Remembering Redman's Debut 'Whut? Thee Album'

Redman in 2012 (Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images)
Redman in 2012 (Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images)

Redman is one of hip-hop's most delightful MC's, and Sept. 22 marked the 20th anniversary of his debut LP, Whut? Thee Album. On Hip Hop Wired, contributor Dart Adams reflects on how the rapper, born Reggie Noble, began as DJ Cut Killer and happened to rhyme for EPMD, which opened the doors for rap favorites like "Tonight's the Night" and "I'll Bee Dat."  

The first time we ever heard Redman, he was a young hungry MC ready to rock rough rhymes. He dropped two memorable guest verses on "Hardcore" and "Brothers On My Jock" from EPMD's classic 1990 Def Jam debut Business As Usual. Redman traveled with EPMD and watched them as they worked. He was mentored and groomed by Erick Sermon but also came in with his own ideas and direction. During much of the recording of Whut? Thee Album, EPMD were busy crafting their classic LP Business Never Personal.

This meant that Redman was often left alone in the studio to his own devices. The Green Eyed Bandit would come in from time to time to offer direction but Reggie Noble had to figure it out the same way Erick and Parish had to back when they made Strictly Business, just five years prior. The lessons learned alone in the studio during the recording of this album would benefit Redman for his entire career.

Redman had a few distinctive traits that made him not only stand out but made him an innovator in Hip-Hop early in his career. First off, while Cypress Hill had already released their first album the previous summer they weren't as known for their stance on weed until their second album dropped in 1993. In addition, Redman dropped Whut? Thee Album three months before Dr. Dre released The Chronic. Cats had been bumping Redman's "How To Roll A Blunt" (which was the B-Side to his hit debut single "Blow Your Mind") for close to three months before Whut? Thee Album dropped. Redman was one of the cats that made weed ultimately blow up and go mainstream within Hip-Hop.


Read Dart Adams' entire piece at Hip Hop Wired.

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