|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-05-20
He brought a unique lyrical style to the debut on Wu Tang's 1993 "Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)"...He's one of the mad monks of the Wu...he's Clifford Smith also known to the world as Johnny Blaze, Meth Tical and of course Method Man.
Whether he's handlin' business as a founding member of one of Hip Hop's most well-known groups, clownin' and blowin' with his mans Redman, collabin' with Mary or guest starring on "Oz", "The Wire" and the new Snoop film "Soul Plane"...Meth has become a household name.
"I'm out to do all of that, son." says Meth as a haze of pure ganja smoke floats through the room as he counts off his goals on his fingers. "Hip Hop...got that. Movies...got that...Clothing line...Johnny Blaze, got that. The most important thing for me is remaining me...not just Meth...but, Clifford Smith. Because their was Hip Hop, before there was a Wu Tang...there was Cliff But, feel me son...Clifford and Method Man are one and the same. I'm that same nigga from Staten Island who's on 'Forever', 'The W', 'Iron Flag', getting by with Mary, blackening eyes and busting funny bones with Red and putting down judgement on "Tical 2000".
He once said he brings the pain and with this new album "Tical 0: The Prequel", Meth is looking to take it back to the day of the quick jackmove. "I called it the Prequel because my second CD was from 'Judgement Day'. Nothing can come back to judgement day all you can do is to come back to the beginning After five years silent, it's time again. I got a big ass family in the Wu Tang and everybody needs they time to shine. I got my real family too in my wife and three kids so poppa Meth gotta stack that paper for lil man, it's time to handle business. Though I’m a patient nigga. I’m not greedy. But, now Meth is back...'Tical' is some of my most sickest shit i've ever done. I'm more focused now on the music... more ready to do what the fuck I live to do. When I was just Cliff, runnin' round the island slanging and jackin' motherfuckas...you know doing the everyday struggle I had to rush to keep ahead of the po-po. Only real legit gig I had was a stocker in a store. But, now look at a brotha, son! I do what I love to do. You know that cliché: when you do what you love to do you never work a day in your life.'"
The production on "Tical 0: The Prequel" only further reflects Meth's influence and dedication to this new album. Tical 2000 debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Meth expects no different from "The Prequel".
"I'm doing it all out on this one, son...we got NO I.D, Just Blaze, Megahertz, P. Diddy, Missy, Jelly Roll, RZA, Ghostface Ludacris and Raekwon." States Mr. Blaze as he rolls another spliff. "The album is locked down with Hip Hop love from Snoop on 'We Some Dogs', ODB pops up minus an ankle bracelet an police escort for 'The Afterparty' and 'Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed', which is co produced by Jelly Roll and Rick Rock, it's the first single out the gate and I know that fans...both the honey-dips and the fellas will be feelin' it. I’m trying to get them to bust off. I’m trying to get people to make babies off my shit”.
"What's Happening" featuring Busta Rhymes is currently on video rotation, "Rodeo" featuring Ludacris and "Baby Come On" featuring Kardinal Offishal are also tracks that appear to be bubblin' the pot for release to the masses."
When asked about his upcoming TV series with Redman, Meth's smile broadens.."I love to work on movies...TV, I ain't into it that much...but I see now that we've did the Rightguard commercials that it (TV) gives you more options, where with a movie...say like 'Belly', my character was limited....Acting is a totally different ball game than just rhyming. I got more creative control when I rhyme but I like working with other people in acting. The story behind the show is simple...two rappers make it big, buy a big ass house and they think they got it made until my moms moves in...that's the monkey wrench. Right now the working title is 'Meth & Red'. We got 13 episodes in the can and it's supposed to be out by summer."
But, why is it that Meth and Red click so well? "After we did 'How High,' the response was so good, we decided it would be a good move to give the people what they wanted," adds Method Man.
Since then, Hip Hop fans and those unfamiliar with the duo have embraced the two artists since they have been featured together on screen going all the way back to their now classic moments on Yo!MTV Raps and their "Night Before Xmas in The Ghetto" readings.
" Red and I feed off each other. When you come to a Red/Method Man show, whether it's on TV, the movies, on CD or a live performance you get your money's worth," says Meth. "We're separate solo artists, who have achieved platinum status and we both are affiliated with credible Hip Hop crews...me with the Wu and Red with Eric (Sermon) and Def Squad. Moving forward...that's what it's all about. We're gonna keep elevating, keep rising, keep modernizing with the times. That's exactly what's different about Redman and Method Man. We're staying on top of the game. And we're always on point...this is our year!"
It's been a long trip from Clifford Smith to Method Man. From Staten Island to Hollywood. Grimy, but talented...Clifford Smith has established himself in Hip Hop history...The Method to the madness.
Method Man is currently on the road touring in promotion for the May 18th release of "Tical 0: The Prequel."
Written by Albert McCluster III for HipHopDX