By dropping words like “pop” and “crossover” while promoting an album on which he dares to use Auto-Tune, Redman gave his fans a heads-up that Reggie isn’t your everyday effort. Based on his real name, Reginald Noble, Reggie is actually an extroverted and exuberant alter ego for Redman, the kind of guy who does production for Shaq if you check your copy of Shaq-Fu: Da Return. No surprise, then, that Reggie the album is heavy on the special guests with everyone from Bun B to Kool Moe Dee landing on the track list, while Redman acts as ringleader and/or hypeman. Folks who want it strictly hardcore won’t be satisfied till the high-kicking “Tiger Style Crane” closes the show, but since the miraculous Red can go from hood cool (“Lookin’ at my rolly...”) to nerd cool (“...I got time like Culture Club”) in just one punch line, he deserves a swing at the Ghostdini-style album. Big hooks drive infectious choruses on club bombs like “That’s Where I Be” (“You pissed baby?/Don’t get pee’d on/Cuz man/I run things like cream corn”), "Def Jammable" (“Don’t gas me/I live near Amoco”), and "Full Nelson" (“I do it Big like March 9th in Brooklyn”), while “All I Do” with Faith Evans is the first track in Red’s discography that could be tagged “breezy,” paying tribute to the power of hip-hop and Michael Jackson over a lush backbeat. The Auto-Tune device is used but not abused and even the dressed-up numbers don’t come off as soft, as Red is always willing to drop a line that packs an improper punch. Uptight types who want him to save hip-hop will hate on this one, but this ain’t nuthin’ but a party y’all, and a fun one at that.
by David Jeffries