on 2 September 2003
There are many double acts that will be remembered in Hip-hop for a long time as two different rap styles which just connect together to create a unique sound - Raekwon & Ghostface Killah; Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg; Eric B & Rakim; and finally, Method Man & Redman.
The duo mix together two totally different rappers - Redman uses a funkier sound and has a squeakier voice, a rap style that is almost sickly - too much of it can ruin the whole experience. Therefore, this album is probably the best way to enjoy Redman's talents. He does a lot of rapping, but his sickliness is balanced out by his partner in crime.
Method Man contrasts Redman's funky style, as Meth's solo albums feature bleak, almost uncomfortable beats but a killer flow that leaves the listener in admiration and not caring that his beats are quite hard to listen to. Meth's voice is also a massive contrast on Redman's, Meth having a deep, rugged yet somehow quite smooth voice.
The two styles compliment each other perfectly - so you should expect nothing but the best from Blackout.
The album is gently introduced with an introduction which shows what Red & Meth have in common with other rappers - they like smoking a certain substance. This intro leads nicely into what will be possibly the song that has the most initial appeal on the whole album.
That song being Blackout. Featuring a catchy tune that you'll be humming afterwards, this song almost deserves praise for that alone. And the lyrics, like most of this song, have initial appeal - long flows with several words all using the same rhyming sound make this very easy on the ear. However, the song is shallow: firstly, the beat is relentless throughout the whole song, so whilst it's catchy you will tire of it eventually. Also, while the lyrics are good, there's no hidden meaning or purpose - in fact they make very little sense, it's almost like an audio version of the rhyming dictionary. This song will be the one you play over and over when you buy this album - and the one you 'grow out of' as you progress onto the rest of the album.
Mi Casa has a nice beat to it, as does Y.O.U., but both songs lack any major appeal.
However, they do lead nicely into 4 Seasons. Featuring a fairly good performance from LL Cool J, and also featuring Ja Rule for comedy value, this song features the 4 rappers, all acting best of friends, letting off with some lyricals over the comfortable beat. It's a pleasant song - just remember to skip onto the next song when a certain grustly Murder Inc. emcee steps in. Don't be put off by Ja Rule's appearance though - it's a subtle diss. For in 'The ?', there is one line in particular which could well be a hidden attack on Mr. Anti-50 Cent himself -
'Jar all these fake n----s'.
A mere coincidence in the likeness? Hear it for yourself, how Meth says it, before passing judgement.
Moving on swiftly, possibly the best song on the album, the felonous 'Cereal Killer', which talks about, well killing. It also features some of the most memorable verses from the whole album, as each lyrical has many hidden touches and excellent lyrics.
Da Rockwilder kicks off with some very nice starts to both Meth & Red's lyricals, and when both lyricals start to fade off, they do the honourable thing - they stop. It's a nice song with well planned lyricals, if the song is, however, a little on the short side.
Tear It Off is a pretty mundane song, but after it comes the undoubtedly funny skit, 'Where We At?'. It's catchy, memorable, and if your white skinned make sure to take your sense of humour with you when you put this song on.
The album seems to lean more towards the Eric Sermon side of the producing from here on, with most songs being quite funky, it almost seems as if the mighty Rza was pushed to the side for the majority of this, with only 'Run for Cover' and the bonus tracks featuring a drop from the Redman style. Still, it's no bad thing - it's a nice change to hear a Method Man song you could get up and dance to if you really wanted.
Highlights for this latter half - the aformentionted 'The ?' features some good lyrics, and is the one song on this album that may be leaning towards the diss song style that many rappers have adopted when taking shots at whoever or whatever they feel. See if you can spot what Red & Meth are trying to have a go at.
Cheka is a song that will be music to Redman fans ears, as it is one of the most upbeat songs in Hip-hop. It features yet more great lyrics, especially a comedy one towards the start of Meth's lyrcial.
Fire Ina Hole is also quite good, and How High will appeal to a select few fans, mainly those who saw the films.
Overall, this is a great album,half of it leaning towards Meth's stlye and half towards Red's. It's certainly great seeing the two accompanying each other on their opposing style tracks - and as I said before, there's few duos who can match up to Method Man & Redman.