Redman Drops New “Reggie” Album, Explains How High 2 Holdup To Billboard

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Although his seventh studio album, “Reggie,” hit stores today (Dec. 7), Redman is already looking ahead to a busy 2011.

The veteran rapper tells Billboard.com that he is using the often-delayed new album, which features cameos by Method Man, Bun B  and Faith Evans, to explore different sounds before releasing a sequel to his classic 1996 disc “Muddy Waters” next year.

“I wanted to step out of the box musically, and show growth in my rhymes and my musical choices,” says Redman, who turned 40 earlier this year. He adds that songs like “Mics, Lights, Camera, Action” offer more political commentary than he’s used to, while the piano-driven “Lemme Get 2″ has an inspirational message about life on the road. “I think I have a job to do with my fans… to represent that 90s, soulful, substantial music that we’re missing now,” he says.

As for his other musical projects, Redman says that he has “five songs” ready for “Muddy Waters 2,” and that the album will be “another classic” when it is released in 2011. The rapper also plans to release “Blackout! 3,” his third collaborative effort with Method Man, sometime next year.

Redman is also writing a screenplay for a new movie starring Method Man and himself, but he says that “How High 2,” the rumored follow-up to the rappers’ 2001 stoner comedy, will probably never get made due to “rights and paper work.

“Universal is not giving up the names and characters,” he explains. “I’m like, ‘If you’re not gonna [let us] do it, why not just do the damn movie then and stop playing!’”

Redman adds that the new film project will be “marijuana-related, but it’s gotta make sense. I’m trying to work on something big.”

With “Reggie” out and two more albums on the way, Redman says he’s hungry to contribute a unique perspective to the hip-hop community. He loves the fact that so many rappers were honored with 2011 Grammy nominations last week, although he says that there was one glaring omission.

“I’m glad so many of the nominees were hip-hop, but they should have my man Rick Ross up in there,” says Redman of the rapper, whose “Teflon Don” was shut out of the hip-hop categories. “He definitely showed growth, worked hard and showed that he loves the music he’s making. He did a great job.”

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