Redman Interview

– You were spotted by Erick Sermon, aka E-Dub.
Yeah I was spotted by E-dub in a club called Sensations and two months after that it was history. I got signed two months later. Big ups to E-Dub and shit, you know what I mean hehe. Matter of fact, EPMD is working on a new album too. And we working on a Defsquad album, so come on E-Dub lets work work work!

– That was one of my questions, the Defsquad album.
Yes sir, we are in the making with that right now, we trying to come out with that in ’08.

– What is your relationship with DefJam?
Well shit, they’re my employer…haha. Nah basically, my relationship with Jay-Z is cool. We got cool communication; I think we need to communicate more about promotion and what promotion is. I think DefJam needs to talk more about what promotion is needed out there on the road, from somebody that’s hands on. I think everything in life is promotion I think one of the keys of a relationship of any business, is communication. So I just think more communication is needed. Everything else is cool though.

– So what you’re saying is, there is lack of communication between Jay-Z and his employees.
Yeah, I can sit around and say DefJam don’t do this and DefJam don’t do that. But if they don’t look good, I don’t look good. The only excuse I can give is an honest excuse and truth is lack of communication. I don’t think DefJam is coming down to a level where they understand: What is promotion? What do the artists need out here on the road, to get their project over the top to what they need. And I think the artist isn’t making enough noise to the label like “Y’all are not doing this, we need this shit.” And I’m not gonna complain about it cause I don’t like feeling as any man, anyone is in front of me getting my money. That’s how I feel. So I like to take my ass out and do it myself, whatever they don’t do, I go do it myself.

– “Red Gone Wild” has been finished, the album. And they have been sitting on it forever. Telling you it’s not being released yet, it’s being pushed back. You are the recording artist, you want your shit out. What was your response?
Well, you know what? It was kinda the opposite. They wanted to push my shit out earlier. But I kept pushing it back, because, like, I made a little mark but I ain’t make a big mark like I wanted to with the album. That’s why I’m still promoting, I’m still working. If I had dropped it last year with all that shit going on, or the year before that, shit woulda been lost. It woulda been totally lost. I dunno, the business side of DefJam wasn’t solid. You gotta understand, from my last album to this album, I got a whole new entire staff, a new boss, new promoter, I mean everybody is gone. Coming into a building with all new people shiiiiiit I ain’t ready to give the ball up that quick. So I had to learn where these people were at, love what they was doing, what they were not doing with this artist. I had to feel it out and now it’s out, my album is out, I see what they not doing and I’m attacking them. And how am I attacking them? I got people at home calling them. You know you don’t make yourself heard, you gotta make yourself seen. And what I did is I put so much pressure on them, not even badmouthing DefJam for what they not doing, but the people were calling them and be like “Y’all not doing the right thing, Redman got the hottest album right now and fuck y’all, y’all not doing him right.” This is what’s going on right now. That’s how u make a mark. That’s how u let people know. See and now they gonna know, now they gonna be like “Oh shit, this nigga ain’t even complaining, its the PEOPLE complaining FOR him. We got the people doing our fucking job, that’s how you do it. That’s how you do it.

– Is that also the reason why you brought out the “Live from the Bricks” mixtape before the album dropped?
Exactly. Gotta let ‘em know, gotta let the people know that you ain’t just sittin’ around wanting that respect. I like earning my respect. I don’t want a dollar more than what I am supposed to get or earned. I like to earn everything I get. The mixtape was like a pre-album. It was like fire fire fire! And the people enjoyed it and were like “Ah this nigga is still on his buzz! Hell yeah the album is tight too? No way!” So yeah, the mixtape is a big deal to me.

– So why not “Ill at Will” vol. 3?
Ha. Cause I didn’t do it with Gov-Matic. Gov-Matic I usually do the Ill at Will’s with. This was something new, I did “Live from the Bricks”, this is what DJ Scoob do. And I’ma do a “Live from the Bricks” Aftermath, doin’ another mixtape, coming out in like two months. This is the aftermath from the “Live from the Bricks”, and then I’ma do an Ill at Will, yeah. I’m serious, yes sir.

– Whats up with Brick City?
Brick City shhhh, Brick City is off the hook right now. As y’all know, the Eascoast is heavily gang related, like the home, especially Jersey. It’s like how the game came in on the Westcoast back in the 80’s, that’s how it is right now, when it was off the wild wild west. So the gang, Bloods and Crips, is so heavy in my neighborhood. Brick City is off the hook, just put it that way. When you gotta have national guards come in ya city because there is like 17, 18 murders in one week, that’s ridiculous. It’s really off the chain. But music wise…..lotta cats from Brick City startin’ to come up. Like Lords of the Underground, everybody making a come up now. Like they see where the new artists are taking HipHop and they are like fuck that, I’m coming back in the game, there are people right here that still enjoy real HipHop. That’s why a lotta cats are coming back in. So Jersey is off the fucking chain.

– What is the status of HipHop according to Redman?
The status of HipHop to me is…I love it! HipHop is not dead. The deal now is, my black brothers are coming off the street, come out of jail on the business, to feed their family, so I could never shit on HipHop. The music aspect of it though. The culture, uhm, the culture of it has left. Nobody makes a good album no more. At least that’s what I hear. I mean when you got white people complaining like “What’s going on with HipHop?” When you got white people saying “HipHop sound corny”, come on! And they love music too. I mean, the culture side of HipHop has left a little bit. We need to do homework. I think the business side of HipHop took over more, with that I mean talking bout ya cars, jewelry, fashion, flashy, glamorous, that’s where HipHop is, that’s where music is. But there are still people that enjoy the culture of it, that don’t care about money, that just wanna hear a dope album. When they hear songs on ya album, that’s not on the radio 50 fucking times a day. Remember back in the day, it was about having a song that wasn’t on the radio, like “You needa hear this shit!” I think we needa take it back there. Go do ya homework new artists! Listen to KRS-One, Slick Rick’s first album, go do a little homework, that’s it but HipHop is fine, fuck that.

– You been in the game for 15 years now, what has changed you over these 15 years? Has Redman changed? What’s the biggest difference between Redman back then and Redman right now?
You know with me, I just think I got advanced since I did my last album till now. I think I just got more mature with the music. I always was a studio buddy. I used to do 15, 16, 17 hours a day in the studio cause I got a studio at Midtown Manhattan. And you know, in Midtown Manhattan if you pay rent, you ain’t got no time to be bullshittin’, you gotta be in there working. So I got a studio in Midtown Manhattan and I gotta do at least 16 hrs a day. I just think I learned more, I learned how to do Protools, I learned how to do more on different machines like the mp3000. I just like being in the studio but I also like to learn about craft more. From then until now I am more mature with my listening sound; I know what to listen for I know what to take out now. When I was young I used to let everything slide more. I am more critique with my music now, sometimes I’m a pain in the ass. You know what, being more critique made me more a pain in the ass cause I wont let shit slide now, back then when I hear something I woulda let shit slide. Now I go back and if it takes two hours to do the whole shit over again, I do it. That’s it, I’m mature that’s it. My rhymes and everything I think got more tighter, I don’t just talk about weed and bitches through the whole song, I talk more about shit like lovin’ ya momma. Yup, more mature that’s it.

– Is there any outlook on a follow up for Blackout?
You know what, Blackout volume 2 is coming. We did like one song for the album, hopefully we be finished by the tip of ’08 and release it by next spring. I’ma be honest about with the timing. And plus we gonna work on a movie too so it’s in the process.

– Anything for television? The Red and Meth show?
No no no no more television shows, no no nooooo aaaargh! They won’t even show it in Amsterdam! You know, the TV show was an experience, it was a check and I don’t think I would ever do a TV show again. I just wanna do movies, How High 2. And I wanna direct movies, so that’s my next shit, directing movies.

– What about videogames?
More video games too. I wanna come out with a grown videogame for mature audiences. You got a lotta grown ups that like to play games. R-rated haha. You got a big party here and a big party there, have a big screen with an adult game, with an adult lady running around ass-naked, shooting a gun and with her titties flapping everywhere and then someone tappin’ on her and starts fuckin’ her, that shit’ll be wild! That shit would be crazy! “Ooooh she just got fucked look ooooh!” But it’s an adult game, I think we need that so I’ma do that.

– So are you gonna be in it as a character so we can play with you and have you fuck her?
Exactly hahaha! That’s a good idea but you know what, I wanna be behind the scenes now. I think I grew to a point where I can be behind the scenes, so I wanna be behind the scene and maybe have you…..hahahaha…
– hahahahahha!
…. as a model of the game, you know, something like that, break bread with my peoples, that’s what I’m about.

– Tell me about Gilla House.
Gilla House – Saukrates, Runt Dog, Ready Roc, Melanie, E-3, those are the artists. Gilla House, Gilla is over the top. You know how it is, when you’re an artist. Say you’re a painter and you’re showing me your display, you’re like “You like this?” “It’s hot its hot”, or “I don’t like it cause this or this.” Gilla is having that patience for making everything fire. It really takes patience in life to not selling it for less. I think we’re at a time in life where everyone, especially our people, we should not settle for less. I think the doors are wide open, I think the excuses are out the window, about your past, you had a father or you had a family of…, you know all those excuses are out the window now. The game is turning so fast, business is really high with the money now, that you have to be on ya A-game. You can’t come in the game with anything now, I don’t give a fuck what it is, basketball, commentator, rapper, you gotta be on ya A-game with no excuses. You gotta come in there with “This is what I’m doing and yeah I’m hot”. Once you’re in, then you can tell your story like “I ain’t had this or have that.” But Gilla is being over the top, not settling for less. If that shit ain’t Gilla, I don’t fuck with it. That’s what it is.

– Red Gone Wild. You did production, Timbaland did production. Scott did production. Why Scott gawddammit? Haha.
Why not! What do y’all think about Scott out here?

– Scott is a good guy but he is overproducing.
What do you mean overproducing? Too much? He is doing too many people? Everybody going to Scott now?

– Yeah, now you’re a follower. (Hahaha)
You know what no no no no! You know what! This is what it is. Good question, good answer, I like that. But it’s not even about that. What me and Scott did, I was with Scott before. You gotta understand, Scott been down so long, like he is the backbone of Dre. Everybody knows that. He been the backbone of Dre’s shit ever since Snoops albums, before Snoop, he is just getting his shine. When he just started building for himself, I met Scott like 7 years ago, when he was still small time, before he started even doing people. We just kept a relationship, come down there, do songs, I got like 18 songs with Scott. We did major songs, we just decided to really fuck around with the business, we just did songs on the low. We just decided “Hey that’s hot, lets throw it on ya album.” I ain’t have to pay for it. It wasn’t like I needed Scott Storch, To break that level up with y’all, and to let y’all know something about Scott, even though Scott get a lot of work, guys like Scott, guys like Timbaland, even though they got a lot of money, these guys are in their fucking studio, twenty-four-seven. And I mean these guys got yachts, Ferraris, they can just take off 3 or 4 years, don’t have to work. That nigga Scott, smokes just as much as me, when I’m down there I be like “Yo where you at?” “I’m at the studio.” We going in there and we sit in that bitch for at least 12, 13 to 14 hours straight. And he would mix, he got a list “I gotta do this beat for this person, gotta do a beat for that person, what you think of this or that.” He did a beat for Ciara. “What you think of this stuff for Ciara?” And he had a whole bunch lined up for her. He works with his cool. Yo big up to Scott, he definitely earned everything he did. Everything. Cause you gotta remember, he doesn’t have his name on all the shit he did back in the day. He ain’t got no credit. He just got a little check here, little check there just to keep him quiet. Now he got his own thing going. When y’all look at Scott, look at him as an artist. Look at him as a producer that finally got his shine. He been working hard man and Dr. Dre will tell you that shit.

– But you know what, listening to the radio, hearing 20,30 times a day, almost the same line of production, it’s not funky anymore. We need the funk, mister Funk Doctor!
Well, what you wanna do? He got his Mojo on. You want a Scott sound, this is what it’s gonna be. It’s gonna sound Scott Stortish.

– Last year it was Lil Jon, Timbaland had it, Neptunes had it.
Timbaland got his thing going on too, Neptunes had their thing, Swizz Beats had it. I like Swizz Beats man, I love Swizz Beats.

– So for Muddy Waters 2, you gonna switch it up? Production wise?
Yeah, actually I’m getting old-sounded beats for MW2, I don’t care about the new sounding shit, Erick Sermon is working on it right now, my Gilla camp is working on it right now, Chris and Adam, my producer team. MW2 is gonna be old sounding beats and FUNK. Funk is bad, don’t nobody do funk records no more, well I’m gonna do funk shit on my Muddy Waters cause I don’t give a fuck. Cause this is for my fans, and I wanna do something different.

– So why do you use the same title, if you wanna do something different? What was the thought behind that?
Uuuuhm cause I wanna be like the first artist – good fucking question you motherfucker you- (haha). Cause I wanna be the first to take it back. I wanna take it back with the old sound. I actually wanna try and find muddy water songs that I didn’t use. And enhance them and advance them to work on the new album. I wanna get old beats that sound like they would be Muddy Waters 1. That’s why I’m saying it’s just for the fans, I’m not tryna win with this, I’m just tryna dedicate something my the Muddy Water fans cause ’97 was a great… know ’97 was good year for wine, like when you say “Lemme get some of that 97 wine, that’s a good year.” So ’97 when I dropped Muddy Waters, that was a great year. Music was more appreciated, we appreciated the culture of music, so dropping an album back then was phenomenal, I don’t think I ever get that feeling again when I’m dropping an album.

– So you wanna try and get that feeling again?
No you know what, I’m not tryna reach for that feeling, I just wanna reach back for the fans. I just want the fans to be -Oh this fucking guy is great. He just gonna give us this. And then I’m working on another album with the Gilla House and then me and Meth and then he just gonna give us this and he don’t care about the new sounds, he don’t care about a new single, he’s just Muddy Watered OUT and that’s what I love.

– Suppose you drop it…lets say November, December. Then its 10 years. Think about that.
Wooooooow! Hahahhahaa! You’re right! Yo 10 years, damn that’s what I’m talking about! Fuuuuuck! Wooooooooow!

– You said Erick Sermon, so what about other producers?
Yeah Erick Sermon, Rockwilder of course, my Gilla House production team. If I fuck with outside production, I gotta get some shit from Pete Rock. Pete Rock got beats he ain’t use for C.L. Smooth, he got mega beats I can get it, he is HipHop he is ready. Matter fact, Gimmie One. Gimmie One was supposed to be on Muddy Waters too. Cause I had finished the album but I had opened the album back up but I was like nah, this gotta be heard. That shit gotta be heard right now. That’s where I’m at with it, if you love Gimmie One, that’s how Muddy Waters is supposed to sound soon.

– What is the meaning behind “Put it down”?
Timbaland. Timbaland actually came up with that hook. Actually, the song had a Timbaland hook but Timbaland had to go through litigation* with the company now and with his boss and him and him, so his boss wouldn’t let him jump on anything. He said anything he do, take it off. He got the rights, his boss got the rights to do that to Tim, it’s fucked up. But what Tim gon’ do? Tim had to take his voice off, he was saying “Put it down, put it down, put it down.” He said it, but I had to change it to me. Big ups to Tim, Put it down is just put it down. We came here to put it down, we did something that was hot, so we gonna put that shit down. Basically.

– Whats gonna be the next single?
The next single….hmm, it’s gonna be either “Mary Jane” or “Freestyle”. Matter fact it is “Mary Jane” and “Freestyle”, “Mary Jane” for the westcoast and “Freestyle” for the eastcoast.

– What about Europe? Can we use them both?
Yeah y’all can use them both. You know y’all got hands on everything. Matter of fact I got a special European album, I got two songs on the European version of my album that I don’t got on the States. I got “Fuck the Security” and “Lets go”. Two extra songs of the European version of my album so y’all gotta go pick it up!

– If I say Daddy, what do you say?
(Smile) My dog. Big up to Cesar, Daddy I love my dog man, I let Cesar keep him too cause he can’t stay with me. If he stay with me he wouldn’t be as big as he was. He be too cracked out, he be coughing and shit *ugh ugh ugh*, so I had to let him stay where he was at in LA and he is doing big things man, big ups to Daddy.

– I gotta wrap it up, so I have one more question from a ladies perspective. The shoes. Are we able to pick them up over here as well?
Yes the shoes! I will be coming out with the line two springs from now, spring of ’09 or spring of ’08 but I am really pushing for spring of ’09 to be on the safe side. Yes, y’all are classy over here. Y’all actually set trends as well as far as fashion, international waters anywhere. Yes I would love for my shoe to be released here at the same time as in the States. People that are personal friends of mine, people that know me, will be getting a special edition shoe. I would love for a Mary J. or Beyonce to wear my shoe.