By Tamara Palmer
If you thought Eddie Murphy chills at home in between movie projects just playing the guitar and plotting brilliant reggae tunes, well, you have much more insight than we do. The legendary comedian has teamed up with Snoop Lion to release “Redlight,” the surprise song of the week.
Murphy sings lead and plays guitar on the infectious tune, but as gentle and easy as the beat and harmonies feel, they support a serious message in the age of stop and frisk. “Redlight, stop right there where you are,” he sings. “Emancipation [gone], race relations [gone], all our rebels are gone.” He later name-checks the loss of leaders like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King as causing the people to “lose their way.”
The song is a radical departure from the happy-go-lucky pair of Eighties songs that Murphy is best known for: The Rick James-produced “Party All the Time” and the comedy classic “Boogie in Your Butt.” But it’s right in line with Snoop’s work of late, namely the reggae album Reincarnated, which features message-loaded songs like “No Guns Allowed.” And by releasing a video showing the recording process, Murphy may or may not have intentionally paid tribute to his first music video in 1985, which depicted James recording Murphy singing “Party All the Time” in a studio.