METHOD MAN INTRODUCTION:
Method Man was born Clifford Smith on April 1, 1971, in Hempsted, Long Island, New York. As a youth he was shuttled between his delinquent father in Long Island, and his mother in Staten Island, New York. In Staten Island - later renamed "Shaolin" by the Clan - was where he met the men who would eventually become the Wu-Tang Clan. Whilst in Staten Island, Meth grew up in the 'Park Hill' projects with his mother and two sisters, one younger, one older. He has said he dropped out of high school in the ninth and eleventh grades, and sold and experimented with drugs. "Reality smacked me in the face early. That's why I don't like to talk about my childhood," Meth told Rolling Stone in late 1998. He then added, "I don't ever want anybody to feel sorry for me because of the way I came up. There are a lot of people who have it a hell of a lot worse than me." READ MORE ABOUT METHOD MAN IN OUR METHOD MAN BIOGRAPHY SECTION »
METHOD MAN INTERVIEWS:
» METHOD MAN: INTERVIEW 5: Red & Meth Speak On 'Blackout' Album - (Nov 11 1999)
An Interview of Hip-Hop's Dynamic Duo: Redman and Method Man, on thier new highyl anitcipated album, entitled "Blackout" by Yahoo! Music on Nov 11 1999. In 1995, two of Def Jam's hottest solo artists joined forces to record a song called "How High." The chemistry between them was magical. Since then, hip-hop fans have anxiously awaited a full-length collaboration album from hip-hop's two most animated MCs. Method Man and Redman, also known as Johnny Blaze and the Funk Docta, have been putting it down in hip-hop for almost a decade now, and this time around, they're about to cause a Blackout! and shut this place down:
"After we did 'How High' together, the response was so good that we decided it would be a good move to do an LP," says Method Man. "They was stressing us to do this album," Redman adds.
Because both Method Man and Redman were busy doing so many other things, it was hard for them to catch up with each other to actually record an album, though the upcoming disc had been promoted by the label for quite some time. But when the two linked up again for Jay-Z's Hard Knock Life tour, working together was inevitable. They performed alongside each other, as one act, and decided to get an album out once and for all. "We wrote 'How High' on the road during our first promo tour," Meth says, "for his second album and my first one. And while we was on tour again, we started writing this album."
With production by Erick Sermon, RZA, Rockwilder, and Redman, Blackout! is typical-sounding Meth/ Red material: raspy vocals laid over pop-influenced hardcore beats. "We just sat down and wigged out. What I mean by wigged out is, we just sat down and said whatever that music told us to," Method Man comments. On each song, the two trade verses EPMD-style, going back and forth with their outlandish, metaphorical style. Songs like "Da Rockwilder" and "Tear It Off" are playful, allowing Method Man and Redman to use their witty yet raw-core lyrics to entertain and amuse listeners. On "Tear It Off," Meth proclaims, as only he can, "N-ggas chew gum with their ass and pop sh-t."
It's this hardcore yet comical approach that has separated Method Man and Redman from other hip-hop artists. Within the past year, both rappers released solo albums--Meth with Tical 2000: Judgment Day and Redman with Doc's Da Name 2000--and, not surprisingly, both albums went platinum. Blackout! takes hip-hop into the new millennium by joining the talents of two of hip-hop's heavyweights. Def Jam president Kevin Liles describes Blackout! as "the fusion of two crews that have been running underground hip-hop for the last 10 years." Redman comments, "Anybody now can come out hot and be the man. We're here to take it back." He continues, "There's just only one set of music that's going out right now that motherf--kers could f--k with. We giving them that extra other sh-t that people been looking for. There ain't too many n-ggas that's gonna give it up like us two."
For Meth and Red, collaborating with other artists is nothing new. Though they've both built rewarding solo careers, Method Man and Redman have also enjoyed success with their respective crews, Wu-Tang and Def Squad. Method Man, who has a recurring guest appearance on almost every Wu-Tang-affiliated project, also recently teamed up with Limp Bizkit on their latest album, Significant Other. On the other hand, Redman has stayed within the realms of rap and R&B;, and has done guest spots on almost every hip-hop record from Puff Daddy to Dave Hollister. This ability to adjust to different musical surroundings has shaped the two of them as artists.
Meth and Red's mutual respect and appreciation for each other's work has helped prepare them for what is probably hip-hop's most entertaining collaboration project. "We both worked with groups before but I don't know," Method begins. "It's like, I worked with Redman. I've been on the road with him, studio with him, everything. Our chemistry is like Run-DMC. Red and I feed off each other. When you come to a Redman/ Method Man show, you get your money's worth."
While the two MCs have reached superstar status, they still manage to please their original underground audience with songs like "Run 4 Cover" and "4 Seasons." On these raw tracks, the two bring lyrics like only they can, proving the original elements of hip-hop still count for something. "It's a whole new game now," Redman says. "Back in the day, it was just about respect for lyrics, and how dope your team is. I mean, now it's like how heavy your team rolls, how thick your team looking now. It still got something to do with lyrics, but not like it used to in the day."
On Blackout!, Meth and Red also take it back with "Cheka." Putting their own twist on the Das EFX song "Mic Checka," Method Man and Redman come full speed with their unmatchable flows. There's also a remix of the "How High" single to remind hip-hop fans how this all got started. "'How High' was all about elevation," Meth insists, "and that's exactly what's different about Redman and Method Man. Elevation. Staying on top of the game, staying on point."
As a duo, Method Man and Redman bring more energy to the hip-hop game than a livewire. Their personalities go hand in hand, and that comes out well in their music. And though it seems as if Meth and Red just won't stop, hip-hop keeps embracing them. Following the release of this album, both Method Man and Redman will drop solo albums in December as part of the Def Jam 2000 hype. Method Man remarks, "I'm not cutting my hair until this next album is done, either."
This interview was written and conducted by Kim Osorio for Yahoo.com. All Interviews are property of their respective owner(s), not us, unless otherwise stated!
READ OUR OTHER METHOD MAN INTERVIEWS:
» Meth Interview On "Tical 0: The Prequel" Album - (2004)
» Method Man Speaks On Meth, Redman, and Wu - (2000)
» Method Man Interview With 'MP3.com' - (2006)
» 'Stepping Into The Millennium' Interview - (Apr 4 1999)
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