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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Method Man and Redman at the Masquerade, Tues., Oct. 26

  • Paul Abraham
When a real rapper raps, it hits you in the gut like a force of nature, which is exactly what happened when Method Man and Redman hit the stage at the Masquerade Tuesday night. Together, they had the presence of super heroes while they tore through numbers from The Blackout 1 & 2, and even ripped through “Bring the Pain” and “All I Need” from Tical, and “Method Man” from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). To put it simply, they blew the roof off of the place.

Never mind that it was the dog-end of an endurance test in which a parade local rappers, including the Nice Guise, 4Ize, Killer and the Savage, and our host for the evening, DRES tha Beatnik, had the stage plenty warmed up for something in the neighborhood of 3 1/2 hours before Meth and Red got started.

Each of the opening acts brought their own flare to the stage, but nothing was all that remarkable aside from 4Ize who’s really onto something. More on that later. The Nice Guise possess a smooth, albeit non-threatening style reminiscent of the early ‘90s backpacker era, which is fine. But their set was pretty chilled-out, and wholly inappropriate for the vibe. Everyone else in the house was in full-on Wu-banger mode.

4Ize rose above with his deliberately awkward presence as he strolled onto the stage and eased his way into a lyrical chant, declaring “I shit on these niggas.” There’s something so inherently funky and comical about 4Ize delivery that you can’t help but get into the show, which was the strongest counterpart to the Shaolin massacre that was about to go down.

Killer and the Savage have their thing down too. Live drums are an interesting touch, and Robbery’s focused lyrical flow is pretty hard-hitting. But throughout their entire set I couldn’t help but think that this is what the Insane Clown Posse would be like if they took off all of the clown makeup.

Rumors were spreading that Meth and Red weren’t even there yet, which explained the overdose of opening shows and antics, including a half-assed emcee battle. But it was safe to say that the ocean liner-sized tour bus parked outside the venue probably wasn’t anyone else on the bill’s ride that night.

All was forgiven as soon as they stepped onto the stage. Both Meth and Red were in top form, rattling through verses that touched on both of their respective careers, and even dipped into some old school pep rally chants (“Jump Jump”). Bottle after bottle of water sprayed the crowd, and even Meth rolled around atop the crowd a time or two. Both performed with wide smiles and a wild stride. Probably the most fun I’ve had at a show all year.

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