Album: How High Soundtrack
Label: Def Jam
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: P The Uptownkid
“Man, that shit smells good as hell, dog, I’m Jamal.”
“Peace. Silas. So, you trying to get something to bring them nerves down too, huh Brah?”
“Yeah, I figure if I study High, take the test High, I’ll get High scores. Right?”
The “How High” soundtrack brings to us the mad capers of Hip-Hop’s Beavis and Butthead, in the form of Method Man and Redman. There’s not too much to analyze in this album but the combination of 2 dope, lyrical products from the Wu and from the Def Squad (also formerly from the Hit Squad). Meth and Red, both, bring to us a soundtrack released on Def Jam recordings of 6 new joints, 6 old bangers, 3 hilarious skits (excerpts from the Movie), 4 guest tracks and 1 collabo between Limp Bizkit and Method Man equaling one of the best soundtracks of 2001 (next to “Training Day”) and probably over the past couple of years. Looking at the past several years where movie soundtracks have been prevalent in the music industry, this duo knows what it takes to put one down that should be in everyone’s record, CD or tape collection.
The album starts out with an introduction (see above) of the 2 characters of the movie and the 2 main characters of the soundtrack, Jamal (Redman) and Silas (Method Man). It then flips to ‘Part II’ which is a smooth beat that is blessed by the dynamic duo and samples Toni Braxton’s chorus from ‘You’re Making Me High’. The next track ‘Round and Round’ is basically a remix of Hi-Tek’s joint (of the same title), also featuring Jonell, which was featured on “Hi-Teknology”. But this time around Meth and Red rips the track as Jonell adds a more lyrical dimension compared to the original. Cypress Hill plays like Jason Kidd on ‘Cisco Kid’ (also on Cypress Hill’s new album – “Stoned Raiders”) as they assist the Blunt Brothers on a rap version the classic WAR track. There are 3 more new tracks, ‘America’s Most’, which is ripping it up on NYC mixed tapes right now (and my favorite of the new joints), ‘Let’s Do It’ and ‘We Don’t Know How to Act’.
As for the guest appearance tracks: ‘Who Wanna Rap’ by Streetlife which sounds like a straight-up Wu Tang Killa Bee, RZA-touched joint. ‘Fine Line’ by Canada representer Saukrates which was on his ’99 debut release. ‘Party Up (Up In Here)’ by DMX, which was on every NBA commercial, NFL half-time presentation, every sports show segment with sports highlights, and on every MTV documentaries background music, before that wack-ass new song by Pink (‘Get The Party Started’) came out to take it’s place. I’m not particularly a DMX fan, but it’s something to get you blood pumpin’ in your veins if you “Kick the volume way past 10” as Uncle L says on ‘Radio’. Ludacris and the luscious-lipped and hipped, Shawnta hit us with ‘What’s you Fantasy’ as well as the tight Primo produced and surprisingly hot collaboration between Method Man and Limp Bizkit on ‘N2Gether Now’.
Now to the final and pleasantly awaited analysis of the final 6 tracks (not including the ‘I Love NWA’ skit), which are the long, but not forgotten older joints, which are either on B-sides, or other released albums. ‘Da Rockwilder’… do I need to say any more??? ‘Bring Da Pain’ from Meth’s first solo album… “I came to Bring The Pain, hard-core to yo’ Brain… Is it real, son? Tell me is it real son?”
Redman give the complete instruction on the best and effective way to successfully roll a blunt on the appropriately titled, ‘How To Roll A Blunt’ from his ’92 released, debut album titled “What?..Thee Album”. The RZA produced, B-side, remix of Method Man’s and Mary J. Blige’s, ‘All I Need’ blazes on the album and I’m glad it did because I had a hard time finding that track on CD. ‘Big Dogs’ by Red & Meth is on there as well as the grand finale track, also appropriately titled, ‘How High’ which was originally introduced on “The Show” soundtrack.
All in all, this soundtrack puts you in mind of a new-aged Cheech & Chong meets Beavis and Butthead, reincarnated through Method Man & Redman. Some great new tracks, and some classic older cuts… this is an album that you definitely want to pick up and listen to over and over again. It’s, pretty much, 59 minutes of pure unadulterated, hard-core, head-nodding, trunk-o-funk, Hip-Hop at it’s best. Now, “excuse me as I kiss the sky”, practice the instructions given on track #17 and listen to this album for a 100th time. Peace.