Redman Talks VH1 Reality Show ‘Scared Famous’ & Spooky Encounters
Redman’s always ready for some action. As the Master of Scare-A-Monies for VH1′s new horror reality show, Scared Famous, the New Jersey rap star born Reggie Noble gets on hosting duty as reality stars — from Alaska of RuPaul’s Drag Race to Eva Marcille of America’s Next Top Model — try to survive three weeks in a haunted estate in Savannah, Georgia and endure a series of challenges in order to win $100,000 for their favorite charities.
While on a press run in New York city, the EPMD protégé spoke on his own spooky encounter while filming Scared Famous, the 25th anniversary of his official debut, The Whut, and why his forthcoming album, Muddy Waters 2, will be filled with “eargasms.” Before Scared Famous debuts on Monday, Oct. 23 on VH1 at 9 p.m, you can also bump Redman’s Horror Rap playlist below.
What separates Scared Famous from other reality shows?
I haven’t seen too many other horror reality shows, but what I do know about this one is that we are on real haunted land, and they got different reality stars from different shows that all meet up in one show and live in the house for like three weeks. I’m the master of Scare-A-Monies, by the way, so not only are you getting the challenges where they have to eliminate each other, but you gon’ get all the antics from them staying in one house and being cooped up with the ghost and nowhere to go. I must say that my favorite part about going to set everyday is finding out who the fuck was gon’ be eliminated because not only is the platform good as far as me giving them the challenges and them staying in the house, but the rules are unlike any other show rules I have ever seen. You might think you’re winning, but you’re winning to be losing. It’s crazy.
Give me an example.
I can’t really give you a real clean example, but if one time the reality stars won, they really had to choose who they want to eliminate. It was one where one of the stars won and they had to pick a person to leave right on the spot without a challenge. I was surprised. Believe me, on the first episode, everyone is friendly, and as it goes on, you see the backstabbing begins.
When was the last time you conquered a fear?
We shot [the show] about 20 minutes out of Savannah, Georgia, and the land we shot it on was very haunted. I had to stay in the house by myself while the cast stayed maybe about a half a mile at another big house, but my shit was way in the back. It was a nice house; it was actually Ben Affleck’s guest home, and me and my manager was staying there. He had a room on one side of the house, and I had my room over here, but he had to leave for three days. So I told him, ‘I gotta stay in the house by myself? This is real serious.’ I thought about it all night on the set. I wasn’t even thinking about what I had to do on the set. I was like, when the set is over, I gotta go back to that house by myself and go to sleep.
I slept there for three days and spooky shit was happening, like my door closed, and it was serious shit. The door really closed on me from the inside with no wind blowing. I didn’t want to experience it, but I had no choice but to sit there and take it. And when it closed, I really literally didn’t know what to do. I just asked God, ‘Please don’t let nobody come out here and bite me in the ass.’ But somebody did bite me in the ass. A female ghost bit me in the ass. While I was standing there in the door, smoking a blunt, it bit me in the ass and flew away. I tried to get my script coordinator to stay in [my manager’s] room. She was already gone. I was actually looking for someone that night, and I said, ‘Man up, n—a. Man the fuck up!’ and I ended up staying in the house and going to sleep peacefully.
That’s one of my biggest fears — being somewhere and something really spooky happens. I’m just in the middle of nowhere and nowhere to run to and no house phone to call somebody on, and the reception was horrible and I did it. I had to stay in there twice by myself, but I did it. Fucking crazy.
Last month, your debut Whut turned 25 years old. What sticks out about creating that album? What have you learned about yourself?
One thing about that album is that I think it’s the best thing E. Sermon [of EMPD] could have ever did. It got to a point where he got so busy, he left me in the studio while he was working with the EPMD project, and I ain’t know shit about the studio. I just knew I had to get my album done, and I took it to heart a little bit ‘cause I’m like, ‘Man, you help me nurture all this time, now you just gon’ split?’ But you know what, I got in there. I sat with the engineer, I told him what I wanted. He helped me build my thought process of how to get my music across, the sounds I wanted and making skits. I got that album done on my own. I got the ingredients from E., cooked it and got my album done, and ever since then, I wanted to be hands-on with everything from videos to my albums to the sound of it ‘cause I’m very big on quality control. I can’t depend on nobody to just execute a project the way I want it unless I’m right there with the project ‘cause it’s so much to learn in the studio besides getting on the mic. I do everything. I’m EQing, I’m going to the sound library and going through 100 sounds to find the right sounds to make these skits. Editing is a big part of an album and how songs come in. That’s what I was known for —having an album that you could play all the way through, and in order for you to do that, you have to have timeless music. I believe on being hands on with everything, and that’s what that taught me since then.
Do you have any specific memories from creating Whut besides being hands-on?
It was a lot of songs I was supposed to put on there that didn’t come out, but everything worked out the way it was supposed to on that album. It came out better than we thought it was. The only problem we had doing that album… and I always tell B-Real from Cypress Hill to this day, ‘Thank you for everything that you helped me do because if it wasn’t from y’all being on the High Times magazine, it wouldn’t have given me the inspiration.’ So if you noticed on “Time 4 Sumaksion,” I sampled him. When me and E. did that record, that record was still hot by Cypress Hill, so we went through a big litigation with the company like, ‘Yo, OK, we understand Redman is a new artist, but we just came out with this Cypress Hill album. How is he gonna use this ‘Time, time, time for some action’ from B-Real while we still pushing this album?’ That was a little mess, just a little bit, but God was in our favor and it worked out.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m cookin’ up something. Muddy Waters 2 dropping next year. I’m independent. This album is gonna be great because I’m giving y’all that ‘90s feel. I’m paying for samples so I wanna give y’all that feeling, I wanna give y’all some eargasms. It’s not enough eargasms out here.
I kept it all in-house. I want Royce on ‘Muddy Waters’ so E. Rockwilder, I’m going to see Pete Rock soon, I’m going to see Battlecat for something, so I’m definitely keeping it in my peer lane.
When’s the last time you had an eargasm?
I still get eargasms off old music. That new 4:44 by JAY-Z gave me some eargasms. I still got old music that gives me eargasms and something that’s new. I like Travis Scott and Young Thug “Pick Up The Phone.” That [song's] catchy as hell.
Any last thoughts?
Don’t judge these reality stars from the TV. When you’re looking from the outside in, you have a misconception about ‘em from all the ratchetness, but when you meet them, when you sit down and talk to ‘em, it’s a whole different story. Don’t judge a book by the cover. Some people, you could give a little judgment. I was right about some people that I gave judgement to. I talked about they ass and got them out of there, found out they was up to no good and got them out the way.
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