Gotta Be Gilla

Redman's new album is finally about to drop. What the hell took him so long?

It's been five years since Redman's last album. And while 2001's Malpractice stands the test of time, fans have been clamoring for new jams from Funk Doctor Spock. To hold them over, Red dropped a couple of mixtapes, the Ill at Will series, but they hardly qualified as true Redman albums. In anticipation of the long-delayed Red Gone Wild -- his next effort, due for release in March on Def Jam -- Red has started the promotional push by joining Rock the Bells, a tour that grew out of a festival featuring the Wu-Tang Clan reunion. The fest itself is documented in a film of the same name, which has already made a splash on the festival circuit.

We caught up with Red at the start of the tour and got the scoop on where he's been.

Why did it take so long to drop a new album?
It's just business. I could have been done with my album, but this time, the way I'm going with this album compared to previous albums, I got a crew now. If I had to do a regular Redman album, I would have been finished. But it's different this time. I'm grown now; I got to have an entity, because I don't want to be rapping forever, ya know? So that takes a little time. I'm doing a lot of building, and plus, within those three years, there's been a lot of . . . let's put it this way: When I came out with the last album, before this one, everybody who I worked with at my label, Def Jam, is gone now. I got new staff, new people, new bosses -- and within that three years, there's been a lot of twisting and turning.

You think Jay-Z is doing a good job leading Def Jam?
Well, I'm gonna tell you like this: I've never been one to complain about another man and his job. I feel like if I complain, I'm making an excuse of where I'm at. That's one thing I don't do: I don't make any excuses for where I'm at because of some other man. I'm not making no other man be blockage of my money. So how is Jay-Z running the label? You got to think to yourself, "Hey could you do it better?" And I'm like, "Eh, it's his first time running a label, and in the next year or so, he'll smooth it out." You never know.

What is Gilla House?
Gilla House Crew. Gilla is short for gorilla. I like gorillas. Everybody knows that I'm a gorilla since my first album, so I just shortened it. Gilla House isn't just a gang -- it's a movement. We're a movement of good music. What does Gilla mean? Gilla means over-the-top. Everything is off the rocker; everything has to be Gilla. And we definitely want to state that we're not just a gang from the street, because we're from the 'hood. We're a movement of good music, and we want everybody to recognize that. The Gilla House Crew consists of E3 (Ellis III), Melanie, Saukrates, Icarus, and Ready Rock. Also Runt Dog, but he's locked up right now. We're going to be recruiting more Gilla House members after we get this first load off, and that's what it is, man.

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