The Story Behind Method Man and Redman’s Writing Partnership

Method Man & Redman never needed each other, whatsoever. When it comes to Method Man, before he united with Redman for their first album Blackout! in 1999, he had a fruitful career as both a solo act and a member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Whether it be his Tical (1994) and Tical 2000: Judgement Day (1994) solo efforts that both peaked inside the top 5 of the Billboard 200, or Wu-Tang’s iconic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) and Wu-Tang Forever (1997), Method Man was one of the most beloved rappers of the 1990s.

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As for Redman, his solo catalog before 1999 was unmatched by many of his notable peers, as albums like Muddy Waters in 1996 and Doc’s da Name 2000 in 1998 both jolted him into conversations regarding the most skilled emcees in the game at that point. That’s not to mention his 1998 album El Niño as part of the group Def Squad with Keith Murray, Erick Sermon, and Jamal, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

[RELATED: 9 Best Rap Duos of the 90s]

But, even though Method Man & Redman both could have earned their recognition in the hip-hop landscape without one another, that did not stop them from collaborating solely for the sake of making good art. A product of chemistry and pure enjoyment, the duo first realized how much they liked working together in 1994 when their label Def Jam assigned them to the same tour.

Around this time, both these men were surging on their own, which caused Def Jam to accentuate their hype trains with the Month of the Man promotional campaign. For this, they not only released a double CD that contained 1994 singles from both of them in Method Man’s “Bring the Pain” and Redman’s “Rockafella,” but they also put together a handful of shows including the pair. Redman spoke on this in a 2019 interview with DJ 360 and Philaflava of Take It Personal Radio.

“Honestly I gotta commend Def Jam for that move because at that time me and Meth was putting out material, and it was kind of Def Jam saying, ‘You know what, let’s put these guys on the road. Let’s put them on the road and make a big promotion, Month of the Man,” he said. “That was one of the most well-known promotions in hip-hop during the ’90s was the Month of the Man… We knew that we was on the road, but the thing about it is that, we didn’t look at as like, ‘Wow, why’d they put me on the road with this n***a? It was like, okay, we on the road because we have the same kind of feel, and maybe I can help introduce. But at the end of the day, we didn’t look it as a negative. We looked at it as a plus.”

During this time touring together, Redman would play beats just for fun, but this would actually lead to him and Method Man crafting a few songs. Even when they got back home from doing shows together, Meth and Red realized the cohesion they’d built together as songwriters and figured they could put together an entire project.

“That’s how I can say how the Red and Meth brand came about was from us being on the road when Def Jam put us there,” he told Take It Personal. “They placed that scene I would say. They mapped out that scene for us to be on the road. It was up to us, organically, to make the Red and Meth brand happen because it could’ve went another way. It could’ve went like, ‘Alright, I ain’t fuckin’ with this n***a. Or I ain’t fuckin’ with this n***a.’ And we could’ve just went on about our business after that promo tour. But after that promo tour, I threw them beats on and we literally connected through the music organically, and we came back home like real good friends and ready to say, ‘You know what? Let’s do an album.’”

Although their first LP as a duo would not come out for five more years, Method Man & Redman would put out their debut single “How High” in 1995, which would see them later star in a comedy film of the same title in 2001, which they crafted the soundtrack for. Since Blackout! and the How High soundtrack, Method Man and Redman have put out one more album, Blackout! 2 in 2009. Additionally, they were able to land on our 9 Best Rap Duos of the 90s list from earlier this year.

(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Heineken)

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