Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Method Man and Redman sure smoked a lot of weed in Auckland last night

The Powerstation became one giant '90s-themed hotbox last night, all thanks to two super-smiley rappers.
Redman, left and Method Man partied like it was 1999 in Auckland last night.
Redman, left and Method Man partied like it was 1999 in Auckland last night.

They were the talk of the town before they entered the building. "These motherf****** are here!" boomed DJ Sir-Vere with obvious enthusiasm as he warmed up the crowd.

His excitement was justified. 2016 has been a terrible year for hip-hop no-shows, from The Game's disappearance at February's Raggamuffin festival, to missed visits by both Skepta and Travis Scott in recent weeks.

Tonight's show, a joint - heh - appearance by Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man and Clan affiliate Redman, had already suffered its own delay by several weeks, as well as a venue change, thanks to something promoters called "a late scheduling conflict".

So when DJ Sir-Vere started yelling, "They're in the building!" there was a good reason to celebrate the fact the rappers known as Meth and Red had made it to New Zealand.

When the duo made it on stage just minutes later, throwing water across the venue's rowdy front rows as they began a surprisingly slick and constantly entertaining 90-minute set with the bouncy hooks of Errbody Scream, it didn't take long for them to start joking about it.

"Guess what?" asked Meth. "We made it past customs, baby."

He'd later show why he was so proud of that fact, sparking up the first of several blunts passed up for the crowd.

The pair are known for their 1999 album Blackout!, an album that took Wu-Tang's concrete production and hard-as-nails lyricism and added comical touches and more weed references than an art school party.

So the night was surprisingly short on Wu-Tang Clan material, and heavy on Meth and Red originals. That meant for some thrilling moments, from Straight Gutta's grimy wordplay, to their mission statement How High, and the minimalist grunt of Fall Out that included cheesy but hilarious dance routines.

There was also plenty of weirdness, from a strange in memorium section that included shout outs to Ol' Dirty Bastard, Prince and Heath Ledger, to Meth stuffing T-shirts up his top and jabbering nonsensically for several minutes.

Strangest of all was Meth's promise that next time he visited, he'd bring the entire Wu-Tang Clan with him. That might have been the weed talking: when they were here for Raggamuffin in February, only six of the New York collective made it.

But, from the baggy cargo pants to the hockey jerseys, references to their 2001 stoner flick How High, and a mid-set turntable battle, it was an energetic night of throwback hip-hop served up by two rappers still pretending it was 1999.

How '90s was it? At one point, Redman tried to sell CDs - "I pressed them myself!" he promised - from the stage at $40 a pop.

If you're trying to sell CDs in 2016, chances are you're smoking something that's perhaps just a little too strong.

Who: Method Man and Redman
Where: Powerstation, Auckland
When: Tuesday, September 25

- NZ Herald

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