A “How High 4/20” Verzuz battle between Method Man and Redman — longtime friends, collaborators and well-known cannabis advocates — is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday via Instagram and the Triller app.
Outside of standout tracks and past collaborations from the duo over the years, expect some sort of tribute to their former Def Jam Recordings labelmate and occasional collaborator, DMX, who died earlier this month. The trio rhymed on the hit 1997 track “4, 3, 2,1” with LL Cool J and the recently deceased rapper known for his gritty lyrics.
Method Man, the only rapper to appear on Notorious B.I.G. and 2 Pac albums while the two artists were alive, is primarily known for his music as a member of the Wu-Tang Clan (“Method Man”). In 1994, Method Man released the first of his six solo albums including “Tical,” a RIAA-certified platinum album, and “Tical 2000: Judgement Day.”
Standout tracks from those albums include “Bring the Pain,” “Judgement Day,” and “Break Ups 2 Make Ups,” featuring past Verzuz guest D’Angelo, and “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By,” Method Man’s duet — a wildly popular wedding song — with legendary R&B singer Mary J. Blige.
Redman, a Def Squad affiliate (Erick Sermon and Keith Murray) who debuted in 1992 with “Whut? Thee Album,” is known for a string of hits including “Time 4 Sum Aksion,” “Tonight’s da Night,” “Can’t Wait,” “I’ll Bee Dat”, and “Let’s Get Dirty (I Can’t Get in da Club),” among many others.
The two joined forces for “How High,” a track from the 1995 album “The Show: The Soundtrack,” and later parlayed their friendship — and charisma — into a film and movie soundtrack by the same name, a TV series (Method & Red), along with other albums including “Blackout!” and “Blackout! 2.”
Poet and author Kevin Powell says the friendship between Method Man and Redman is tangible proof of how two highly successful creatives can produce timeless music while staying close.
“Method Man and Redman are not only two of the greatest characters in hip-hop’s history, but their deep friendship has endured across styles and eras of culture like, say, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong in jazz, or Elton John and Billy Joel in pop music,” said Powell in a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Upcoming Verzuz battles include a May 8 Mother’s Day edition with R&B groups SWV and Xscape, and a “rematch” of previous contestants scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.