Congratulations to Method Man and Redman 20th Anniversary of the album, “Blackout!” which is the debut studio album for the duo. It would be the first release by Method Man and Redman after collaborating on many songs together. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 254,000 copies. They would ride their wave of success into the 2001 major studio film “How High.” Both rappers were at the height of their popularity as a group because of the success of the album and its three charted singles, “Tear It Off” “Da Rockwilder”, and “Y.O.U.”
. The singles were also popular videos which were mainstays on MTV and BET.
They were going to name of the album “Amerikaz Most Blunted” and promoted it for months before the release. Ultimately they changed it to the more commercially acceptable Blackout!. The CD version of the album features three previously released bonus tracks; “Well All Rite Cha” also appeared on Redman’s, “Big Dogz” and 1995’s critically acclaimed single “How High”.
The album’s three singles, “Y.O.U.”, “Da Rockwilder” and “Tear It Off”, sent the album to be certified platinum by the RIAA just three months after the album’s release. The album has also been certified platinum in Canada. The album has sold 1,575,000 copies to date. Blackout is also considered the album that spearheaded their success and make them a staple in the entertainment industry.
(11/11/99, p. 132) – 4 stars out of 5 – “…a tight-as-drum album in an era of half-assed efforts” Rolling Stone
Method Man & Redman are two artists that were both part of successful groups, Redman from Def Squad and Method Man from Wu-Tang. They both had successful solo careers away from their said groups and they would go on to collaborate on songs where they built a chemistry that couldn’t be denied. They were signed to Def Jam Recordings both as solo artists and as a group. They were teamed up 1995 for the song “How High” produced by Erick Sermon but it was not until 1999 that they released a full-length collaborative effort, Blackout!
Method Man and Redman were so influential that they inspired one of the top five stoner flicks “How High”, a movie titled after their first song. They were already stars that stood out from the groups they were in even though both groups, Wu-Tang and Def Squad had seen success. Wu-Tang successfully produced hit album after hit album with each member having a chance to release solo projects, and so did Def Squad. But Method Man and Redman were at superstar heights when they formed their own group. They even had a sitcom on Fox called Method and Red but after one season they disowned the series due to lack of creative control. They also had a prank show on MTV where they would prank fellow hip hop artist.
(10/10/99, p. 73) – “…when hip-hop’s most playfully creative rhyme stylers throw down like two superballs in a rubber room, they’re unstoppable – and make rap’s most joyous ride.” – Rating: A- Entertainment Weekly
The duo has known each other for a long time before signing with Def Jam. They first met in 1994 on tour and met again in 1995 while recording a song with the late great Tupac Shakur. They recorded “Got My Mind Made Up” for Shakur’s multi-platinum album ”All Eyes on Me” (1996). After this, they had friendly battles with each other on the show “Yo MYV Raps” , which led to their collaboration on “How High”. In 1999, the two rappers appeared together on “Born Again”, Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous album, they were featured on the song “Rap Phenomenon.” The two can still be seen performing together and both are still active in the hip hop world.
I personally couldn’t wait for the release of ”Blackout!” because at the time these were my two favorite artists. I have long been a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad but Method Man and Redman stood out the most to me. They were both lyrical and witty and both had flows that couldn’t be imitated. They introduced a whole new audience to the stoner life while still being able to be relevant in the gangster era. When they finally came together after collaborating on numerous occasions, I knew they would produce a hit. My predictions were proven correct with the instant success of not only the singles that lit up the charts or going platinum in three months, but the world took to them. They were featured on the big screen and then plastered all over network TV. You could no go anywhere or listen to nothing without Method Man and Redman.
I want to give a salute to Method Man and Redman aka, Meth & Red, Red & Mef, John Blaze and Funk Doc or Funk Doctor Spock and Johnny Blaze, on the 20th Anniversary of the album Blackout! Thanks for the inspiration and continue to keep pushing the culture forward.