Redman's Doc's Da Name 2000 Was A Great Stocking Stuffer Back In '98 | Album Review
CLASSIC'NES: 4 OUT OF 6
By 1998 rap music had become a hot commodity in the mainstream and Redman was one of the most consistent and recognizable rappers around. His fourth album Doc's Da Name 2000 was notable for being a Christmas time release somewhat out of the ordinary. Usually, the record label would release an album latest mid-November so that they could promote the hit singles come Christmas time. But with Doc's Da Name, Redman who was in charge of the album's A&R, marketing, and project coordination, he decided to go with another approach. By releasing it on December 8 he reckoned that the buzz he had created would spur the hardcore fans and the casual fan alike to put Doc's Da Name 2000 on their Christmas wish list. And the strategy worked to perfection with the album shipping 1,000,000 on release and later being certified platinum two months later while peaking at #3 on the Billboard chart. There's no doubt Doc's Da Name filled many a Christmas stocking during December 1998. It sure filled mine as a 14-year-old boy growing up in Norway! At the time I was fully engulfed in the stream of big hip-hop releases being released, having purchased several of the other Christmas time releases prior. In my case, those releases were Method Man's Tical 2000: Judgement Day and RZA's Bobby Digital In Stereo, both released in November. Other big releases that Christmas were Mystikal's Ghetto Fabolous from the constant, almost factory-like record label that was No Limit Records and Timbaland's Tim's Bio.
The album's tracks fall almost entirely into ''great' and ''solid'' in terms of quality making this release one of the most consistent hip-hop albums of 1998. And while many reviewers at the time (and some miserable modern day blogs) cite the five skits on the album as being a nuisance or only mildly funny, this reviewer disagrees wholeheartedly. From almost 2-minute long intro ''Welcome 2 Da Bricks'' which perfectly sets the stage for the album to the shorter but entertaining ''Who Took Da Satellite Van?'' and ''Million Chicken March''. However, it's the longer skits which really grab your attention with ''Pain In Da Ass Stewardess'' being the most cinematic, outrageous and hilariously funny skit on the album.
Musically the album holds up to this day and is solid all the way through with plenty of variation to keep you from becoming bored from repeated listening. Like Redman's previous albums the production is held down by funkmaster Erick Sermon, but there are also tracks by Redman himself, Rockwilder and drum n' bass producer Roni Size. But this is unmistakably E-Double's record production wise and his best work here is the intro track ''Let Da Monkey Out'', the Method Man collaboration ''Well All Rite Cha'', the melodic track "Da Da DaHHH", the hard-hitting modern funk of ''Brick City Mashin'!'' and the fourth installment of ''Soopaman Lova'' which is funky like never before.
There's no doubt that Erick Sermon reached a level of consistency, competency, and originality like few others during the entire 90s when he could focus on the artists under the Hit Squad umbrella (Redman, Das EFX, Keith Murray and the supergroup Def Squad). Showing further that '98 might have been Erick Sermon's ultimate year, he also produced the sinfully underrated El Nino album by Def Squad (Redman, Keith Murray, and Erick Sermon). This was pretty much the capstone on Erick Sermon's ten-year reign as one of the best producers in the game.
Lyrically the album is unabashedly Redman, and he never tries to conform to any standards of commercial guidelines on how to make a hit song whatsoever. There's no doubt that Redman commands the English language better than most and his metaphors and punchlines are unparalleled. His sense of rhythm, wordplay and rhythmical sense are unusual, unique and highly enjoyable. Redman could very well be one of the most underrated of any major rappers to grab the mic. There's no doubt that he gets his share recognition and he's definitely highly successful, but he might just be overlooked at the same time!