January 8, 2008

Redman - Malpractice (May 22, 2001)



In 2001, Reginald Noble IV released his fifth album, Malpractice, on Def Jam, a label that was starting to lose its prominence in the rap game (unless your name was, of course, Shawn Carter). This album followed the platinum sales of Doc's Da Name 2000, a collaborative album with fellow pothead Method Man, the Def Squad group effort El Nino (with fellow jackasses Erick Sermon and Keith Murray, both considered too cool to have actual rap names), and the imprisonment and, later, release of Keith on assault charges, all of which occurred in the span of three years.

Good times.

Anyway, Malpractice has the distinction of being the first Redman album that offered an obvious club banger as its lead single, which should have been the first clue that Def Jam was starting to lose its way. Rockwilder provided listeners with "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get In The Club)", which, at the time, sounded like every other Rockwilder song he had done to that point (in 2001, he was actually a highly sought after producer; remember those days?), but still sounded pretty damn good. Spurred by the success of his single, Redman dropped Malpractice, which sold enough copies to be certified gold by the RIAA, but other than myself, I don't know of anyone that has it in their collection.

There may be a good reason for that.

1. ROLLER COASTER MALPRACTICE INTRO (FEAT ADAM F. & G. FORBES)
Where the fuck is Dr. Trevis? I don't accept that the mere title of the album is supposed to evoke feelings of Trevis; I'm also going to ignore the fact that those two concepts above (a "roller coaster" and "malpractice") don't lend themselves well to each other, and instead point out that this is a weak-ass rap album intro, among the worst Reggie has ever been associated with.

2. DIGGY DOC
So Redman's a fan of The D.O.C.'s first album. Yee-hah. While the lyrics are on point and oftentimes hilarious, Erick Sermon's production is downright lazy.

3. LICK A SHOT
The beat sounds like every other Erick Sermon song produced around this era. (You know what I'm talking about.) Surprisingly, Reggie also sounds downright lazy on here. Lose your creative spark much?

4. LET'S GET DIRTY (I CAN'T GET IN DA CLUB) (FEAT DJ KOOL)
This Rockwilder-produced club banger still sounds pretty good today, even if it leaves you feeling a little empty inside. Possibly best known for inspiring Christina Aguilera's hit single "Dirrty", which also featured Redman and was also produced by Rockwilder; I remember my initial opinion of Aguilera's song was pretty awful, but eventually I turned, and it probably only had a very little tiny bit to do with her assless chaps in the video.

5. WKYA (DROP)
And so the ridiculous skits begin.

6. 2-WAY MADNESS (SKIT)
I just heard this, and honestly, the only thing I remember is that the guy's beeper played Shawn Carter's "Streets Is Watching" as its ringtone, well before ringtones were even called ringtones.

7. REAL N----Z (FEAT ICARUS, MALLY G, TREACH, & SCARFACE)
Clearly, this is the song with the most imaginative title. I suppose Scarface is the biggest surprise on here, more because of the fact that he appeared in the first place rather than because he steals the show (he comes off as oddly average). This posse cut (which features two of Reggie's weed carriers) actually serves as a now-broken-down-and-sold-to-a-junkyard-comeback vehicle for Naughty By Nature's own softcore porn star Treach, who does quite nicely here. Did Reggie just say that he "fucks chicks off [of] Elmo flicks"? Because if he did, that's downright creepy.

8. UH-HUH
This song fares a bit better. Sounds like funkier Erick Sermon production, but it's actually produced by some guy named Big Soxx, and you know what Big Soxx means...that's right, bigg shoez.

9. DA BULLSHIT (FEAT ICARUS)
I have to be honest with my two readers. I'm not really looking forward to continuing this album's write-up. Oh, I'm gonna do it, because I have faithful readers that deserve more posts from me, but I just thought you should know: I'm not happy with Malpractice so far. I also think people won't understand the Sunshine Anderson reference in 2008, but that's just nitpicking. I can also do without the skit towards the end that introduces the next track, which is also a fucking skit.

10. WHO WANTS TO FUCK A MILLIONAIRE (SKIT)
...

11. ENJOY DA RIDE (FEAT METHOD MAN, STREETLIFE, & SAUKRATES)
The beat is okay, but not what you really want to hear Meth and Red rhyme over. Meth's official taco shell cleaner acquits himself as decently as ever, but the guy I liked the most on here is Canada's own Saukrates, who apparently is now best known for being Nelly Furtado's backup singer on tour. Boy, life sure takes you to funny places sometimes.

12. JERRY SWINGER STICKUP (SKIT)
...

13. J.U.M.P. (FEAT GEORGE CLINTON)
I've heard enough of George Clinton on both the Wu-Tang album and the Baby Elephant project. It's not like I hate the guy, but it just seems like he's just coasting off of his past successes. Redman sounds slightly inspired on here, though, so I can't really fault the track itself.

14. MUH-FUCKA
The beat is repetitive (I know, what hip hop beat isn't?) and the hook is weak. I've never been the biggest fan of tracks where rappers rhyme every line of each verse with the same word (that word being...oh, just look at the fucking title).

15. BRICKS TWO (FEAT D-DON, DOUBLE O, ROZ, SHOOGA BEAR, & PACE WON)
I suppose this is a sequel to the similarly-named New Jersey posse cut from Doc's Da Name 2000, but the difference between the two is that the one from the previous album is great, while this one is merely a curiosity piece. Why Pace Won isn't actually credited on the album itself is a mystery: surely he could have used the publicity, since dissing his former Outsidaz group member Eminem did so much for his career.

16. WRONG 4 DAT (FEAT KEITH MURRAY)
Ostensibly features the first Keith Murray vocals recorded since his release from prison; apparently they were done before he defected from his Jive Records contract to sign to Def Jam, if the liner credits are any indication. So when I say that Keith Murray's lyrics suck on here, understand that, for the love of God, people, he just got out of the fucking clink! Your time listening to this track would be better spent lamenting the fact that there is no proper Def Squad posse cut on Malpractice.

17. JUDGE JUNIQUA (SKIT)
I'll admit that I laughed back in 2001 with Reggie's interpolation of the the theme to The People's Court. But that's all I laughed at.

18. DAT BITCH (FEAT MISSY ELLIOTT)
The song itself is fucking terrible, so instead I'm going to focus on the fact that the liner notes list Jewell as the guest vocalist on the track, in addition to Missy. Yes, the Jewell from the Death Row records era. No, I don't know what she's doing these days, but if it's any indication, they're hiring at the Blockbuster Video down the street.

19. DOGGZ II (FEAT DMX)
Oh Lord, this song is fucking awful. DMX's guest spot is really reduced to a simple vocal sample that could have been taken from any random song in X's catalog. Seriously. Blindfold yourself and pick one.

20. WHUT I'MA DO NOW
Meh. (Oh come on, you knew that was coming.)

21. SOOPAMAN LUVA 5, PART 1
Another Redman album, another chapter in the never-ending saga of Soopaman Luva. This time he's looking for his mojo, a plot device that I'm pretty sure was swiped from the second Austin Powers movie (I think). You can tell this CD is from 2001 because Red references Cita from BET (you know, that computer-generated veejay? Yeah, I don't remember her either).

22. SOOPAMAN LUVA 5, PART 2
Now this is a much-needed change of pace. Reggie drops the radio-friendly beat for some shit straight out of the gutter, although, ironically, the beginning of Part Two features Reggie actually singing. Is he implying that Marshall Mathers swiped his mojo during this song? Because I always considered Eminem to be the white Redman, so I always thought the reveal midway through was interesting, for all of the wrong reasons. I've always loved the line about how he knocked on the door enraged, "like a broke-ass rapper on a label that hadn't toured in days". Um, clairvoyant much?

23. SMASH SUMTHIN' (FEAT ADAM F)
While I enjoyed Reggie's collaboration with Roni Size on his last disc, I always found this effort with drum 'n' basser Adam F. lacking...something...I can't put my finger on it. Oh, wait, I can: creativity. The drums sound ripped straight off of Q-Tip's "Breathe & Stop", and the song isn't as majestic as its sound would have you believe. Just not a great ending to an album that also wasn't that great. (For those that care, this track also appeared on producer Adam F.'s KAOS: The Anti-Acoustic Warfare, which I never really listened to but always wanted to hunt down due to the guest spot by Old Maid Billionaire Huggy Bear. Someone please tell me if that album is worth my time!)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Malpractice is a creative misfire. It seems that Reggie may have used up all of his best rhymes on his last couple of albums, and Erick Sermon should have napped instead of producing this subpar material. The guest spots also seem to lack any sort of cohesion or skill; I'm not knocking Keith Murray (as I mentioned above, he has an excuse), but Method Man and Scarface? Really? Even though this album sold 500,000 copies, it's little wonder why it took Reggie six years to release a follow up (although being signed to Def Jam probably didn't help that equation, either).

BUY OR BURN? There's no way that I can justify anyone buying this reflective Frisbee. Burn this shit. Then go buy Muddy Waters again. I don't care if you already have two copies; there can never be enough Muddy Waters in your household.

BEST TRACKS: "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get In Da Club)"; "Soopaman Luva 5, Part 2"

-Max

11 comments:

  1. "I don't care if you already have two copies; there can never be enough Muddy Waters in your household." WORD.
    I hear that Adam F album is really good actually, but I've only heard the Redman & MOP tracks (the latter is nails by the way, it's called "Stand Clear".)
    Red needs to never make any more skits. If you're not Prince Paul...

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  2. I agree with the Muh Fukah formula but De La nailed it on Oodles of O's. But I am totally and completely on their dick so that may be the testes talking. And why does having a lot of time to sit around and hone your craft count as an excuse to suck on your first verse on the outside? Finally, in closing, have you found jesus or more importantly, have you thought at all about that cross bloggy post thing we had talked briefly about? It's 6:35 and I'm on my way to spend the day with 20 four and five year olds. That shit is real!
    Pace

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  3. I imagine that Keith was whisked away from prison in a limo, 2Pac-style, and was driven straight to the studio, 2Pac-style, and was forced to record a crappy verse before he coul deven do something substantial, like visit family or eat, 2Pac-style. Whether or not he honed his craft, I choose to believe that he left his notebooks in his cell, and was forced to appear on Malpractice even though he wasn't prepared, simply because "someone" wanted a Def Squad track on the record.

    Or maybe I choose to give him a pass this time around because there will be no excuses when I get back to the Keith Murray discography.

    That is all.

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  4. I fuckin' detest this album, word to Mother. If this album were a person if I saw it walking down the strrets I run up behind him and proceed to kick him between the shoulderblades until he and the sidewalk between him were indistinguishable from the other.

    Did I mention that I really hate this album? Smash somethin' is right!

    One.

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  5. For once I totally agree w/ Mad Max, "Malpractice" SUX!! The worst album in an otherwise credible catalog. I think working on "How High" the movie & the soundtrack drained Reggie's creative juices, leaving Him on fumes when it came time to put together His own project. Pretty apt title though, cause I want the money/time I spent on this milk dud back, with interest! Keep up the good work, Max. Maybe We'll get another review outta You before 09 lol.

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  6. I'll remember 2 things about this album:

    1. It was the first CD I bought after getting my car. It plays well when you can crank the bass and not have to pay attention to the majority of the beats and rhymes. :)

    2. Pulling up to a light that had just turned red across from an outdoor cafe with "Muh Fucka" blasting out the window.

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  7. The Most Felonious Vocalist In The Wide World Of ShowbusinessJanuary 13, 2008

    This album was definitely a clunker. "Only Built 4 Humid Drinks"-OhWord The best thing I can say about it is that I immediately liked Icarus and I still think he's kinda nice with it. Beyond that it was a Prodigy/Shawn Kemp caliber falling off by Reggie. What the fuck happened? If this had come packaged with a DVD of his appearance on Cribs I still (pretend that still is italicized as a tribute to Max) wouldn't have been happy with my purchase. Well, maybe if I had purchased it from a conscientious bootlegger with a commitment to bonus features. I bought the retail version for $15 and I'm still pissed off about it.

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  8. max, i bought the adam f cd back in the day and i liked it ... a lot, played it a zillion times and very important... if i remember well there aren't a lot of skits on it !

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  9. I think I remember reading (and I certainly believe everything I read) that the Keith vocals were recorded before he got locked up and were throwaways, but made it on the album as a "dedication"/ desperate attempt to keep his name even somewhat relevant, to disastrous results.

    That, however, could all be wishful thinking.

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  10. By far the worst Red album... I agree that Icarus was a standout on Da Bullshit.... prolly the only thing of note in that whole shit sammish.

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  11. Stinky McCheeseAugust 31, 2016

    Granted, I'm a big Redman fan, so take this with a grain of salt, but I really don't mind this album. Yeah, it's Red's weakest album but if it was the first album from a random goofball and not from the guy with such a strong resume, imho it would have been considered a mildly entertaining release from a guy with some potential. Yes, that is very much "damning with faint praise" but honsetly, I can still throw this on once in a great while.

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