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METHOD MAN & REDMAN @ Metro Freo

method-man-redman

Friday, October 28, 2016
Metropolis Fremantle

As any hip hop head would know, an appearance from the legendary Redman or Method Man isn’t to be missed, so to have them both in town to perform some of their greatest hits was special event indeed. Some might call it… a joint headline.

Their Australian tour was originally scheduled for September, but due to “scheduling conflicts” was postponed. So by the time Friday night finally rolled around, the hip hop heads packing out the sold out show at Metropolis Fremantle were champing at the bit!

Warming things up for the main event were Karl Blue and Simon S-man Simpson, who mixed up an appropriately celebratory set of classic hip hop jams. By the time the dynamic duo themselves, Method Man and Redman came on stage, the rowdy crowd were ready to explode.

Kicking off with Errbody Scream from Blackout! 2, the boys burst on stage with a flurry of energy. Testing the crowd, with a “When I say, Wu! Y’all say, Tang!” they quickly gauged that this crowd was fired up and ready to party. There was an electric atmosphere in the room as smoke wafted over the crowd, and not just from the machine.

They took a few jams to get warmed up, as they got a feel for the crowd and the room, and the DJs got settled in. Showing off some mad skills on the 1s and 2s, with some tricks to break up the set – the two DJs tried to outdo each other with some crazy juggling routines – one continuing to juggle flawlessly, even after Meth threw a towel over his head.

One DJ just isn’t enough for the dynamic duo – backing up the boys and cutting up the beats tonight were a pair of talented turntablists; long-time Wu-Tang DJ, Mathematics, who started off with GZA in the beginning, and also was the graffiti artist responsible for creating the classic W logo; alongside Redman’s DJ, Dice, who was also the original DJ for the legendary hardcore East Coast crew Das-Efx.

The promo material implied the show would draw dominantly from the duos two albums, 1999’s Blackout! and 2009’s Blackout! 2, though they ended up not really focussing much on either. The ’99 record is a stone cold classic and easily the stronger of the two, so it was good that this album was more heavily featured, as they performed most of the highlights, albeit with the title track noticeably absent, as well as several tracks from prolific careers.

They of course had to play the title track from their classic stoner comedy movie How High, with everyone singing along, and also I Get So High (featuring Toni Braxton on the hook). Using this as an opportunity to do some audience research, they asked “How many people wanna see a How High 2?!”. The response was of course a resounding ‘Fuck Yeah!’, and word is that the boys have been working on a sequel and it’s likely to come out next year.

The boys were really starting to get into their groove now. Dedicating the next track to fans of real hip hop who are tired of the shit on the radio, they dropped the heavy beat of Y.O.U., one of the definite highlights off Blackout! featuring some of their best verses. The soundsystem was getting pushed hard as the big bassline reverberated throughout the club, which is the perfect size for a gig like this, provding a real intimate atmosphere. 

Both of them have such a unique, incomparable flow – once they get rolling they’re untouchable. Redman owned his verse, spitting fire, while Meth hyped the crowd. The two have such an amazing stage presence, true natural performers, with sharp banter and their trademark little synched dance moves.

After getting everyone to chant “ODB!” they launched into the late, great rapper, Old Dirty Bastard’s signature track Shimmy Shimmy Ya, and things got wild. It was a totally raucous but jubilant crowd. No agro, everyone was having too good a time. The copious amount of weed being passed around prob didn’t hurt either, with a suitably blatant disregard for the club’s no smoking policy. One hero, who was martyred for his sins and removed from the venue, had rolled the most ludicrously massive joint you’ve ever seen, that was passed around the crowd for about 20 minutes.

Some other classic joints made an appearance with Def Jam’s cover of Rapper’s Delight, and the frantic Cheka and Da Rockwilder with a huge singalong of the “Lala lala lala la la!” ending. The energy in the crowd reached fever pitch when they announced “We’re nearly finished, but you’ve been so good, we’re gonna do some old school Wu-Tang shit!”. It wasn’t the longest set, but they made up for it in quality and intensity, and the crowd didn’t seem to mind, going ballistic as they stormed through Shame On A Nigga, C.R.E.A.M. and of course Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta Fuck Wit. Method Man was so delighted that he declared, “If we can get through customs… I’m bringing the whole Wu-Tang Clan down here!”

One of the greatest living rap duos, these two old dogs still know a few tricks and put on a masterclass in showmanship and skills. They kinda spoiled the vibe a little at the end by shamelessly flogging CDs from the stage, and going on about their website, but… dolla dolla bills yo! To their credit, they stuck round for some time signing shirts and records and talking to pumped fans, who knew they had witnessed two true legends of hip hop.

ALFRED GORMAN

Photo by Alfred Gorman

 

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