Redman's raps are not exactly like, you know, moral. Yet he's revered in hip-hop for grounding his authenticity in his reality. Rappers often proclaim their love for the hood, but few share Redman's sense of rootedness, his visceral connection to the stuff he raps about, or his lovable, extremely convincing, low-class criminal persona (which evidently served as source material for Bay Area rapper Azeem).
Performing at San Francisco's Mezzanine club during a recent Rock the Bells Tour, Redman stole somebody's hat, asked if anybody had any weed, and then passed the mic to the so-called "dude" (presumably the same "cousin Sugar Bear" who was caught sleeping on his floor when Redman appeared on MTV's Cribs). In that famous Cribs episode (referenced in this week's More Fish Hearsay review), the emcee invited viewers to experience "de la casa" - a Staten Island bachelor pad with a George Foreman grill, Nintendo, the dollar box, and "gifts I ain't gived my godkids yet for Christmas." At the end he invited everyone to come back any time: "Next time y'all need to find me, just rub these two wires together for the doorbell. I know it don't work." Click here to watch the episode. -- Rachel Swan