Method Man and Redman are hip hop’s chameleons



via NY Daily News

On a hazy soundstage in Midtown, Method Man and Redman, clad in matching powder blue tuxedos, sway in unison in front of a horde of girls as they croon into 50’s-style microphones.

Not the kind of music video shoot you’d expect from the hip-hoppers who put rap on the map in the 90’s, but for their latest album, “Blackout 2,” the titans of the game are changing the face of it yet again.

For their new single, “Mrs. International,” the duo wanted a fresh look and feel.

“Honestly, I just want this [album] to be heard. That’s all. If you listen to the song that we’re doing for the video right now, it’s like ‘Is this a Redman and Method Man song?’ It doesn’t seem like we would ever make a song like this,” Method Man said during a break from shooting.

“We’re maturing. We evolved and learned a lot more from when we dropped the first album. And the s— we did in the ‘90’s we can’t do now,” Redman said, changing into a Rick James outfit for the next scene. The album, out on Def Jam on May 19th, is an “intertwining of old school and new school,” Redman explains.

“I think our era was one of the best eras in hip hop because it really closed the gap between old school and the new school,” he continued. “So with this album, we wanted a bit of that old flair and mixed it in with new, fresh sounds.”

The result is a surprisingly pleasant melodic mix of catchy lyrics, head-bopping beats, and hooks that you keep repeating long after hearing them. But just because the sound is new doesn’t mean the stars have changed their infamous personas.The stars of the 2001 film “How High,” still maintain their stance on one illegal substance.

“Marijuana has always been that drug that united people. It’s always been on the verge of being legal. It’s hardly a drug really. When people look at marijuana, they look at it as an enjoyment of connecting,” says Redman who’s currently pushing for a sequel to their cult stoner flick.

“We’re pressing forward with “How High 2,” Redman said. “I got the idea right now in my head. But the studios aren’t ready to put it out yet ‘cause of money. We shot the first one way under budget. We gave them money back and shot extra scenes! And the movie made money! So I don’t know why they ain’t giving us another shot. I’m about to go get $20 more million and shoot it myself.”

And while hit records and movie deals are certainly in their future, the NYC-area natives always want to remember their past. “You don’t want people saying ‘he forgot where he came from.'” said Method Man, born, raised and still living in Staten Island.

“You’re not a true emcee unless you can walk on your own block and be respected.”

Redman, from Newark, NJ, said the city “keeps me hungry. When you leave New York and go to other places, you appreciate it more when you get back. Here, what you see is what you get. Anybody could get you in NYC. An old lady pushing a shopping cart could shoot you out! You just never know in New York.”

Remembering where they came from also means remembering the Wu Tang Clan, which Method Man would like everyone to know is still very much together.

“We never really split up! People need to stop taking s*** out of context. Even Ludacris, who I respect a lot, kind of upset me with a song he had where he mentioned Wu Tang broke up. No, we didn’t break up! There has never been an official statement that said ‘We’re done’ or ‘I’m out.'”

As to what it’ll take for the group to put out a new album or tour again, Meth cryptically said, “there’re things we’ve got to take care of first before anybody even starts to discuss that.”

In the meantime, “Blackout 2” will be more than enough for their hungry fans to devour.

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