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Album Review

Method Man and Redman, 'Blackout! 2'

May 25, 2009
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Hip-Hop
Method Man and Redman Blackout! 2
Def Jam
ESSENTIAL "Four Minutes to Midnight"

The veteran dynamic duo brings electricity and a desperately needed sense of humor to the hip-hop scene on this, their first record in 10 years. Only they, and their weed dealers, know why it took a decade for them to drop these sizzling tracks. This works from the opening cut and never lets up as Meth offers his lacerating lines filled with taut wit while Redman offsets him with his energetic mix of madness and smarts. This is a decidedly New York affair with beats that snap necks and rhymes hotter than pavement in July. You realize that outside the claustrophobic confines of the Wu-Tang Clan, Meth needs Redman and, when he's focused, he has few peers. The duo has left the cartoon buffoonery behind and drill down on making a rattling, raucous record. "Dis Iz 4 All My Smokers" is a funny ode to unrepentant lighting up. "Four Minutes to Midnight" features Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, and it has Wu intensity. The guests, including Keith Murray and Bun B, serve a purpose and aren't here just for name recognition. But guys, we're getting too old to wait till 2019 to black out again. (Out now)

KEN CAPOBIANCO