Spliff Hop

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When I was 10, Mother criticized Rudy Ray Moore. I didn't know who he was. But he was too raunchy to be tolerated, and his albums had no place in a respectable home, as far as she was concerned. Then at age 12, I found Rudy Ray Moore. In the back of my father's closet, in a short stack of LPs, was Eat Out More Often, the album that introduced me to Dolemite. It was in my mama's house. I realized, then, that people have sides. Some they share. Some they hide.

Nowadays, when no one is around, I jump in the truck and blast the hell out of Doc's the Name, Redman's fourth buddha-fest on record. It's carnal, immoral and laces 'filthflarnfilth' comedy over the hottest funk tracks in hip hop. And it's the fourth Redman album this polite, respectful, drug-free individual has spent hard-earned jack to own. Of course, since 90 percent of Redman's content disagrees with me, I could claim to buy it for the music. But any connoisseur of fine hip hop will admit that, positive or negative, Redman is one of the most vivid and meticulous storytellers on the m-i-c.

Redman's project is John Henry to the Def Jam promotional steam drill pushing his labelmate Method Man's new opus. On the boards, Erick Sermon, Rockwilder and Redman are a match made in heaven. The bumpiness of "I'll Bee Dat" and the ridiculous remake of Ice Cube's "Once Upon a Time in the Projects" are par for the course on an album that features a string of highlights.

As thorough as the musical arrangements are, we positive folk will have a hard time listening to the album in one sitting. But if you need a fix, Doc's the Name is a pretty good supplement to — or substitute for — a spliff.

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