Redman Shares All of the Hilarious Details Behind the Funniest Episode of ‘MTV Cribs’ Ever
Millennial mansion enthusiasts have been having a good month since the hit lifestyle documentary series MTV Cribs returned to TV. The series is a serving of opulence that takes us on tours of the most outrageous celebrity estates as viewers get to imagine what their lives would be like if they had Fat Joe’s sneaker collection or Cash Money Records’ confoundingly placed living room jacuzzi.
But for all the embarrassments of riches featured on the series, only one celebrity domicile — that of rapper and record producer Redman — was worthy of the title of “most infamous, most cited” as described by series creator Nina L. Diaz. Instead of taking the route of artists like Ja Rule who used the program to inflate the perception of their wealth, Redman kept it real by showing the actual dumpy duplex that the influential MC occupied in Staten Island. It turns out that the legendary rapper lived like a 19-year-old frat boy in an apartment the size of Mariah Carey’s closet.
According to the oral history of the episode from Thrillist, the Def Jam rapper didn’t give MTV any hints about what they would find when they first approached him about doing a Cribs episode for his living situation, and when the film crew drove out into the boondocks of Staten Island, the first thing they were greeted by as they approached the beige duplex that perplexingly matched the address given to them by Redman was two exposed wires hanging out from the hole where a doorbell should be and a screenless screen door.
Explained Redman, “They show up f—ing early. I wanted to at least clean up a bit, since I ain’t have any real furniture in there and s—, and I thought I had a little bit of time and I didn’t.” From the opening shot of the episode, it’s clear that “a little bit of time” was not going to be nearly enough to clean up a house that looked like what would happen if a group of 13-year-olds went in on an apartment with a family of cockroaches. Trash, dirty clothes and porn DVDs littered the apartment, which Redman presented as if it was a 9,000-square-foot megamansion.
The highlights of the tour included a shot of Redman’s cousin, Mr. Cream (formerly Sugar Bear), passed out on the floor of the rapper’s basement and a reveal of Redman’s “Dollar Box,” a shoebox full of crumpled-up bills on top of Redman's fridge that the MTV film crew shot like it was a platinum jet ski.
Said one of the show’s producers, Erika Clarke, “I remember when we got this footage back, being like, ‘What the f— are we going to do with this?’ He was himself, and put no airs about him. … I was like, ‘This is funny, this is kind of hilarious.’ But I remember saying to (the editor), ‘Is anyone going to want to watch this? Are we going to get in trouble?’"
Not only did people watch it, they loved it. The episode was the most popular in the series, and everyone involved still gets asked questions about it. Redman, who still lives in the duplex, said of the episode’s success, “Once you do things and keep things 100 percent with yourself, you can never lose. And that’s just what happened. That’s why we won — we kept it 100, and we kept it truthful all the way. … It taught me a lesson to stick to my guns, and to be true to myself. Don’t be somebody you’re not; don’t do things that’s not you.”
Keeping it real indeed.