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Method Man and Redman at Cervantes', 4/20/13

METHOD MAN & REDMAN @ CERVANTES' | 4/20/13 Appearing in front of a sold-out crowd, hip-hop and weed icons Method Man and Redman turned Cervantes' into a backyard house party as the MCs delighted the crowd with classic hits and an energetic stage show that showcased their timeless music. The ballroom served as a community bong for the crowd as they saluted Colorado for being the first state to legalize their second love to the music, Mary Jane.

See also: - The ten best movies featuring rappers - The best and worst of sitcoms starring musicians - Review: Method Man and Redman at City Hall, 4/9/11

The show was closer to a glorified smoke session than a concert, but in between passing an endless amount of blunts around, the duo gave an energy-filled performance for the crowd. Rocking their second show of the day, Method Man and Redman were in top form, delivering everything fans have come to expect in a performance that was sharp, witty and engaging.

"The energy you give to us, we gonna give right back to you," Method Man told the excited crowd right before jumping into some of his early material. Over the course of their set, Method and Red went back and forth with their individual hits like "Bring the Pain" while also taking moments to enlist the audience to chant things like "Fuck you, Redman," which they did before jumping into a version of "I'll Be Dat."

"Tonight we're going to take you back to 1992," said Redman, going into material from his album, Whut? Thee Album, displaying his well-preserved flow with youthful enthusiasm before bringing out his artists Ready Rok and Street Life to perform a song off Blackout 2. Method Man brought a certain level of familiarity to the show, as though you'd been right there in Staten Island with him when he created these hits, flowing effortlessly with a sharp ninja-like delivery on cuts like "You're All I Need."

The high point of the evening came when the pair took time out to acknowledge the now-long list of now-fallen rap stars, including 2Pac, Biggie, Aaliyah, Left-Eye, Guru, and Meth's dearly departed Wu-tang comrade Ol' Dirty Bastard, who, Meth noted, loved Denver. Method Man led the crowd in ODB hits "I like it Raw" and "Brooklyn Zoo," which had everyone singing in unison along with every word.

Method and Red showed a chemistry that is rare, stopping, cutting and dubbing into each other's verses almost like a DJ does with samples over a track. The flair they brought to the stage show makes it easy to see why they work together so easily in the recording booth. Meth further hyped the crowd by saying that both MCs would be rocking their verses to the next song without stopping and with no help from each other as they fell right into "Da Rockwilder."

Redman, who noted that he and Meth had been in Idaho the night before, said he was looking forward to this show more than any other show in the year, to which Method Man added how much they love visiting Denver. "We wouldn't want to spend 4/20 anywhere else in the world, Denver."

Earlier in the night, the ReMiNDers warmed up the stage with a classic hip-hop sound and gusto. Their energy level was high, which was great, because at this point of the night, the room was filled with smoke and the crowd had begun to chatter in anticipation. Rocking over Nas and Damien Marley's "As We Enter," the ReMINDers grabbed the crowd's attention rapping about past struggles and poverty. Aja Black and Big Samir displayed a level of class and exuded a distinctive stage presence that commanded attention without verbalizing.

Aja talked about going on tour this past fall with Rhymesayer's Brother Ali, and mentioned all the people who asked about being from her home state: "People would say, 'I didn't know Colorado had hip-hop,' and I say, 'Brother, then you don't know much.' They say, 'Are there really black people there?'"

The fact there that was only one opener focused the attention on the stage during their performance, as they let the crowd know they were married, with Aja remarking, "There comes a time in your life when you have to tell someone, 'I love you and I'ma hold you down, no matter what.'"


Personal Bias: As an avid listener of both MCs, it was easy to follow along with the set. I expected a few more B-sides or maybe a hot new freestyle from Redman, but their precision and energy was still top-notch.

Random Detail: Both MCs peeled back shirt after shirt, throwing them into the crowd, Redman had the most interesting one, a cutoff sleeveless Wu-tang shirt with the phrase "Ain't nothing to fuck with" on the back.

By The Way: The duo announced that How High 2 is in the works, as is Blackout 3.

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