Dare Iz A Darkside
Even in the groundbreaking days of 1992, Redman’s Whut? Thee Album stood out with its blend of extra-deep jazz and funk loops and Red’s expertly outlandish rhyme skills. Still, it wasn’t until Dare Iz a Darkside that Redman really began to explore his stunted, blunted unconscious. Returning for a few songs is Erick Sermon, the co-producer of Red’s debut, but Redman handles the bulk of the production himself. The sound here is slowed-down and subterranean, but even as the atmosphere becomes brain-blitzing and hazy, the album just coaxes you into its mist. The bass seems to probe almost unbearably low frequencies on “Bobyahed2dis,” “Da Journee” and “Cosmic Slop.” If at first this strain of hash-oil hip-hop seems too potent for the uninitiated user, start off with the hypnotic hooks of “Can’t Wait” and “Rockafella,” then proceed to “Green Island,” which dares to mix an infectious Hawaiian slide guitar with a stunningly sloped bassline. Redman is a hip-hop fundamentalist at heart, but at times the dank sound design of this '90s classic seems to push the genre to its limits.