Hip-hop is in a state of resurgence, with lots of the elder rap statesmen getting back into the game. Instead of putting it down, most have come back jaded in their old age, preaching instead of grinding. While Nas acts like a curmudgeon without his ointment, lamenting the death of hip hop, Redman goes another route: dropping hot tracks. With Redman: Live from the Bricks, Reggie Noble has enlisted DJ Scooby Doo to put together his latest mixtape, and itâ€™s like the Funk Doctor never left.
Redmanâ€™s vicious wordplay is evident right from the first track, â€œLive from the Bricks.â€ He reminds listeners that he can still bring it hard: â€œI ainâ€™t gonna talk about what Jay ainâ€™t doinâ€™/ I K.I.M. the problem â€“ keep it movinâ€™/ I dot my Iâ€™s and cross my Tâ€™s/ any nigga that do it like me is false I.D.â€ Even though heâ€™s got an album dropping in April, Reggieâ€™s saved some hot guest spots for this here mixtape. Thereâ€™s the Erick Sermon produced â€œWalk in Gutter,â€ and even some strong T-Dot representation as Saukrates more than holds his own on â€œLetâ€™s Go.â€
If only the other over-30 MCs would follow Redmanâ€™s lead. Sure, hip hopâ€™s a young manâ€™s game, but a hot joint transcends age. Live from the Bricks is solid all the way through, there are even a couple hot freestyles and funny sketches thrown in for good measure. Itâ€™s almost good enough to make fans forget about How High. Almost.