In 1998, rap music experienced a high level of commercial acceptance and exploitation, the magnitude of which had scarcely been seen before. Most major record labels embraced artists whose images and portrayals revolved around financial decadence, violence, and substance abuse. These are issues that have always been somewhere in the mix of hip-hop culture, but in the late '90s such subjects took total precedence over previously, at least equally, appreciated subjects such as lyrical agility, humor, positivity, and self-awareness. Redman represents a few of these attributes -- humor and lyrical agility in particular -- on Doc's da Name 2000. The sound Redman achieves on this album is characteristic of his previous albums. With production credits going mostly to Erick Sermon, the bass-intensive and melodic beats on Doc's da Name 2000 allow Redman to deliver the raw Newark, NJ, flow for which he's known and liked. Redman produced a few of the songs on this album, including "Jersey Yo!." A mildly funny skit that describes the attitude of a certain "Little Bricks" resident precedes this selection. There are actually five skits on the album, which, like most skits on an often-played album, become very unfunny after a few repetitions. On "Jersey Yo!" Redman uses a slow and funky guitar sound over tight drums and a fluid bassline. Redman is also responsible for the production of "Da Goodness," a song that features Busta Rhymes. The instrumentation in this song has a futuristic, almost minimal, sound that mimics the music Busta Rhymes frequently flows over. Not stopping there, Redman spits lyrics in "Da Goodness" with what could be identified as Busta's lyrical style -- and he does it well. The result is an entertaining song that exemplifies Redman's skill as a talented lyricist and producer. "Beet Drop," another cut produced by Redman, is a brief but funny cover of the Beastie Boys' "It's the New Style." Other MCs that join Redman here include Method Man on "Well All Rite Cha"; Double O, Tame, Diezzel Don, Gov-Mattic, and Young Z (of the Outsiders) on "Close Ya Doorz"; Markie and Shooga Bear on "My Zone!"; and Erick Sermon and Keith Murray on "Down South Funk." Fans should note that the latest episode of "Sooperman Lova (IV)" is witness to "sooperman lova switching to sooperman villain." The last selection on this album is a gem -- a rhyme delivered over a jungle (aka drum'n'bass) rhythm track that was produced by the well-known Roni Size. A close look at the liner notes reveals an additional unique item on Doc's da Name 2000: Redman had A&R, marketing, and project coordination responsibilities on this album -- a scenario not often seen in the music industry.
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AllMusic Review by Qa'id Jacobs
feat: Method Man
feat: Busta Rhymes
feat: Dave Hollister