The younger generation may know him more for his characters played in films such as How High and a recurring role on The Wire, but at one point, Method Man was regarded as one of the better MCs in the game. Known for his scene-stealing charisma and undeniable charm, Meth his bones by outshining your favorite rappers before going on to snag Grammys and love from Hollywood. Here’s a refresher course of 10 tracks from the Ticallion Stallion as we continue on with our Wu-centered version of The Primer series.
Previously — 10 Ol’ Dirty Bastard Songs Everyone Should Know
1. “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man”
Though the collective was chock full of talented lyricists on full display for their debut, one in particular by the name of Method Man managed to stand out with his lyrical skill and charisma, while also having the lone solo on the album. Reluctantly or not, a star was born and one of the more addicting refrains in Hip-Hop became ingrained in our consciousness. And to think, it all grew from a B-side single.
After becoming a fan favorite following his standout performance on 36 Chambers, Meth dropped his solo debut to much anticipation. Jumping off the ceremonies with this title track produced by RZA, Meth cooked up a weed smokers anthem for the ages. After giving some burn to a sample that would eventually be found on Raekwon’s “Guillotine Swordz”, with the wave of his magic blunt, Method had everybody’s weed dealer claiming to have some of that “Tical” for the purchase.
3. “Bring The Pain”
Meth dropped this dark and brooding number produced by Rza as the first single for Tical. Wasting no time getting into the proceedings, when Meth spit the opening bar “I came to bring the pain, hardcore to the brain, now let’s check out my astro-plane” we knew the next 3:30 would be mind-blowing for sure. While Tical gets overshadowed by other mid-’90s classics such as Illmatic, Ready To Die, and Reasonable Doubt, this banger can hang with the best from that era without question.
4. “Meth Vs. Chef”
“Choose worthy of a general..If you want to fight, fight whit me, One to one, man to man.”
Meth engaged in a verbal spar with fellow Wu cohort Raekwon from this Tical standout. With Rza behind the boards, Meth came out aiming for the jugular, while The Chef more than held his own. The battle came down to a split decision and made us salivate for a rematch.
5. “All I Need”
Mary and Meth turned to music world upside down with this odd-couple of a pairing while maybe even outdoing Tami and Marvin in the process. With multiple versions (The Puff Daddy Mix, The Razor Sharp Mix, etc.) all becoming classics individually, the Grammy win, as well as becoming the highest selling Rap/R&B collaboration of the ’90s, this track became the standard-bearer for all future duets.
6. “How High”
Meth found a kindred spirit with fellow weed aficionado Redman. The pair decided to do a track for the soundtrack to the 1995 flick The Show, with the beat provided by Erick Sermon. Channeling the great Jimi Hendrix with his “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” opening, Meth proved once again to be among the wittiest in the genre, displaying a chemistry with Red better than peanut butter and jelly’s. The sequel, found on the How High soundtrack is a banger as well, but this is the joint that started it all.
7. “Judgement Day”
Meth’s second solo album Judgement Day dropped in 1998 to high expectations. Playing on the apocalyptic themes being tossed around prior to Y2K, Meth came out swinging with this amped up number produced by 4th Disciple. With the accompanying video getting plenty of that coveted MTV love, Methical was now a certified superstar known by thugs in Shaolin and pimple-faced teens in Middle America alike.
8. “Break Ups To Make Up”
Although reluctant to embrace his sex symbol status, it’s undeniable that John Blaze has a way with the ladies when in the booth. Evidence of this is his “Break Ups To Make Up” record, which featured R&B crooner D’Angelo. While not as regarded as his famed duet with Mary, this Trackmasters-helmed song was a hit on all platforms and helped boost his Judgement Day album over the two million sold mark.
9. “Da Rockwilder”
The success of the “How High” collabo among others prompted Meth and Red to do what was a no-brainer and join forces for a full length LP. In 1999, the two released the album Blackout, with this as the lead single, produced by The Rockwilder himself. Shorter in length than the average single, the dynamic duo maximized the usage of that time, creating one of the more memorable one-two punches to date. A great moment for Hip-Hop, this classic still sends chills up your spine and can get any wall flower at a party turnt up at the drop of the needle.
10. “What’s Happening”
Meth attempted to rekindle the magic of his debut album with his third solo offering Tical 0: The Prequel. This high-octane number produced by DJ Scratchator and featuring Busta Rhymes pushed the LP past Gold, but was released to mixed reviews from critics and a number of fans alike. He later admitted to going a more commercial route for the project and in hindsight felt that maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do artistically. But at least he has this banger of a record to show for it.