The very idea of Method Man and Redman performing a live show seems ridiculous. Method Man and Redman are not humans, but superheroes. To claim that they are going to appear on stage, in Seattle, on such and such a day, is tantamount to saying that the Fantastic Four are going to perform at the Showbox on such and such a day. Like Michael Jordan with the Looney Tunes characters, there is little or no difference between the realities of Marvel's Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch, and Def Jam's "dynamic duo" Method Man and Redman. They have the same concerns, fears, regrets, and motives. Indeed, they all got their superpowers from failed science and social experiments: a spaceship in the case of the Fantastic Four, the projects in the case of "Meth and Red."

Anyone who is sensitive to the details and dynamics of hiphop knows that its sound effects and aesthetics are often inspired by popular comic books of the Marvel and DC variety. This is why, for example, in the opening of the online cartoon spoof of the popular Budweiser "Wassup" commercial ("Wassup" Superfriends) Notorious B.I.G.'s dark and sparkling song "Somebody's Gotta Die" perfectly suits the establishing shot that zooms in to superhero headquarters. In look and feel, both are identical, the hiphop functioning as a kind of sonic mirror of the city and the underwater world of Superman, Aquaman, and Batman. Even "back in the day," hiphop made frequent references to comic book heroes. Newcleus -- the most underrated band of the '80s -- famously featured a battle sequence between Superman and Captain Cozmo Disco, a comic book character created by Dr. Freeze of the Jam Brothers Inc: "Superman came into town to see who he could rock/he blew away every crew he played until he reached our block." Even the names of the early hiphop crews like UTFO, the Untouchable Force Organization, had about them a comic book air. But it was not until the Wu-Tang Clan, who came out in 1993 with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), that this long association with comic books reached its final conclusion: Instead of referring to superheroes, the rapper became a superhero. And the most famous superhero of the Wu-Tang universe is none other than Method Man.

Redman, who is part of the Def Squad universe, which is lead by the "green-eyed bandit" Erick Sermon, came out in 1992 with an explosive track called "Time for Sum Aksion." The kind of energy this track generated was so unnatural, so inhuman, that Redman (or the "sooparman lova") immediately proved that, like X-Men's Dark Beast, he was from another dimension, an alternate timeline. In 1998, this superhero's "psycho" world was even made into a video game called Doc's the Name 2000.

Like all comic book superheroes, Redman and Method Man have real names, live in alternate universes, and boast distinct superpowers. Redman's real name is Reggie Noble, he lives in "Da Bricks," which in our dimension is known as Newark, New Jersey, and like the Silver Surfer, he has "vast superhuman strength and can augment the strength of his cosmic, energy-powered body to a degree that rivals the Hulk's formidable rage-enhanced strength." Method Man's real name is Clifford Smith, he lives in "Shaolin," which in our dimension is known as Staten Island, and his powers are like those of Wolverine. He has "heightened senses": enhanced smell, hence his habit of sniffing in mid-rap; enhanced taste, as proven by a listen to his list of pornographic delights in "Ice Cream"; and enhanced hearing. Though he's not the best lyricist of the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man's sense of time, rhythm, and space is unmatched by any living human. If you look at the cover art of his last solo CD, Tical 2000, Method Man is pictured in a city alley, floating just over a street drain, with long Wolverine-like claws. It's possible that the two are long-lost brothers -- Method Man was born in 1972, Wolverine in 1974.

So if it is understood that superheroes are not real, because real humans cannot do things like "fly through the muthafucking air" and have "strength levels that can press 85 tons," how can this show happen? Have we lost our minds? Indeed, only a mad obsessed fan of Wu-Tang Clan and Def Squad (which I'm not) can believe in -- and ultimately enjoy -- this impossible show.

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