"F--- the world, don't ask me for sh-- / and everything you get, you got to work hard for it." The latter part of this quote embodies its author's career in hip-hop; the former personifies his mood of late, specifically towards the hip-hop world, a world that he heavily influenced as both a solo artist and as part of the seminal group the Wu-Tang Clan. Yet, this world hasn't been reciprocating the love lately.
Method Man, also known as Tical and countless other aliases, has won a Grammy, released six platinum albums (two solo, four with The Wu and one with Redman) and was one of the first ambassadors of hip-hop. Remember those 90's documentaries of the Wu-Tang clan touring Asia? Well, with hip-hop's short term memory, Johnny Blaze has always seemed unappreciated and underrated. From music television countdowns that have placed him behind non-MCs like Missy Elliot, to premature predictions of his demise, a usually media friendly Method Man was way overdue to unleash a belligerent rant on some poor, unsuspecting journalist: yours truly. Though more animated than genuinely angry, Meth let it all hang out. Whatever he didn't get off his chest while recording his new album 4:21...The Day After, he definitely addressed in this interview. So, sit back and enjoy this media roast as the Ticallion Stallion riffs on the hip-hop industry, DJs and the fact that he gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.
P.S. Vibe, XXL, The Source and every other media outlet, your all f---ing welcome!!
BallerStatus.com: Your new album is called 4:21...The Day After. You've been quoted as saying that this record has a certain clarity to it that hasn't been present on your other albums, what inspired this clarity?
Method Man: Y'all motherf---ers sh--ing on me, talking about how I'm washed up and I don't got it no more. F--- y'all motherf---ers!
BallerStatus.com: Come on now, this is what every veteran rapper goes through at some point in his career. It's inevitable that your relevancy is going to be questioned, especially when your last record wasn't as well received or successful as your previous ones.
Method Man: Yeah, but you know what's crazy about that album though? It still went gold with no help.
BallerStatus.com: That actually wasn't a surprise to me because I felt that there was enough on there to keep your hardcore fanbase satisfied. Even though you said that your priorities were in the wrong place on that record, how is your approach different this time around?
Method Man: I said f--- y'all n----s this time. I'm going in this for me. F--- y'all n----s with your bullsh-- ass opinions, your ragged ass reviews and everything y'all do to knock us to f--- down and have us questioning our own skills. When we know were f---ing dope, we know we can change the world. And, we know we got more people listening to us than you guys will ever have. That's why I can sit here with my balls out and say f--- y'all, you f---ing slime balls.
BallerStatus.com: Wow, you really feel that disrespected by the media?
Method Man: Yeah, they don't give me no respect. That's why I don't have no respect for them. F---ing pricks. Nah, but let me stop this sh-- [laughs]. Yo son, for real, for real, I'm doing this because I want you to know what it feels like my n----. That's how they talk to me with their opinions. It's like no matter what I do or say, they be like, "Shut the f--- up, f--- you."
BallerStatus.com: But, the beautiful thing about being an artist is that you have the avenue in terms of making your records to answer all these nay-sayers and critics.
Method Man: Yeah, but you see they don't let us be free enough to be just that artist. You're working with a blank canvas, who knows how it's going to come out? It's up to your minds to grow along with us, or you say, "Alright, you tried that right there, but it wasn't to hot. So, come back to where you was before." Instead of saying sh-- like, "This motherf---er is wack, I don't think I'm a check for him the next time out."
BallerStatus.com: Let me throw some names out there that've been in similar situations: Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Nas, your man Ghostface. They've all been slept on by the media later in their careers...
Method Man: They ain't gone do sh-- because for one, n----s don't pop sh-- about Busta the way they pop sh-- about me. Ghost, they always sucking Ghost d---. They be sucking Ghost off and be sh--ing on the rest of the Clan. So, you need better examples than that. Now look how they riding Busta. They thought he was just a funny suit wearing n---- and he shut them to f--- up.
BallerStatus.com: Like I said before, you have that avenue. Busta showed and proved, and he shut the critics up like you said. So now, what are you going to do?
Method Man: I ain't trying to show and prove to nobody. I'm talking to the people that when I come outside my house and motherf---ers show me love in all these different neighborhoods in New York, when I'm by myself and don't nobody try to rob me. That's who I wrote the album for. F--- y'all slime bag ass n----s! I was trying to f--- with y'all on my last album and y'all assassinated me. Y'all n----s is the worst form of life on this planet, scum bags that ride other people's coattails to get...
BallerStatus.com: Hey, hey, that's not all of us man. Some of us are just trying to get your frame of mind on paper, that's my approach at least.
Method Man: So, why do they put the little intros before all the interviews where they do the most discrediting at?
BallerStatus.com: That's just to set up the...
Method Man: Them two little paragraphs that they put before they interview n----s and try to discredit them. That's why I can sit here and be like, "F--- y'all interview n----s, y'all n----s suck, y'all n----s eat d--- and are straight up some kiss ass muthaf---ers. Y'all n----s ride n----s backs to get to the top. Y'all ride a new n---- every f---ing year, y'all big us up and then knock us to f--- down. Y'all n----s can eat a d---, I hate all y'all motherf---ers."
BallerStatus.com: I hear what you're saying, but the industry -- including record labels and artists -- have a great deal to do with that.
Method Man: What motherf---er!?!
BallerStatus.com: Hold on now, hear me out. When your man 50 came on the scene with his gangsta persona, a lot of labels and artist followed suit. I always loved Busta's style, but on his new record Busta is definitely more hardcore. Your man Ghostface called his album Fishscale and started rapping about the drug game again because that's what's selling right now. I don't necessarily label it as d--- riding because the climate of hip-hop changes and some rappers feel they need to change, or should I say evolve to...
Method Man: N----s got Ghost nuts on their tonsils jiggling them around [makes a gargling sound].
A motherf---er put me and Ghost album together in a review in Entertainment Weekly. Yes, I read my own press. How you going to put both our albums together, two totally different sounding projects? He sh--ed on me and bigged Ghost up. I know Ghost is dope and s---, but so is my whole crew. Trying to big my man up and sh-- on me, that's a form of separation right there. They try to separate us. Y'all be spitting fire out them pens right there, somebody gone smack the sh-- out one of y'all n----s when they see y'all in the street man. Like my man Chino. I love Chino man; this n---- got snuffed for nothing. He didn't have sh-- to do with that little f---ing cartoon that they put next to our picture in Rap Pages magazine. They had little cartoons of n----s and this n---- got punched in his eye, and all he did was write the article. Y'all n----s should know we not Britney Spears, we not Justin Timberlake. We ain't none of these little b---- ass, pop singing ass motherf---ers. They don't even write they own songs, so they could deal with the criticism. Nah n----, we from the block where if a n---- snap on your mama too hard, you liable to knock his motherf---ing block off. So, imagine what happens when a n---- sh-- on you. A motherf---er with a college degree who hasn't been involved with half the battles in the hood and sh--, you would want to take that n----'s f---ing head off.
BallerStatus.com: I've heard a couple tracks off the album, the first being "Say" featuring Lauren Hill. Is this the official first single?
Method Man: Def Jam did that s--- and overstepped their boundaries by leaking it, just because they liked it so much. I wanted to put it out as a second single. For a first single, that's just too much right there. People expect me to come out the gate hard.
BallerStatus.com: Yeah I felt the same when I heard it. It's a dope mid-tempo joint and Lauren complements the record perfectly, but it's not your typical style for a first single. I did think that the other joint I heard, "Nah Mean" featuring Styles P and Fat Joe, would be a great first single.
Method Man: The thing about "Nah Mean" was that it was taken out my hands too. When I did the record, I was trying to do three verses. But, the dude that was doing the project with me left and when he came back Fat Joe was on the sh--.
BallerStatus.com: With all the frustration you've expressed about the rap game, I have to wonder why you still do it? Especially when you've developed other avenues for income.
Method Man: I love this game, I just hate the people behind this sh-- that just be f---ing it up. These n----s is raping the culture. These n----s can't dissect a hood n----'s rhymes because y'all not where he from. That's how n----s slept on down South for so f---ing long. They got to the point where they was like, "Y'all don't understand us, so we going to sell it to our own people, people who do understand us." Then what happened? Y'all n----s ran right down South, sucking they d---- like they the best thing since sliced f---ing bread. Like these n----- is the most prolific artist that rap has ever heard in its f---ing life. Like they the new white meat and sh--. These n----s been down there, it's just that y'all wasn't checking for them like that, bunch of d--- riding ass n----s.
BallerStatus.com: The popular consensus is that the South is on top because New York rap isn't what it used to be.
Method Man: It ain't got nothing to do with that. N---- you heard Juelz Santana album?
BallerStatus.com: Yeah I heard it, it was pretty descent but...
Method Man: Look at the singles they put out off that album. That album was hard b. Motherf---ers don't know that because they don't even buy f---ing albums, they just download singles or they hear them on the radio. This is what these motherf---ers in New York, label wise, is trying to do. They won't put out the hard s--- first, they gone try to go that sh-- with the VVS and all that other bullsh--. Ain't nobody want to hear that sh--. Why you think n----s is out here buying mixtapes and getting satellite radio?
New York ain't fall off in no f---ing way. These record company n----s need to get it in their heads that we got our own f---ing style man. We not like the rest of these motherf---ers. The right motherf---ers is not being heard and when I say that, I don't mean the right artist isn't being heard, I mean the right f---ing songs isn't being heard. I'm telling you, there's going to be one motherf---er to come out with "Get At Me Dog" like DMX did, or come out with "Protect Ya Neck" like Wu did. He's going to blow it out the frame and the record companies are going to be like, "Oh my God, what were we doing?" They aren't putting enough faith in their artist to let us do what the f--- we want to do. They're like, "It's ok if you want to go with that song, but we're not going to push it." I'm like, "You got to be kidding me." That's why n----s can't even talk greasy about NY when they know how the game is played man. That don't happen to them because everything they do is just fly, everything they put out is fly.
BallerStatus.com: So you're basically saying that New York is just as hard as it's always been, it's just that the wrong type of music is being put out there?
Method Man: Exactly, the wrong type of music is being put out. If you ain't putting out some sh-- with a singy songy hook, n----s ain't playing your sh-- on f---ing radio.
BallerStatus.com: That being said, how does an artist like Method Man, who doesn't make that type of music, stay relevant?
Method Man: I'm still relevant in the game because of all the f---ing ground work I've laid down before all this f---ing sh-- started. I hope that the hard sh-- is going to come back. It's like the n----s who came up in our days is recouping them for that hard sh--. It's like I said, n----s ain't putting out the right type of f---ing records man. That's why n----s run to mixtapes because they know the label ain't doing it the right way. These n----s is million, billion dollar companies and their idiots. They treating our sh-- like it's fast food out this motherf---er man, knowing damn well that New York hip-hop is as hard as it's ever been man. Like one of the biggest sh-- out is "Hustlin'" by Rick Ross. How come n----s in New York can't get a single like that? We got millions of songs about hustling out here in NY. Like I said, the right sh-- isn't being pushed in NY man.
BallerStatus.com: You mentioned that Juelz Santana's album is hard, who else do you like coming out of NY?
Method Man: Juelz album was hard as f--- and they gave us "There It Go," which wasn't a bad song, but come on b. My man Ghost is hard as a motherf---er, but what they put out was the Ne-Yo joint, "Back Like That." It was a hard ass song, but come on man, this is NY man.
BallerStatus.com: Staying on the topic of record labels, how is your situation with Def Jam?
Method Man: I don't know what the f--- is going on up there. I'm just playing everything by ear and sh--. Hopefully, they give me a big push. I can't really speak on how they're going to treat my project until its out a week, but I know my last project wasn't treated too well.
BallerStatus.com: Do you feel as a rap veteran and more so a Def Jam veteran that you aren't given the attention and respect you deserve?
Method Man: Yeah, but I always feel like that. That's just how artists are and sh--. My thing is look, you just set them up and I'll knock them down, but ain't nobody even setting nothing up. Come on man, what the f--- is that telling me? Like is y'all giving up on me and sh--?
BallerStatus.com: Have you ever thought about going to an independent label?
Method Man: The new hustle is the independent labels, but they shutting the door on that too. The independent labels are hitting the majors so hard in the pocket that these motherf---ers is hitting us even harder to make they money back. They raping the culture b, these mixtape n----s and sh--. Since when you got to pay DJ Clue $2500 to get on his f---ing mixtape? N----s use to lace Clue, giving him joints before they album even dropped, and I'm not talking about his character as a man or nothing, but you know n----s use to look for Clue. Now, these n----s want to charge n-----s to get on their mixtapes and sh--. Get the f--- out of here man, n----- is raping the f---ing culture man. Video magazines on the street is f---ing caking off us man, with their f---ing video cameras man. There are a few old DJs that still f--- with a n----, but they always do that. That's how that is and sh--.
In general however, I feel like as far as the game go, I demand a whole lot more respect than what I've been getting man. N----- been showing me their hands man.