Redman: Doc's Da Name 2000

Redman: Doc's Da Name 2000

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Redman

Album: Doc's Da Name 2000
Label: Def Jam

Ever since he first renounced both the bitches and the so-called fame on EPMD's "Headbanger," New Jersey's Redman has been a rap force, releasing three well-received solo records, appearing on countless other rappers' albums, and forming the Def Squad with mentor Erick Sermon and the recently incarcerated Keith Murray. Last year's Def Squad release, the questionably titled El Niño, was a kick-ass, nearly filler-free album that played to Redman's strengths: He's a darkly funny, charismatic smartass with a potent but limited flow, and he's best when he doesn't have to carry an entire record by himself. Like labelmate DMX, Redman is best when taken in small doses, a fact that makes his new, 24-track Doc's Da Name 2000 far too much of a good thing. And while the album contains a handful of songs that rank with Redman's best work, it could have benefited from prodigious editing. On the plus side, "Bricks City Mashing" floats along effortlessly alongside an overused but still potent "Genius Of Love" sample, "Da Da DaHHH" is a typically irreverent and laid-back look at Redman's artistic growth as an artist and a man, "Soopaman Lova IV" is a worthy entry in Redman's ongoing "Soopaman Lova" series, and "Beet Drop" is a brief but inspired Beastie Boys homage. On the minus side are uninspired pairings with Method Man, Busta Rhymes, and Roni Size. In between are some good songs, some funny gags, a slew of off-the-wall cultural references (Burger King's mid-'80s "I'm Not Herb" campaign, HBO's brilliant Mr. Show), and a whole lot of filler. Redman diehards should love Doc's Da Name 2000, but the uninitiated are better off picking up El Niño or waiting for the next Def Squad album.