Method Man on an anti-press junket

The other day Davey D did an interesting interview over on Breakdown FM with Method Man. I’ve said this before, but Meth sounds like hip-hop has straight-up broken his heart. Initially I was sympathetic. I grew up on Johnny Blaze’s smoked-out street meditations. It was heady, intoxicating, engrossing stuff. When he attempted a comeback in 2004, after those ridiculous deodorant commercials, I didn’t hate Tical 0 half as much as everyone else I know. I’m definitely not mad at “Things They Say.”

But now that I’ve heard Method Man articulate his position on the media, I’m going to have to call bullshit.

Here’s what he has to say about the hip-hop press:

[The fans’] biggest gripe with me was beats until the last album, when they let motherfuckers program them and shit. These damn magazine critic writers, whatever the fuck you want to call them. Editors. Letting people be irresponsible with their pens. And, um, they programmed a lot of people into feeling like my style wasn’t up to par.

Magazines programmed fans into thinking that your style was wack? Really?

Meth goes on:

[The kids] get it mixed up and start valuing their [the magazines’] opinion over their own opinions. They don’t go out and get an album cause they read a review that shitted all over an album that might just be a dope-ass album, or it may just be up your alley. You know, I’ve seen a lot of albums get buried before they were even born… I think they should put a disclaimer in front of everybody’s fucking review. They should put a disclaimer in front of that shit, because they are not the truth.

Come on. Has he met any hip-hop fans lately? Has he heard of this thing called the Internet?

Not that I should have to explain this to anyone, but hip-hop heads have to be the most jaded, cynical, hyper-critical fans in the history of music.[1] Rap Stans love nothing more than to get together with a few close friends, roll a blunt, grab a copy of a hip-hop mag, and let the eye-rolling, shit-talking mayhem begin.

It was true when I was growing up, and my brother’s friends gathered at our apartment to shred every op-ed, interview, and review that they could get their hands on. And it’s still true now that living room ciphers across the globe have been transported to Internet discussion boards.

On the rare occasion that a critic’s review on a certain release gets a pass—a shoulder-shrugging “it’s alright, I guess”—it’s because the piece is ridiculously on point, well-written, and makes sense to the majority of rap fans. And even then a handful of dedicated dudes will go on a web crusade to try and poke holes in its argument.

But that’s the beauty of hip-hop. There’s a built-in army of watchdogs (or fruit flies, if you will), a complex system of checks and balances that try to take the wackness out of rapping (and rap writing). [2]

So, sorry Mr. Smith, but I don’t buy that the magazines have “programmed” your fans.

___________________________________________________

[1] This from a very scientific survey that I did of a couple of my friends, a few co-workers, and several random people I know who profess to like indie rock.

[2] Release the Clipse!

  • X

    Meth is just mad his last album was the worst thing ever released in hip hop history. Even i didn’t think Meth was capable of producing such crap but i was wrong. It’s ova Meth, go listen to “legend of the falloffs.”

  • lone1

    Well…I know for a fact when I finally drop my album…I know it’s going to flop…the hardest part for me to figure out right now…is what excuse I’m going to use for it flopping…I’m being dead ass…these artists keep coming out…flopping…and using the excuse I planned to use….this is bullshit…remember when Joe Budden blamed his lack of album sales on his name…said cats were going to the record store to pick up a “Joe Buddens”…and when the saw “Joe Budden” instead they figured it was a different person?…Remember that shit?….Genious.

  • Dneroda1

    meth is just buggin..i heard that album be4 i read the review and the shit was garbage point blank period..shit nelly stay gettin a “L” in XXL and he still sellin 8 mill every album…its sad to see these old rappers just runnin on fumes

  • The ON1E

    this bitch is wack, aint funny and just got hired cause she probably sucked mad dick

  • http://xxlmag.com exo

    It’s an open secret that Meth has been acting like a spoiled brat since he signed to Def Jam. He’s been steadily acting like the Wu needs him when it’s obviously the other way around. It’s a shame cause dude is a very witty writer when he wants to be.

  • thoreauly77

    the on1e should be repecting miss hensley since he is the one commenting to HER blog. or go start sucking some dick himself and get a column.

  • rizzop

    i think dude is one of the best. But for some reason Def jam doesnt push some of their (rap)artists music very well. I personally think that alot of companies are pushing the wrong singles out trying to get sales when the artists fans are really used to a “back like that” from ghostface or a “i love my chick” from busta. Which is why black folks should put there money together and get their own distribution companies. Then WE well be able to put out the music we want to. The labels usually decide which singles come out first and thats when the floppin starts

  • lone1

    Well…Miss Henley gets my vote because she seems like an avid writer of sorts…I can dig a chic with a brain on her…yo…miss Henley…if you read this….HIT ME UP ON MYSPACE.

    That shit was funny…go ahead and laugh.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    I don’t think I read any reviews on Tical 0; thing is, it’s a weak album. Compared to the previous Meth albums, it’s a let down. You can’t blame the reviewers when you put out disappointing product. He looks like he is on the right path now, and he did say he hit some kind of writer’s block… it showed.

  • DJ Lucky Luke

    Forget that Meth… I posted on amazon.com that the CD sucked. I borrowed it from my friend and gave it a once over and then I gave it back. The formula had changed so much, it had no ties to the original. Just face it, Meth, your last album blew–you knew it, the media knew it, and the fans all knew it, too. We want the fire and you brought the water… Get ‘em on this go-round, though…you still got a lot of support.

  • gluvnast

    meth do have every right to complain and have his beef with journalism, APPARENTLY he’s still doing interviews since this came from davey d, so you CAN’T just get defensive because YOUR a journalist, TARA

    from the way it sounds like it, you was cool with meth until he started attacking whut you do for a living, but never stopped and put your people in check for abusing their power.

    haven’t you stopped and THINK that whut meth is saying is partially true? not making an excuse for why his last album bombed, but it seems like, to me at least, whutever a journalist says, their word suppose to be “bond”

    you look at the source, and their 5 mics and see if whut they say DON’T have a lasting effect? you look at how xxl rated CUBES album, which WAS unfairly rated…you think that won’t have a lasting effect???

    you claim “whut about the internet?” WHERE DO YOU THINK the kids from the NET GET THEIR INFO FROM????? from journalists and bloggers like yourself…and using you on abusing jounalistic powers is a GREAT example…

    this blog right here is all about just because you’re OFFENDED in meths opinion about whut you do for a living, that you want to do a NEGATIVE bit about it…

    if it WAS that serious, then why davey d do an interview with him? why would METH allow davey d to interview him? he wasn’t speaking every single jounalist literally, just in general which HE IS correct. most of the people’s opinions ARE influenced by the media, kids from the internet gather their information FROM the media…

  • gluvnast

    @khal…yea i listened to the interview too…meth admitted he got caught up in whut the media was saying about him, which pretty much affected his work overall

  • The ON1E

    this bitch is wack as fuck…

  • gluvnast

    after listening to the audio one more time, i have to say that tara ALSO neglected to say that it was DAVEY D himself that posed that question in where method man answer the way he answered…which was, “when did you think people started more to the hiphop press than the artists”

    that was a journalist asking that question, in which meth summed it up that every review or column should have a disclaimer

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    disclaimers for reviewers? i mean at the end of the day, opinions are like assholes… you putting disclaimers on a review is kind of ridiculous, dog. that’s someone’s opinion… as long as it’s grammatically correct, it gets printed. at least magazines like XXL will admit if they were wrong (their love/hate issues ALWAYS go back and rethink the reviews on a lot of popular releases, to see if at this point in time, does it fly?)…

    i was just reading an article in rolling stone about how the movie industry holds back certain movies, trying to make them “critic proof”… this would be the same idea. I mean I know people who will bad mouth an MC they loved when that same MC puts out weak product… that should be what counts.

    Until Meth can honestly say why that album bombed (he DID say on MTV.com that Diddy’s hands in the pot would have been something he would have liked to changed in hindsight), and stop throwing the blame on someone else, I can’t respect that. I put on his first album and I get amped… then his more recent product had been a huge letdown. He seems to be on a solid footing with the new joints, but we’ll see if the Ticallion Stallion is back to form.

  • Mikey Ess AKA SukedowN

    Expected response to Meth’s accusations from a “journalist”.

    Thing is, there are some morsels of truth in his accusations.

    Having never heard an album, and then listening to it straight through, or most of it, one will form a natural opinion of it.

    Having never heard an album, but reading other negative reviews, especially from a journalist with similiar taste, you won’t give it the same chance had you not read anything about it first.

  • gluvnast

    that was the point meth was trying to make…that opinions are like assholes, but journalists think that whut they say is BOND and upheld as undisputed fact instead of merely being just an opinion…THAT’S WHY a suggested disclaimer, because readers take TOO much faith on whut a columnist have to say…that right there is very true

    keep in mind even though his new single speaks thuroughly on his opinion about the press, he wasn’t the one that brought it up, it was asked to him about how the listeners stopped listening to rappers and started listening to the hiphop press, most of whom DON’T have any real musical qualifications to make assessments of whut good and whut’s not.

    the truth is, is that readers are sheep, they’ll follow you…and if a journalist is going to campaign negativity, they’ll feed on negativity.

    and i hate to say it, but if you REALLY want to know how far the press can cross over the line, then look at the deaths of pac and big….the media exploitation had more to do with it than anything else

    media manipulation is something that needed to be addressed, i’m quite certain that almost EVERY hiphop artists is siding on meth on this one….and unless you’re a musical artist, you will NEVER truely understand where he’s coming from…

    a great example is whut happened to little brother’s last album…

    some people need to listen to the joint “renegades” once again

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    i’m saying though… that’s making the fans sound really stupid. I don’t know many hip-hop fans who take reviews at face value… opinions are like assholes, EVERYBODY has one… i’ve liked albums that were panned by critics, it depends on the person… a true fan would try the album out, not just go by the reviewer.

  • http://www.livejournal.com Rey

    I’ve found that hip-hop sites and magazines tend to give the new “it” rappers’ albums a 4 mic, 4 star, or XL rating, while bashing albums by lesser-known, or “old school” artists.

    I can’t count how many trash albums this site’s magazine counterpart have been given XL ratings over the past 3 or 4 years..

    Critics are paid to criticize, and like homegirl said up top, Hip Hop fans are some critical fucks, myself included.

  • gluvnast

    @khal

    it’s a sad reality, but hiphop fans are the most fickled bunch and can be easily be swayed….whut you’re saying and whut’s meth’s saying is pretty much the samething…that opinions are like assholes

    his dispute is that the journalists believe that their opinions are not, and the readers or listeners are being swayed by their “opinion”

    and if you read listened to whut meth was saying, he admitted he was being caught up by whut the media said about him…i mean, damn he was even on XXL’s “step your rap game up” once, which was VERY unfair since lyrically he never really fell off…

    he said it was his true fan base that got him refocused…and alot of these veterans MC’s pretty much say the samething

    you look at busta’s album…it was a damn good album, and alot of sweat and hard work been put on that album, but you have these journalist that want to over-scrutinize their point and people feed into that…you had that right here on these blogs

    you have ice cube’s album getting merely a “L” and also on the “step your rap game up” issue, yet his album is pretty damn good…

    BUT for the readers that don’t know cube, that never listened to his music…will take whut these journalists are saying and assume that cube is wack…without NO relevence of cube’s history and impact to the hiphop game….

    on the reals, alot of these journalists NEED to be put in check…and lets NOT start with the payola issue…we need not to speak on how abusive their power can be, go ask dave mays and benzino

  • MoneyMakin’Mitch

    I’m wit’ u Meth

  • Danja29

    You know what tho’? I wonder if Meth had this much anger towards journalists who give/gave his shit props.

  • likearnoldisaname

    the comment section was the only thing to read here.

  • whateva

    gluvnast Says WHERE DO YOU THINK the kids from the NET GET THEIR INFO FROM?????

    ^^was it necessary to put that in caps?^^ and more kids are downloading than reading reviews on the net and almost all hip hop listeners young and old could care less what critics say, Meths album was wack, I never read one review I downloaded the album and listened to it, despite the fact that all my friends said dont waste ur time, again most hip hop fans have to hear it for themselves!

  • Mad One

    Journalists and critics have some power to help sway opinion. THAT’S THEIR FUCKING JOB. Whatcha think all the pens are for?

    However, if an album flops, it’s not just magazines or critics who play a role in that. Who A&Red the album? What kind of marketing money went into promoting it? Were DJs on board in playing the key singles? Was there a hot video? And then there’s blind luck.

    If you think critics are so powerful, how come movies like “Da Vinci Code” or “The Break-Up” make over ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS even though they get shit on by the most powerful critics in the country? Are music critics, most of whom only last a few years, if even that, more powerful than movie critics? Gimme a fucking break.

    Rap albums flop because there’s way too much competition between albums, music fans are very fickle and digital downloading is impact what albums people choose to buy. Press has some role to play in this but believe me, if you took a wack rapper, gave them 5 mics in The Source plus a cover story (see Benzino), that doesn’t mean their album is going to blow up.

    Bottomline: are the streets feeling the rapper or not? And seriously, does the streets care what XXL or any other magazine has to say about a rapper? The only thing MCs care about with mags is whether they’re stroking their egos (or dicks) enough. I’ve never heard a rapper, who’s blown up, thank a magazine for helping. They’d never want to acknowledge that anything, besides their pre-destined greatness, had anything to do with it.

    By the way, a newsflash for those who missed it: Busta’s album flopped because no one outside of New York gave a fuck about it.

    Ditto with Ice Cube. Dude hasn’t dropped an album in years, has been making movies (successfully) and just hasn’t stayed in the loop. Rakim and Big Daddy Kane could team up, collabo on an album, and that shit would probably sell wood. Reputation and history mean nothing if you’re not actively courting your fanbase. People might hate on 50 Cent and G-Unit for being exposed but that dude is laughing all the way back to the bank about it. And he doesn’t get great reviews.

    So why is Curtis successful but Meth not? Maybe it’s because Meth hasn’t dropped actual heat in years? Maybe it’s because anyone who still cares about the Wu is down with Ghostface (whose album didn’t that well DESPITE crazy hype by critics)?

    And LIttle Brother got solid reviews from a lot of places – they’re the internet darlings – but they have a small fanbase. There it is.

    People need to stop making little bullshit excuses. Too many MCs act like sensitive little children who can’t take any criticism at all. And their fans can be just as bad.

  • Blaq Thought

    I’ll give it to Meth, he is comical (even though that TV show with Red was some jigaboo shit). It’s magazine propaganda that says I’m wack – no Meth it’s public opinion and poor musical choices. Method Man had Busta Rhymes potential to break away from the Wu and be a solo star but I think he is afraid to do shit without a group. I got friends like that who can’t do shit without someone supportin’ or cheering them on. Look at Method’s track record. He’s at his best when he is paired up with somebody be it Wu, Redman or Mary J. Some rappers can’t cut it by themselves. Red on the other hand can be solo or in a group and make others better. When is Prez. Jay gonna push that one out.

  • Blaq Thought

    All my MD/VA/DC heads check out my blog at http://www.mdhater.blogspot.com. I still think Method is dope and I’ll buy his new shit if its bangin (but if it’s garbage, it’ll be treated like garbage).

  • gluvnast

    i said it before and i’ll say it again, unless you’re an artist, and have been criticize about your work, then there’s not too much room for you to talk in respect that meth’s crazy…

    plus, he wasn’t speaking on his last album, but about critics in general, and implied that listening to the critics sorta was the reason why he lost focus on the last album….

    a reviewer should be judgemental, however, should critique in a responsible way. even the SOURCE admitted to that and we all know why dave mays and benzino was ousted, due to their abuse of their journalistic powers.

    you have a mag like XXL who is willing to give every g-unit affiliate positive review, including the god-awful mobb deep album, yet albums that NEEDED that extra shine, but are more indie or lesser known, but have a GREAT album, they’ll shit on it….or they’ll shit on the intierview or ect…

    i remember lupe fiasco was upset because the hiphop media kept taggin him as a “skateboard nerd” when he knows he’s more than just that….

  • http://www.midwesterngoodness.com bo

    what she talkin about… breakdown tv is that something different?

    meth goin off on wendy williams

    http://www.thebreakdown.tv/

  • Tipper Gore’s Inner Sex Pot

    - Ha Ha, WOW …The ON1E needs to check his ROID RAGE and microscopic penis anxiety and get the fuck off the comment section. Do you even read any of the columns? And for someone who comments at least twice on every single column this lady writes and claims to hate everything she produces you sure are bordering on being a stalker. -

    Criticizing your critics Meth? Wow, good plan! Have you met anyone else in entertainment? That’s gotta be at least the number to no no rule. Yikes.

  • S.mint

    Being a die-hard Wu fan, its pretty hard to listen to Meth say that his fans have been programmed. If anything, you well know that the Wu fans are DIEHARD, I mean how many niggas you know purchased a U-god album just because it had a Wu emblem on it. Unfourtuneately I have got all Meth’s albums, and if he thinks hip-hop broke his heart, then he knows how I felt after listening to the Prequel.

  • TDo

    The thing is though, despite how incredibly ridiculous his last album was and how laminated it all was, people are still so willing to give Meth the benefit of the doubt. It just goes to show how serious his fans are. We all know what he’s capable of that he can be witty and intelligent with his speech at the same time and not just pump out some clever hooks and club tracks, he’s not 50 cent and fans still respect that despite the deodorant commercials and the canned laughter sitcoms and even the last album.

    The writer’s right though, hip hop seems to have straight broken his heart but it sounds like he’s still giving her another chance and the fans I think are willing to forgive and forget the prequel and move on and if this new single with ms. hill is anything to go by, Meth has got it back at least a little bit. But I feel that Mef still hasn’t taken responsibility for punking out to the label with Prequel. Idk, I’m not one of those elitist hip-hop fans who thinks that method owes the game to publicly apologize for the prequel, but if he turns it around on this one and produces some real hip hop from his heyday then he’ll get that respect back.

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