Volume 90, Issue 65

Tuesday, January 21, 1997



Hip-hop's man of the hour

Muddy Waters
Def Jam

Muddy Waters, the latest "ruckus" release from hip-hop artist Redman hits hard with unconventional lyrics and typically strong beats.

Redman is no stranger to the hip-hop realm, teaming up in the past with the likes of Eric Sermon, Reggie Noble, Keith Murray, Notorious B.I.G. and R. Kelly to record hit after hit. Of course, no avid fan can forget Redman's contributions to the defunct group EPMD.

Redman's lyrical expressions have evolved from his earlier releases, focusing less on violence and more on the reformation of the black community. You can also see a trend for Redman to stay away from insulting other rappers and instead, concentrating on the improvement of his music.

Even with this evolution, he has yet to outgrow his craving for the Buddha and seems to include it in just about every track. Most hip-hop artists typically include skits in between songs and Redman toes the line with some of the most hilarious I have ever heard. While these interludes (and most of his songs) are not for those with sensitive ears, Redman manages to manipulate his strong language into a style that emphasizes his anger and in the same way, his individuality as a rapper. No doubt this was influenced by long-time friend and producer Eric Sermon. Redman has taken much of Sermon's presence and fluid lyrics and transformed them into his own brand of hip-hop.

One particularly impressive thing about Redman is that he does not get involved in the east coast/west coast conflict in the rap world. He also refuses to subscribe, in rhetoric and rap, to the typical shallow success formula that most rappers do – how much money, expensive clothes, women or Mercedes coupes he has. Redman simply states his message in a way that gets attention.

While Redman's forceful type of music is not for everyone, long-time admirers can appreciate the revival of a style practiced by many, but performed flawlessly by few.

–Yaseen Nimjee

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca