June 10, 2007

Redman - Dare Iz A Darkside (November 22, 1994)


I know, I know. I don't want to hear it.

Dare Iz A Darkside is the sophomore effort by Reggie Noble, who almost single-handedly handles the production duties. (Rockwilder and Erick Sermon provide the occasional support.) While it was commercially successful (in 1995 it went gold, which, using the 2007 equivalent, means he sold eleventy billion copies), it wasn't as critically favored as Whut? Thee Album. However, a lot of Redman stans claim this as their favorite of his albums, which, as you all know, means jack shit to me, so here we go.

1. DR. TREVIS
While this is just a glorified rap album intro, I do appreciate how it sounds as if it picks up right where the first album left off, and the ubiquitous Dr. Trevis instructs Redman to forget how he made the first album, so that number two can be an original creation.

2. BOBYAHED2DIS
First thing you notice is that Reggie's voice is now at a higher pitch, meaning that he sounds more like he does now than he did with those early EPMD appearances and Whut?

3. JOURNEY THROO DA DARKSIDE
Not great. That's all I got.

4. DA JOURNEE
This write-up is killing my spellchecker, seriously.

5. A MILLION AND 1 BUDDAH SPOTS
This beat fucking knocks.

6. NOOROTIC
This beat kinda gives me a headache. Rockwilder's beats definitely improved after this album. (I have to give him credit for the "Bobyahed2dis" instrumental, though.)

7. BOODAH SESSION
It's fucking hilarious that Redman spells "buddah", which is already misspelled to begin with, two different ways within three tracks.

8. COSMIC SLOP (FEAT ERICK SERMON & KEITH MURRAY)
Sounds exactly like you'd expect a Def Squad track to sound. They work so well together, they should do something crazy, like put out an entire album of collaborations or something. What do you mean, they already did that? Those motherfuckers owe me royalties, then.

9. ROCKAFELLA (R.I.P.) (FEAT ROCKAFELLA)
Short interlude featuring who I can only assume to be a late associate of Reggie's. (Sorry, rlstokey, I don't have any more info about this guy, but I tried. He passed on before the advent of Wikipedia.)

10. ROCKAFELLA
The first single. In 2007, a song like this would NEVER be selected to lead off the marketing of any album. Taken as is, it's not bad, but the second single was much better.

11. GREEN ISLAND
Meh.

12. BASICALLY
Redman is one of the best rappers out, period. Is that KRS-One's voice sampled throughout?

13. CAN'T WAIT
Single number 2. Probably the only song on here that sounds like it belongs on Whut? Another Album!!?? In a good way, of course.

14. WINICUMUHROUND
The people that don't claim that
Darkside is Reggie's best effort often complain that all of the beats on here sound alike. I'm beginning to see their point.

15. WUDITLOOKLIKE
Meh, take two.

16. SLIDE AND ROCK ON
The riff on Dr. Dre's intro on The Chronic is appreciated. The song itself is frustrating to listen to.

17. SOOPERMAN LUVA II
The luva will (apparently) never die!

18. WE RUN N.Y. (FEAT HURRICANE G)
Erick Sermon must have seen a fine ass or something on Hurricane G when he knocked her up, because her voice is fucking annoying. (For the record, the only song I ever liked her on was Cocoa Brovaz' "Spanish Harlem", and even that was pushing it.)

19. DR. TREVIS (SIGNS OFF)
Glorified outro.

20. TONIGHT'S DA NIGHT (REMIX)
Sounds more fierce than the original, in a 'Blue Steel' kind of way.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Dare Iz A Darkside is a darker turn than you would expect from an established artist's second effort, even if Reggie samples "Atomic Dog" on multiple songs throughout. (Seriously. Check the liner notes.) By no means is this a bad album, but the fans who have heard Muddy Waters first will be disappointed, and fans of Red Gone Wild will just stare at you with a blank expression, like a wax figurine.

BUY OR BURN? Tough call. Redman fans should
snatch it up immediately. Casual listeners should burn it and give it a trial run. Overall, it's not a bad addition to your collection, and the cover art alone should freak out some of your house guests.

BEST TRACKS: "Bobyahed2dis"; "Can't Wait"; "Cosmic Slop"

(Don't agree with the above review? Leave a comment below! Don't be shy!)

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Redman - Whut? Thee Album
Keith Murray - The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World

20 comments:

  1. this is a worthy album to follow on from Whut Thee......i simply loved both and although he a pop star now, the weight of this album and his debut means i still love him!

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  2. his best album

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  3. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    On the real, this is not the album that will knocks you out from the first listening. If you wonder what does "album grows on you" mean - that's it. The production is incredible, deep basslines, funky grooves, everything is here... The only thing one may complain is Red lyrics - but even if you hate it the production alone is worth checking.

    I'm not Redman's fan, but after 10 years of listening (I got this one around 99-2000) this is really my favourite album from him. Also this is a REAL sequel which continues Whut? Thee Album groove... Just takes it to a darker side... Don't sleep on it, it's from the ERA, and it's fucking good!

    kormega

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  4. ps
    And, Max, who the hell tell you that Can't Wait sounds like anything from the Whut, lol? Sometimes you're driving me crazy with you comparisons, listen to this track again (oh, it's so fucking good) and realize that it's pure 94 shit!

    I can listen to that Bob James sample all day long.

    kormega

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  5. yall are faggits. this iz the best redman album.
    when you like sissy ass faggot shit then u dont like this album.
    but if you like grimmy, smokin weed in staircases at midnight scarin the shit outta people then this iz tha shit.

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  6. EliteghostMarch 07, 2010

    Green Island is far from meh. Just saying.

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  7. what the FUCK are you all talking about? this album may be the definition of hip hop. reggies flow and lyrics are insane, he rides every single beat like hes been rhyming since he was born. he has this amazing ability to never get boring, every single word he spits catches you and his rhyme patterns surprises all the time. not to mention hes hilarious as fuck. i usually like your reviews max, but lets face it, you must have been drunk when you wrote this.

    and green island is dope as fuck

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  8. hip hop classic top 20 easily nuff said

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  9. how can he say green island is "meh" wow lost credit with that observation. Uncle Quilley's verse is classic and red flow like a mad man.

    "ladies and gentlemen/my styles rugged like timberland/when i clock lyrics women give me more love than wimbledon"

    This is redmans best album

    PS WE RUN NY the beat is just too much if you have a system youll be in heaven

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  10. Absolutely agree with the commentaries here. The album is a classic! I don know how I came to buy this album but haven regretted it. I was blown away. You know, Reggie don`t ever let up the pressure on this cd. AndI think its K-Solo on a few bars for abreather, and on these few he brings a structure to the whole calamity. Its like it`s supposed to give the listener a real headache! Definetively Redmans best!!
    BTW. Great blog! Discovered it ye

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  11. This album is nowhere near a classic. For those who hold it in high regard, I got one question:are you all druggies? Best songs:Rockafella,Tonite's Da Night remix,Can't Wait, and Basically is decent.

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  12. AnonymousMay 26, 2011

    niguz must be crazy in their fukin hed, understand ain't no way dis lp is less classic than whut and muddy, its just 2 deep for the fukin masses, just like dude said on a previous comment: this iz da definition ov da shit you listen while prowlin in the streets @ 2 am puffin on some mad treez, i juss cant describe what this lp represents, to keep it simple its just that ultimate grimy redman shit, top 5 most underrated lps ever

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  13. Can't believe you didn't recommend a purchase!

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  14. Man, this ish stays in my rotations and playing since '94...classic Redman album and the Hit Squad made it all real.. <#keeplisenin'>

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  15. this guy's a fucking idiot.

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  16. I remember when I was 14 I only had this album and 2pacs all eyes on me. I had bought this album about 11 times in my life. This and muddy waters are great classicks to me. Good times with this album. That's my own opinion it worked for me. My favs are soopaman luva 2 Bob ya headz to dis. And yea hurricane g gives me a headache on we run n.y. I had both red tapes the clear and the full plastic. And countless cds . I hold this album close. Peace

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  17. Damn I honestly don't know whether I should buy this album or not. I've heard Muddy Waters, and I love it (except for 'on fire') and I've heard the singles from this album, and although I do like them they sound really, really dated. And I've heard cosmic slop too, and I'm not impressed. I believe this was the era where erick sermon got kinda lazy with his instrumentals, that they sound the same. Lyrically redman is definitely the shit but would you recommend this album over Whut? thee album, or the other way around?

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    Replies
    1. Apples and oranges. His debut is playful, while this one is, true to its title, much darker. Personally, I don't feel that Sermon's production became lazy until around the Doc's Da Name 2000 era. I'd give the debut a slight edge, though.

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  18. AnonymousJuly 07, 2014

    Redman was blown out of his fucking MIND during this album's recording process.

    This was him at his most genius & the only time where his beats fucking trumped Sermon's, with the exception of "Can't Wait" which was hands fucking down the best song on the album.

    A CLASSIC MUST-HAVE HIP-HOP ITEM!!!

    BTW, Green Island & Noorotic were fucking AWESOME.

    Finally, the remix of Tonight's Da Night, while being an absolute banger, wasn't a right fit on this album.

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  19. I been listening to Redman since Whut Thee Album and Muddy Waters proves to be my favourite Reman album however I listen to Dare Iz A Darkside more often than I do Muddy Waters, if that makes any sense.

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