NEW YORK — Redman hasn't released an album in nearly six years, but if you ask him, he couldn't be any happier.
The New Jersey MC said the rap game has changed drastically since his last album, 2001's Malpractice — from the emergence of the South to the industry's dependence on mixtapes to stay relevant.
But Red thinks his new set, Red Gone Wild: Thee Album, which dropped Tuesday on Def Jam, is coming out at just the right time for fans looking to really have fun again — something he thinks has been missing the past few years.
"The business aspect of hip-hop done took over the real cultural side," he told MTV News recently from the W Hotel while promoting the "Def Jam Icon" video game. "I see where Nas was coming from with Hip Hop Is Dead, and I don't think mother----ers took him the right way when he said that. I think he meant hip-hop is gone. It's not dead; it just needs a little tweak, a little mix of culture where we making hip-hop albums again instead of singles. Just a little bit of the culture needs to be left, and everybody can agree on that.
"The new generation is doing their thing and I got much respect for them, but people are still wanting hip-hop, so why not come out and supply them with the sh-- I normally do anyway?" Red continued. "When you got white people coming up saying, 'Yo, what's going on with the music?' then you know something is wrong."
Redman definitely still has his sense of humor intact. And on Red Gone Wild, he shares his wry observations alongside collaborators Method Man, Keith Murray, Snoop Dogg , Nate Dogg and Biz Markie.
But more importantly, according to Red, he's featuring his Gilla House crew prominently throughout the project. That's the reason it took him so long to return with a new album, he said.
"If I was doing another regular Redman album, I probably would have been done by now. But I didn't want to do that," Red explained. "I have a crew to introduce now, Gilla House, which consists of my artists. And the reason why I named it Red Gone Wild is because I'm gonna be wildin' out here when that album comes out, most def, but I broke molds from the previous albums. I got other producers. Erick Sermon and Rockwilder are always gonna be my producers, but I got some others just to test the waters, 'cause I'm grown now. And I wanted to do it just to see how it is."
One of those other producers he's working with now happens to be Timbaland, who Redman worked with on the first single, "Put It Down." Red recently wrapped a video for the track with director Dale "Rage" Resteghini. Filmed throughout New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles, Redman parodies MTV's "Jackass" and "Yo Momma," along with VH1's "Ego Trip's The (White) Rapper Show" in the clip. The video is also scheduled to include cameos by Don Vito, Wilmer Valderrama and MC Serch. Red even ends up tossing Serch's sneakers over a clothesline, à la "The (White) Rapper Show."
Though Red's still relying on humor, he did make it clear he's not sticking to that as a one-track formula.
"If you and your boy were growing up together since [you were kids], y'all's conversations are gonna be different by the time you 35," Redman explained. "Yeah, you still gonna be talking about [a hot chick], but then you might also be talking about getting that next business. This album is more on that level now. The n---as that been listening to me then should be grown as hell right now along with me. So we can still have fun talking about some stupid sh--, but I'm gonna let them know what's really going down on this album.
"I want people to love the way I put this album together," he continued. "I still got my pen game, and my artists sound dope. I want them to wanna hear more from Gilla House."