Continuing a year that has seen the two practically joined at the hip, rappers Method Man and Redman are recording an album together called America's Most Blunted.
The album, due Sept. 28, will find the two over-the-top entertainers, who each released a platinum album in 1998, displaying the same kind of spontaneity that marked their shows together during the Hard Knock Life tour this winter and spring, according to Mathematics, a Wu-Tang Productions member who's producing some of the tracks.
"Being onstage with them, it's like anything can happen," said Mathematics, who has performed as a DJ with the pair and who gave his full name as Allah Mathematics. "It's the same way in the studio."
The Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and EPMD's Erick Sermon are among the album's other producers. The disc will include 16 tracks, including "Tear It Off" and "How High," a song the two unveiled on the soundtrack to the 1996 movie "The Show," according to Def Jam Recordings publicist Gabrielle Peluso.
Method Man (born Clifford Smith), who is also a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, is a tall and lanky 27-year-old with a world-absorbing grin. He released his second solo album, Tical 2000: Judgement Day, in November. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart on the strength of such songs as "Judgement Day"
(RealAudio excerpt) and "Perfect World."
Thirty-something Redman (born Reggie Noble), a protégé of Sermon, is shorter and stockier than Method Man and has an ever-present snicker. Method Man appeared on Redman's fourth album, Doc's Da Name 2000 (1998), which included the track "Brick City Mashin'!"
They had talked for several years about recording an album, according to Peluso, and their plans solidified as a result of their coupling on the Hard Knock Life tour, a 54-date trek co-headlined by Jay-Z (born Shawn Carter) and by DMX (born Earl Simmons).
Over the course of their 45-minute set in March at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., Method Man and Redman crisscrossed each other like alley cats on the prowl, jumped into the crowd at various points, riffed on the microphone about marijuana and women, led their audiences in chants of "f--- you" and, as a highlight stunt, elevated themselves to the rafters using cranes for their rendition of "How High."
They burst onstage dressed as nuns at the Hot 97 Summer Jam, held June 24 at the same arena. They were joined onstage by singer Mary J. Blige, Method Man's Wu-Tang cohort Inspectah Deck and about 20 other associates.
The two rappers make cameo appearances on "Symphony 2000" (RealAudio excerpt), the first single from EPMD's Out of Business, which comes out Tuesday. They performed the song with EPMD to a screaming crowd at the New York club Tramps on July 5.
"Redman and Method Man to the fullest, yo!" said a 20-year-old fan from Jersey City, N.J., who gave his name as Ban'Cardem, after that show. "You saw how everybody was reacting up in here. They're the sh--."
Both are scheduled to release their next solo albums before the end of the year. Def Jam's release schedule lists Method Man's still-untitled third album for Dec. 7 and Redman's fifth album, also untitled, for Dec. 14.