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!