls drawers be." Co-produced by Erick Sermon and Red himself, the track was a minor hit on the charts, but a favorite amongst hip-hop heads worldwide. Reggie Noble continues his track record of dropping records that were catchy enough to move the needle, but lyrically deft enough to please the rap nerds as well. The accompanying video features Red cruising around New Jersey in a whip while rocking a shower cap is priceless. Oh yeah, we still don't know what "switching up speeds like Bruce Lee riding a fuji in a movie" exactly means but it's another example of Redman saying some dumb s---.
Redman finds himself trekking on a journey to a lucrative locale called 'Green Island' on this laid-back jam. Featuring himself behind the boards, the track showcases Red's stream-of-conscious rhymes. "Verbally you never heard of me, I smoke in third degrees and call surgery for emergency / 'Cause Reggie Noble is like burglary," he raps. The rapper's penchant for humorous one-liners is also a standout on the song. Containing a sample of The Mauna Loa Islanders' 'The Cockeyed Mayor Off Kaunakakai' and peppered with kicks and snares, 'Green Island' makes for one of the elite tracks on the album.