Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2

blackout-2Artist: Method Man & Redman
Album: Blackout! 2
Genre: Hip Hop
Label: Def Jam

It’s finally here! The long awaited sequel to one of the most beloved hip hop/co-op releases, Method Man & Redman’s Blackout 2! has arrived on the streets of the world and is ready to take everything you loved last time one step high [or ten].

Starting with a great introduction that blends live and studio audio with straight fire coming from Redman right off the back. The past decade seems to have been just a second in time as were instantly pulled into the record. “A-Yo,” a track that was also on the recent mixtape, is more flushed out here and Method Man rides it like his childhood bike [like nothing at all if you don’t get the reference]. The first true standout however is “Errbody Scream” which features some killer additional vocals from Keith Murray. This is a track to destroy your speakers with and start the party. It’s not a top 40 ready track, but rather a dirty beat with flows like Niagara. It’s crazy approachable. To me, it’s tacks like this that makes hip hop great. Only here could something like this exist and I wouldn’t want to be without it. this is matched by the equally cunning, “City Lights” which brings us a banging performance room UGK’s Bun B that really takes the track to the next level.

The album takes more smooth turn with “Mrs. International” and I’m still not too sure how I feel about it. It’s an alright track, but I feel the power of Meth & Red is kind of wasted here. Luckily, “How Bout Dat” comes in with an old school feel to bring us right back into the record with intensity. Once again, Redman takes control of the track and leave Meth in the dust. I noticed this a lot on the record actually, maybe it’s just how the beats fits their personalities. A lot of the album is in your face and Red’s approach is just like that so it works where as Method Man’s slightly more intelligent/laid back lines tend to take a back seat initially, but stand well in the long run. Add the required “Dis Iz 4 All My Smokers” and the fire that is “I Know Sumpton,” with a few weaker tracks and skits and you have hit the end of one of the most abrasive rap albums in recent memory.

Ten years may have been a ridiculous amount of time to wait for an album, but from the first track to the last, Blackout! 2 makes it all well worth the wait. Meth and Red have only honed their already impressive mic skills and taken them to the next level. Nearly every track has something to pull you in and make you come back again and again. If you only drop money on one label released hip hop record this summer, in my opinion, you NEED Blackout! 2.

James Shotwell
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