In 2000 MTV premiered Cribs, a show dedicated to showing off the lavish living quarters of the fabulously famous figures from the world of the music elite. Fancy cars. Big mansions. Waterbeds where “the magic happened.” All were par for the course on a typical Cribs episode. That is, except for one episode that didn’t take place in Hollywood, but rather Staten Island. I’m of course referring to the infamous Redman episode, which featured a house so small and dilapidated, many suspected it to be a hoax.
5 Best Quotes From The Oral History Of The Redman Episode Of MTV’s Cribs
Redman on why he agreed to do the episode:
While everybody was trying to show a lavish house, the lavish life of living, that’s not always the case. Not every entertainer’s living lavish. They may have a more lavish set on the street, but it’s still real for a lot of cats out here in the entertainment game. We’re OK, but we’re not rich, and that’s what I wanted to display to my fans … I always try and think about what the ‘hood would say when I do things.
Mr. Cream (Redman’s cousin who was crashing at his place) on being asleep on the floor during filming:
The reason I was on the floor was because the couch — you know how it is when you’re sleeping on a leather couch and it gets all hot? When it’s too hot to sleep on the couch, I just go right to the floor. It’s a cooler situation.
Nina Diaz (Cribs creator and executive producer) on the broken doorbell:
It was clearly cold, too, because I remember how hard it was to rub the wires together to get the doorbell to ring.
Toni Ann Carabello (the episode’s editor) on the shoebox full of money on top of the fridge:
He played into the whole thing, like taking his shoebox of money down from the top of the refrigerator […] I can’t remember if prior to Redman there were any not-so-nice houses; it was all these beautiful houses, so it worked so nicely because you had all this space. So we had all these speed-up effects, because you had so much space to get through. You almost had to show a whole 360 of a room, and if you let it play out it would be boring. We knew this was not going to be a normal Cribs episode — you’re not going to have those shots.
Redman on the show’s reception:
They say it’s definitely the best one ever. People coming up to me about this just encourages me to make solid decisions all the way down. They said it was the highest rated. To me, it means it worked for me. 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.
Here you can check out MTV’s revisiting the episode in this retrospective, which includes an update on some improvements Redman has made to his crib during the intervening years: