It’s 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday when Method Man calls, almost completely out of nowhere. With a well-documented and acrimonious history with the media—as well as Wu-Tang’s overall reputation for playing hard to get with journalists over the years—it was unexpected, particularly when Meth started going in against the online media. “Honestly, I don’t do interviews anymore,” he says over the phone. “But I do feel respect—you guys still have some type of cred as far as I go, and I respect what you guys do, forreal. I just don’t like the website at all, I don’t like any websites at all.”
As the interview goes on, Meth opens up about a number of topics that have bugged him over the years: his image as a stoner, his contentious relationship with critics, his relationship with Def Jam that caused him to rush his lyric writing in the late-1990s and early-2000s, and his continued work with Redman. But it’s the music he’s working on now, specifically his next (and last) album, The Crystal Meth and the upcoming Wu-Tang 20th Anniversary album, set to be titled A Better Tomorrow, that really gets him talking.
“I’m tellin’ you, I’m hard-bodied, dawg…I’m back to cadence,” he says animatedly. “My flows are gonna be switchin’ all over the place—dudes will not be able to keep up.” —Dan Rys (@danrys)
I caught your new track with Doctor P and Adam F. It definitely seemed like something very different than some of the other music you’ve rapped over in the past.
Yeah. I don’t rap though. I’m serious, I don’t, I don’t rap. I flow, I’m a flow-er. You’ve got rappers, you got MCs, and then you got flow-ers, I’m a flow-er. How can I describe it? Busta—he’s a flow-er. He’s wrapped up in his cadence, you know what I mean? Yeah, I fall into that category, I don’t rap, G. I’m an MC and I’m a flow-er.
Have you been working on The Crystal Meth recently?
No comment. ‘Cause when my shit does come, it’s gonna come—and I’m not letting anybody know shit based on the fact that I was dogged down on my last two albums, or really my last one, and my last one was pretty good. It was pret-ty good, and I got dogged down on it. So, yeah.
“My motto is mean people suck. I hate mean people. I believe that there aren’t enough train wrecks that people are forcing them now, trying to get under people’s skin and shit like that.”
What do you mean?
I’m not getting into the details of all of those bloggers trying to assassinate me and shit.
I don’t go out trying to assassinate anybody, man.
No, not you, not you, it’s never really the interviewers, it’s the people that have their little two cents they put in in the comments and that. I’m so cool on that. Because you can’t beat everybody up, and I be wanting to. So I don’t give them anything to feed off anymore.
I know you were out with Redman again. How did that go?
It never stops. See, when we’re not on y’all radar, you guys have no idea what we’re doing. We’ve been touring since we’ve been touring, it never stops. We are always going out and doing shit, it’s just not always on your guys’ radar. That’s why I’m surprised by this interview really, because I don’t know. I check in every now and then. I’ll check out certain blog sites and shit like that, I’ll check out XXL. They never really have anything nice to say anymore and shit. It’s like everybody wants to one-up on everybody in being mean and shit, and honestly, my motto is mean* people suck. I hate mean people. People who just pick at you and try to force you into a train wreck. I believe that there aren’t enough train wrecks that people are forcing them now, trying to get under people’s skin and shit like that.
“You just gotta understand, I’ve been doing this shit for a long time, and in the past few years, I’ve seen this change with the media, and it’s ugly as hell.”
Even with Chris Brown, so to speak. If he was a regular dude, and dude photobombed him like that, jumped up in his photo, it’s like, “What are you doing, motherfucker? I’m taking a picture here.” I woulda whooped his ass, too. But based off the fact that it’s Chris Brown, they’re making a big deal about it. I feel bad for the dude. And the bloggers, all these other sideline people with their opinions aren’t making it any better.
My thing is, if you were in that same situation, how would you have handled it? Maybe you wouldn’t have handled it in the same way Chris did, but you would have been just as angry. Don’t fuckin’ act like he’s some kind of animal and shit—that’s human nature, he got angry, he just took it a little bit further. But I know, I’m going off topic and shit. You just gotta understand, I’ve been doing this shit for a long time, and in the past few years, I’ve seen this change with the media, and it’s ugly as hell. I don’t believe in kissing an artist’s ass, I believe in going right for the story, but when you’re trying to make a fuckin’ story? How tacky is that? How tactless? And that’s what it feels like now.
It seems like a race to opinion—everybody wants to have the first opinion rather than think about it more.
Yeah, and if it’s too popular of an opinion, there’s always somebody who has to go against it. Honestly, I don’t do interviews anymore. I did this, because in a funny way I still do respect XXL and what they do, because The Source…well, I’m not gonna get into all that. [Laughs] But I do feel respect—you guys still have some type of cred as far as I go, and I respect what you guys do, forreal. I just don’t like the website at all, I don’t like any websites at all.
*Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story quoted Method Man as saying “meeting people” due to a transcription error. The text has been updated.