I saw that Instagram recently of you and Red smoking a golden blunt…
Doc actually chose to post that shit. Myself, I like to smoke trees, but I don’t want the world fuckin’… Just leave me the fuck alone with this shit, you know? I don’t want the weed questions, none of that. If you guys want to legalize it, I’ll be an advocate for it, but just don’t throw me into the front like I’m the fuckin’ biggest pot smoker you guys ever fuckin’ met and shit. [Laughs] I just want to live my life, smoke my little weed on the side, I don’t want that to be the determining factor in my fuckin’ legacy, you know? That’s all I’m saying; I’m not saying I’m quittin’ or none of that shit, but you know what I mean? It gets tiring after a while.
How do you write a hook like “Method Man”?
[Explains writing the hook] That wasn’t just made up shit, I’m a true fuckin’ MC and flow-er, I’m telling you, dude. Even “How High”—how else would you start a record about marijuana? Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze.” [Sings] “Excuse me as I kiss the sky…” [Laughs] Come on, this shit is plain shit, you know. I pride myself on certain things, and people especially, when people try to take certain things away from me and say sideways shit like, “All he does is flow, or he rhymes but it don’t make sense.” I could break down line for line and tell you…I mean, look how you just had an epiphany just now, “I had no idea that ‘Method Man’ was written like that. Wow!” You know? There’s a lot of nuance and shit right there.
And that’s why it gets me so fuckin’ mad when someone can just criticize an album of mine when I’m not actually there to convey where my thoughts were at that moment. If you don’t know what kind of lifestyle I’m leading at that point in time, if you’re right there—like what’s this guy’s name, Cameron Crowe, they did the Almost Famous movie about him. Remember, when he wrote about artists, he went on tour with the band! He really got a feel for who they were and where their mind was at, so when he listened to the album, he had a perfect understanding of what’s going on. We take that shit for granted.
“You can look at my history—I’ve never been one to yank my own chain about my fuckin’ rhymes, man. I was my worst critic—humble warrior and all that shit—fuck humility right now. I’m fuckin’ nice.”
I’m not saying that the people who review these albums or even write the articles aren’t fans, but they gotta learn to put preconceived notions aside and just come with an empty slate and actually just come into that person’s world. Sometimes it’s beautiful when you don’t have to invite them and they come in. Kendrick, that first album, I knew nothing about that kid, but after that first album, I feel like I know him now. But sometimes, especially a sophomore project, or your third and fourth album, sometimes it has to be explained, because some people have a preconceived notion from your first album. And this is the main reason I don’t want to be up for reviews, or anything, because I’m never gonna be happy about it, I don’t care if it’s a four star, I don’t care if it’s the best fuckin’ review ever, because I’m still gonna find something wrong with it.
Blackout and Blackout 2 are two of my favorite albums—I listen to “Mrs. International” every morning when I wake up.
I’m glad you brought up that, because if you listen to Blackout 1, these were the years where I was just jottin’ and Def Jam wanted music, and I’m just writing with speed. The same shit they did to Slick Rick with his [third] album Behind Bars and shit, where he had to go up in there and just knock songs out. And this is what was going on for all these years, where I had to write to appease, to make dates. That Blackout 1 album kind of reflects that on certain joints and shit. I came off on a few joints, but if you really listen to it—and I’m keeping it 100—Redman tore my ass up on that album. Aight?
Second LP, though, the second Blackout? Little more time on my hands, little bit more focused, a lot more cadence, years of cadence now? Man, I’m all over that fuckin’ album, attacking it. I’m not takin’ nothing away from Redman, because Redman is still, to this day, one of the best unfuckinrecognized artists out there, he’s top 5 and shit, these motherfuckers be sleepin’ on my G. But on that album? I’m all over Doc on that album. I’m serious, I gave myself the upper hand on that album! Those fuckin’ verses? Those verses? I don’t know where half that shit was coming from, but I was so zoned out, zoned out, and that’s how I know this next album, my last LP, my last solo, is gonna be my magnum opus. I know it for a fact, because of the material I’ve been writing. If there’s any indication in the guest appearances I’ve been doing lately, you’ll know exactly what the fuck I’m talkin’ about. And that’s light work right there, that’s light work that I’m doing with them niggas. I’m just playing with it.
But the shit that I’m writing for me, you’ll hear it. If they give off any snippets on the Wu-Tang 20th Anniversary album, which I’m all over? [Whistles] Ooh, boy. And I’m not one to—you can look at my history—I’ve never been one to yank my own chain about my fuckin’ rhymes, man. For real, I’m nice. I was my worst critic—humble warrior and all that shit—fuck humility right now. I’m fuckin’ nice. Real shit. The same way Ruck from Heltah Skeltah, Sean P, just started blowing people’s minds and shit? I asked that nigga when I was overseas, how did you have that epiphany? What did you do to put yourself in that mindframe, my G? And this was before I started writing these bombs. And he was like, “Yo, I’m better than all them niggas.” And I was like, yo, that’s it, that’s it right there! I’m better than all these niggas! And even if I’m not, I believe that I am, so that’s how I’m writing this shit. God damn right. And I’m nicer than I’ve ever been.