Method Man: [Those sessions] were brutal for me at first. ‘Cause certain opinions and shit, because I had a certain… I don’t know, it was just weird. Rae and Ghost used to be hard on me and shit. But I used to give as well as I got, you know what I mean. As far as recording, I never had any problems there, I was always on top of my G, I was just being fucked with about my ways and actions and the things that I would do. I was a big kid, I was having fun and shit, but that didn’t ride or sit well with everybody in the crew. So egos would clash and things of that nature—it never got into a physical battle, never got into that—but you know, dudes would stop talking for a month, and shit like that.
In the studio this nigga think he’s the nicest, you think you’re the fuckin’ nicest and shit, well alright, let’s prove it on this track. It brought out the best in all of us, because them ribbing me about certain things, it made me look at certain elements so that when I was around certain individuals without them there, that influence was still there, I knew how to carry myself.
We did ["Method Man"] in RZA’s house. I had happened to go over to his house one day, he was in there making beats, and, God, the “Method Man” beat, right. He’s in there making beats, and I had just written this fuckin’ rhyme that was inspired, the hook, the whole fuckin’ rhyme really, was inspired by different records I’d heard. “Hey you get off my cloud,” you know what that’s from, right? Then the whole, “M-E-T-H-O-D”? “Method of Modern Love,” Hall & Oates. Even the “Man” part was taken from Masta Ace’s “Music Man.” Alright. And then you got “I got, myself a—” You know what that’s from? “Come Together.” [Sings] “Come together, right now… I’ve got, fat bags of skunk, I got, white owl blunts….” That’s genius shit.
“Protect Ya Neck”
Ghost: It’s not the first song we’d done but it was the first song that we did for Wu-Tang as a group. That was actually one of my weakest verses, because like I said, I had to hurry up and lay something down because all these niggas was already on the tracks already. I wasn’t writing in the studio, I don’t like writing in the studio. I write at home. So I just spat like 8 bars or 10 bars, whatever it was, and kept it moving. I don’t even do that verse, I stop it every time. I’m ready to write another verse and stick it in there. But you know what, I’ve realized that sometimes even if your verse seems imperfect to you, it is what it is—you can’t change time. Every verse that you spit, even if it’s a bullshit verse, it still came from your mental. It’s still one of your babies, whether you want to call it a deformed baby or a baby with insecurities or a baby with disabilities—it’s still a baby, it’s from you. You gave birth to that.
Masta Killa: I can’t front: The first time I heard “Protect Ya Neck,” I saw dollar signs. I knew if this is ever made it, that people would love it.
Deck: At 7 o’clock, we went to RZA’s mom’s house and RZA’s sisters, everybody’s family there, the whole Clan was there. We are all gathered in the living room listening to something about this small [Points to tape recorder]. We had the volume turned up. “Shut up! Shut up!” We was just listening when Kid Capri out of nowhere said, “I got something from this new group from Staten Island called ‘Wu-Tang Clan.’ I want y’all to check this out.” [Imitates opening bars of "Protect Ya Neck"] He plays the record and we just like… It was like surreal but it’s like, “Now back to what we was doing,” and the commercial came back on. For the most part, I was just blown away to hear my voice coming through the speaker for the first time and that’s when I knew that RZA was real. He did everything he said he was going to do and he marketed it the way he was supposed to do.