In their raucous new TV comedy, Method and Red, the two rappers-turned-actors are infiltrating a suburban paradise–and a medium–that may not be ready for them. In this exclusive interview, run (almost) in its entirely online, Redman speaks with Spin.
Spin: Can you tell me more about going from How High, which was a couple years back, to getting this show Method and Red? Was this something you guys were working on for a while to make happen?Well, actually, to me, I know me and Meth thought at first that sitcoms probably fuck motherfuckers up in the long run, because we do hip-hop. Music is our first love. It was after a while, from Universal, from How High, we didn’t do another movie together so why not do a sitcom? And we here. Fox 5. Thank you Fox 5, for havin’ me, motherfuckers! Word. They gave me a job off the street! For real, if I wasn’t out here in Cali doin’ this Fox 5 shit, I’d be home, just doin’ music.
Is this show consistent with your experience of moving into a new neighborhood, coming out of New Jersey and into a better lifestyle?Man, I don’t give a fuck. Look, man, the only thing I gotta do is take care of my kids, and my family, and my momma. I went and pursued my career on my own. As long as I’m feeding my babies, trying to put them through school, and feed my momma, it don’t even matter. Nothing else do not matter. I know in myself that I’m never gonna go Hollywood. Because I love the streets too much, I love my neighborhood too much, that I would never–I would blow up–I want to blow up, but I would never get the ghetto out of my heart.
But you guys are already there, everybody knows who you are, and you’ve pretty much been able to do what you want. Is it hard–you’ve had the success in other arenas, is it hard when people say, he’s forgotten about the music?Well, you know what, they gonna try to push that shit on you. I don’t know, man. The media’s hard. The media stirs shit up. Magazines, they put that in there–you doing a movie, blah blah blah, and one thing in the hip-hop community, what has surfaced, is that they think since you do TV, since you’ve broadened out your career, you’ve gone commercial–you went pop. Because you doing better than just being in music. That’s one thing that’s hard for people to understand. It’s up to the artist to really make their fans believe that they ain’t going nowhere by the material they put out. Like for me, I ain’t putting out no material unless all my shit is hard. My fans still appreciate what I’m doing, that’s what matters.
Do you think it’s funny that the show lets you poke fun at suburban white people, but at the same time, most of the people who will probably be watching the show are going to be suburban white people?Mmmm. I don’t know. They gave us a lot of leeway on the show. I look at it, though, man: I ain’t here to make no rules, I ain’t here to change the rules or whatever, what’s already been planned. I know Fox is a big network, and they can do without our black asses. Bottom line. If we gonna be here and work, we can work with each other. Fox is giving me a job. They didn’t have to give me no job. So it’s like, the material we do, they letting us go there, but to a point. We still have homes we have to enter. And I want to enter them homes. I want to show white America–whatever America it is that Fox is tuned to–that yo, there’s two brothers on the loose. And they names is Red and Meth. And we don’t only do movies. We got personality and we’re very multi-talented. So pick us up, check us out. That’s what I like about Fox–I want them to branch me off into these homes.
They showed me the pilot this morning, and it’s cool that they let you joke about getting high–you’ve got to be subtle about it, but they’ll still let you do it. That’s right. That’s right.
Did it take any convincing to prove to them, I can be here at 7 am every morning, and I’ll know all my lines?No, because we just did it. And to me, honestly, man, like, that–when I hear that shit, that kind of pisses me off. Because, bottom line, if this was anybody else, if there was any other actor, they wouldn’t be asking them that, or they wouldn’t be looking for that, and I kind of felt that in the beginning. Like, alright, they want to see if we was gonna be on time, because I look at that as a stereotype. I don’t know from what it is–look, I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not young. I’m not eighteen. I’m not twenty-five. I’m thirty. I’m thirty and above. Me and Meth is two grown-ass men. Seeing if we’re going to be on time and all that shit, just because of what we do, in our regular life, hip-hop, and we’re rowdy, that should not even be the issue here. The issue is, Are we able to bring across what the fuck you’re looking for, for your fucking network? That’s what it should be about. I think a lot of–it was smooth, the first pilot we did, it was smooth, they was looking to see if we would be late and da-da-da, and you know, overall, we was A-dynamite, ninety-five percent, there. And like I said, who are we to be making any rules? We just coming in and we willing to work with you. Nobody’s above nobody. It was rough at first, but the first couple of days, they was like, these guys are professionals, they can do it.
So no hidden stash on the set?No, no, no. [laughs] A little bit, I ain’t gonna lie. Now see, you said late–you didn’t say nothing about smoking or nothing like that. Smoking ain’t got nothing to do with anything. Now we could still smoke like–I ain’t gonna lie. You got some brothers that can’t smoke. Me, I could smoke all hours, it don’t matter–I still learn my lines and I know what to do. Smoking has nothing to do with my effectiveness at work. Probably me getting tired, but if anything, if I smoke before the set–that just opens me up to this field. I wanna get open in here. I don’t want to come in and just say my lines. When I hitit, I’ll be like, [takes an imaginary drag] all right, [exhales] I’m in Hollywood, this is not rap, I gotta turn it on. On the scene. It’s like, I’m doing a two-month video. I gotta turn it on. You can’t be like this [holds hand halfway up] in your video, you gotta be like this [holds hand above his head]. So that’s how I am.
Is it going to be hard for you when it’s season four, season five, you’re doing episode 100, you still have to have that same energy. Are you still going to be able to do it?Of course, man, of course. Yes, man. The residuals, and all that shit, smells good. I’m gonna work–if I could do anything else, where I ain’t gotta depend on one thing to get money from, I love it. If Fox signed us up for five, six episodes, I love them. [to tape recorder] Fox, sign us on for five or six episodes.
You’re in for thirteen–Not episodes! I meant seasons! Yeah, yeah, yeah, five or six seasons, that’s what I meant. Let me correct the record. Fox, I need five or six seasons. If I have five or six seasons, I never have to work no more. I’ll come work for y’all! I’ll come hang out here! For real!
So does that mean no more Wu-Tang records?Of course there’s always gonna be more Wu-Tang records, Death Squad records, we always gonna do music. Music is never gonna lose our hearts. This is just like another occupation we’re trying to explore. Make some money off it. Hey, we got families to feed.
You and Meth work so well together–is it hard for you when you see him do stuff on his own, like he’s in Soul Plane without you…What do you mean, hard?
Are you jealous?Well, I mean, hey, he does his thing. He goes off and does Soul Plane, hey, I know he’s got love in his heart for me. That’s just bettering both of us. I ain’t gonna lie, he was doing more movies and I was like, Shit, man, that’s good, because one of us needs to be in there, but I just started doing movies again, since How High, like I just flew out to Romania and did Chucky 5.
You’re in that?Yeah, I got the new Chucky coming out this Halloween, so that’s like my first movie since How High. But you gonna see a lot more of me, because I’m focused and I know what’s up. I know what to do and shit. Word.
Are you going to have your other guys, like RZA and GZA, come on?Man, I wouldn’t mind. I would love for them to come out and shit, love for all my people to come out and see what the fuck I’m doing on the set. Let them open their eyes up and see what’s going on, for real, man. For real.