Clifford Smith (born March 2 1971), better known by his stage name Method Man, is an American hip hop artist, record producer, actor, and member of the hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He has appeared in films and TV shows such as New York Undercover, Oz, Belly, CSI, How High, The Wire, Garden State, Soul Plane, and Meet the Spartans, among others. He took his stage name from the 1979 film The Fearless Young Boxer, also known as Method Man. His name also refers to the slang "method", meaning marijuana in his native Staten Island. He is one half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman. He has also pursued an acting career since 1995, appearing in films, sitcoms, and television commercials. See also: *Method Man filmography.
Method Man — also known as mef The Panty Raider, The Punjabi Punisher, CrimeMasta Go-Go, Ghost Rider, Methtical, Tical, Ticallion Stallion, The Long John Silver, Johnny Blaze, John-John McLane, Johnny Dangerous, John-John Blazini, Blazin Saddlez, Shakwon Shallah, Hott Nikkels, Hot Nixon, Pickled Gherkin, Johnny Nunchukz, Tommateru Van, MZA,Blaze, Iron Lung, has starred on hit singles and albums as a founding member of the hip-hop supergroup Wu-Tang Clan, solo, with current partner-in-rhyme Redman, and as a guest rapper on countless projects.
Method Man grew up as Clifford Smith, a youth who was shuttled between a delinquent father in Long Island and a mother on Staten Island, New York. In fact, Staten Island — dubbed "Shaolin" by the Clan — was where he met the men who would eventually become the Wu-Tang Clan. Smith grew up in the Park Hill projects with his mother and two sisters, one younger, one older. At various times he has claimed to have dropped out of high school in the ninth and eleventh grades, and sold and experimented with drugs. "Reality smacked me in the face early. That's why I don't like to talk about my childhood,"
As Wu-Tang Clan ascended to hip hop stardom, Method Man was always one of the most visible members of the collective. He was one of only two members (the other being GZA/Genius' performance on Clan in Da Front) to get a solo song on the group's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and he was the first to release a solo album under the Clan's unusual contract which allowed its members to release albums under any record label (Method chose to sign with legendary rap label Def Jam). Method Man's solo debut, Tical (1994) was critically acclaimed and extremely popular, entering the American charts at #4 and eventually selling in excess of one million copies. He soon collaborated with Mary J. Blige and Redman for a series of hit singles, one of which (the Blige duet "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need") won a Grammy. He also appears on Tupac Shakur's album All Eyez on Me, on the song "Got My Mind Made Up". During this time Method Man also became close friends with the late The Notorious B.I.G., and was the only guest rapper featured on his debut album Ready to Die. He also featured on a song on Showbiz and AG's album Goodfellas.
Tical 2000/Wu Tang Forever
On June 3, 1997 the Wu Tang Clan released their Grammy-nominated multiplatinum double CD Wu-Tang Forever, the long-awaited follow up to 36 Chambers. The chart-topping phenomenon made CNN for the massive sales the group achieved without the mainstream or pop sound and appeal. The hip hop album has sold over 8.3 million copies to date worldwide.
His second solo album was Tical 2000: Judgement Day (1998), which was heavily influenced by the apocalypse theories surrounding the forthcoming end of the millennium, and which featured myriad guest appearances, from his fellow Clansmen. The album was certified Platinum. Other "guest stars" include Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, D'Angelo, Chris Rock, Mobb Deep, Redman, and brief cameos from Russell Simmons, Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, Janet Jackson, and even Donald Trump. The album sold even better than his first fueled by the party track Judgment Day and the D'Angelo collaboration Break Ups 2 Make Ups, earning Platinum and Gold certifications in the U.S. and Canada respectively. Reviews for the album were mixed and its long runtime and abundance of intermittent comedy skits were widely criticized. Tical 2000: Judgement Day was very well-received in the underground hip-hop culture, due to the fact that Meth favored the lyrical aspect of rapping, rather than going along with the Timbaland-style pop production that mainstream hip-hop employed. Producers on this album included Tru Master and the RZA. Standouts include "Step By Step", "Spazzola", "Elements", "Killin' Fields", "Cradle Rock", "Suspect Chin Music", "Retro Godfather", and "Shaolin What (skit)", which is one of the previously mentioned lyrical "skits" with no chorus.
Method Man was part of the hugely successful Hard Knock Life Tour with Jay-Z, Redman, and DMX. During this tour, Method Man & Redman recorded Blackout!, a light-hearted, bass-heavy, profanity-laced, party record with an EPMD-evoking emphasis on funky beats and the mischievous wit and cool flows and good rhythm of the two MCs. The album reached platinum status quickly, both in the U.S. and Canada, fueled by "Da Rockwilder", "Cereal Killa", "1, 2, 1, 2", "Tear It Off" and "Y.O.U.". This album also featured three previously released tracks on which the two collaborated.
Their success would lead the duo on to star in movies and TV shows, become product spokespersons and household names, but also associated them with marijuana use in the media. The most immediate results of their success was their co-starring roles in the major motion picture film How High, their endorsement deal for Right Guard, Redman's starring role in Seed of Chucky and a short-lived sitcom on Fox entitled Method & Red.
Tical 0/The W/Iron Flag
The Wu Tang Clan released The W on November 21, 2000 and Iron Flag on December 18, 2001. The W received both critical and commercial success for the group, while Iron Flag did receive some but not to the effect of The W. The efforts earned two more platinum plaques for the Wu Tang Clan.
In 2004, Meth released his third solo album Tical 0: The Prequel, which featured the hit party single "What's Happenin'" with Busta Rhymes. Hip Hop critics voiced their displeasure with the album, many agreeing that Tical 0 felt like generic party rap and featured too many mainstream guests, detracting from his own performances. Regardless, this album sold reasonably well and was certified Gold by the RIAA relatively quickly, but would not see the platinum success of his previous solo releases. There was trouble even before the album's release when Method apparently complained to the press about excessive interference from Def Jam over the album's beats (Meth supposedly desired more input from Wu-Tang leader RZA). On its release, many fans and critics were taken aback by its strong "mainstream" or "commercial" sound, highlighted by the guest appearances of pop-rap stars like Missy Elliott and P. Diddy, two artists that are involved with much different facets of rap music.
Diddy was one of the executive producers for the album, although Meth later voiced his displeasure with the final product. "On the third LP, it was suggested (by Def Jam) to bring in Harve Pierre and P Diddy. Who am I to argue? Puff knows how to sell some records. But that wasn't the direction to go in, and I know that."
Method Man's fourth album, entitled 4:21: The Day After was released in August 2006 with a star lineup of producers featuring Havoc, Erick Sermon, Scott Storch, Allah Mathematics, Mr. Porter, and, most importantly to Meth, RZA. This time around, a more focused Method Man went back to his hip-hop roots and both hip hop fans and the media took notice. He did an interview on the ItsHipHop.Tv. Despite this being one of Meth's strongest solo efforts to date, the album failed to do well commercially due to it having no single or video, which Method Man has held discontent towards his own label for. However he has been touring strongly all over the world to promote the album, and has appeared onstage with fellow Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck, as well as New York up and comers Saigon, and Gat Murdah. Meth contributed various reasons for the problems between him and his label, Def Jam. While puts most of the blame on personal agendas in the Def Jam offices, Meth did take some blame, himself, for giving into his record label.
In early May 2007 Method Man's camp leaked the street single "New York New York" which became a popular track on the internet. He is expected to contribute to LL Cool J's highly anticipated album Exit 13. On August 17th, Method Man told MTV he is working on a new album called Crystal Method. Confirmed producers for this upcoming album are RZA, Erick Sermon & DJ Scratch.
In 2003, Method Man criticized Oli "Power" Grant and Mitchell "Divine" Diggs, the managers of the Wu Tang empire. "Number 1 on my shit list right now is Divine from Wu-Tang management. He took something major from me that he had no intention of giving back." Divine is multiplatinum record producer Rza's brother who along with Oli "Power" Grant took over the business end of Wu Tang around 1997.
Aside from the financial issues, Method Man was also unhappy with the decision to bring Wu Tang into the fashion world for a brief period of time with Wu Wear, despite the brand being a major money-maker for the group. "When Wu-Wear started making shoes and sneakers and pants, it was shoddy material. I never rocked that shit."
In 2006 Method Man had a highly personal and highly publicized conflict with New York radio host Wendy Williams on The Breakdown, an internet show on ONLOQ.com. Williams talked on air about Method Man's wife having cancer, which was something he had wanted to keep private and even her own family members had not yet known about. He said that people who lived next door to him didn't even know, but Williams had dug it up and made it public over the radio.
Williams also reported rumors that Method Man had even been having an affair with his wife's doctor. Method Man first heard of this while in recording sessions in Los Angeles.
She said me and [the doctor] was fucking. What kind of shit is that, man? You don't do that to nobody. I was ready. I was so mad, I was crying right there and I'm like, "I'm gonna kill some fucking body" but my [Wu Tang] friends kept me in L.A.
Sean "Diddy" Combs
During a concert in 2006 Method Man criticized Diddy's decisions on the posthumous The Notorious B.I.G. "Duets: The Final Chapter" album, saying that Biggie never would have worked with some of the subpar rappers. "They got niggaz on that album Big would have never rocked with, for real," Meth said of the album. "Musically, I ain't fuckin' with Puff Daddy". He also brought up the fact that he was the only other rapper that Biggie chose to have on his debut album Ready To Die. He was featured on the track "The What".
Diddy was also one of the executive producers for Method Man's 2004 album Tical 0: The Prequel, to which Meth later voiced his displeasure on final product.
On the third LP, it was suggested to bring in Harve Pierre and P Diddy. Who am I to argue? Puff knows how to sell some records. But that wasn't the direction to go in, and I know that now".
He starred in a Fox sitcom called Method & Red in late 2004, however after only a short time on the air the show was put on hiatus and never returned. Method Man later complained in the press about Fox's influence on the show's style, claiming that "there's been too much compromise on our side and not enough on their side" and bemoaning the network's decision to add a laugh track. Before the show even aired for the first time, he was telling fans not to bother watching it. He told the newspaper:
This is frustrating for me. I'm trying to keep this show ghetto, and there's a way for it to be both ghetto and intelligent. But it's not going that way.
On Thursday May 17, 2007 Method Man was arrested in New York City on marijuana charges. His Lincoln Navigator was pulled over at the Battery Tunnel en route to Manhattan, and when he rolled his window down the officer noticed a strong smell of marijuana. "It was like something out of Cheech and Chong. He rolls down the window and the smoke would choke a horse," a source later said. The arresting officer also said he noticed two blunts and a plastic bag with more marijuana in plain view. Upon further inspection more marijuana was found under the driver's seat. The arrest was made at about 10 P.M. Thursday night near the Battery Tunnel toll booths on Hamilton Ave. in Carroll Gardens.
He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of marijuana, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and driving an uninspected motor vehicle. He later made many public service appearances to try to make up for it, most notably at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn.
In the early 2000s Method Man began a career in acting. He has had recurring roles in critically acclaimed television shows such as HBO's The Wire in which he plays the character Cheese, HBO's Oz as Tug Daniels, The Twilight Zone and CSI. He hosted a series on MTV for a brief period called Stung and has made numerous appearances as himself on TV shows such as Mind of Mencia, Chappelle's Show and others.
He plays the recurring character Drops on CSI, a wealthy Las Vegas party promoter who clashes with the CSI team, specifically investigator Nick Stokes, in their investigations involving his clubs or entourage. His first appearance on CSI as Drops was in the 2006 episode "Poppin' Tags". He resumed the role in the 2007 episode "Big Shots" and again in the 2008 episode "Drops' Out".
He also co-starred with Redman in his own Fox sitcom called Method & Red in late 2004, however after only a short time on the air the show was put on hiatus and never returned. Method Man later complained in the press about Fox's influence on the show's style, claiming that "there's been too much compromise on our side and not enough on their side" and bemoaning the network's decision to add a laugh track. Before the show even aired for the first time, he was telling fans not to bother watching it.
His first prominent role came in 1998 with the film Belly along with fellow rappers Nas and DMX. He has since added many credits to his name, including roles in the films Garden State, One Eight Seven, and many others, with starring roles in the feature films such as How High and Soul Plane. On March 27, 2007 Redman confirmed on BET Rapcity that the sequel to How High is currently being written. The script for How High 2 is being written by Dustin Lee Abraham of CSI fame, who also wrote the first movie. In 2005 Method Man also had a cameo on the Pop/Indie/Horror movie Venom, where he played a deputy who shortly into the movie was killed. He appeared in the 2008 movies The Wackness and Meet the Spartans.
Method Man has made an appearance in the Def Jam series. In "Fight for NY" he voiced Blaze, one of the main characters. In Def Jam: Icon, he voiced Gooch, a major character in the storyline. He made a guest appearance in the music video for the 2003 "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys, where he played the role of her boyfriend. Beanie Sigel also called upon Method Man's acting skills for his 2005 video "Feel It in the Air", where Method Man played an undercover cop leading an operation against Sigel.
Method Man has fallen back from pursuing more acting roles after the situation with his sitcom on Fox left a bad taste in his mouth, and now mostly just acts if the project is being handled by a friend of his, as was the case with CSI and The Wire.
Method Man had a brief but memorable cameo appearance in the Samuel L. Jackson film 187. At the beginning of the film, Jackson's character, a high school teacher, is attacked and nearly killed by Method.
Method Man also appeared in the 1995 documentary entitled Russell Simmons Presents: The Show. While on a train in Japan, there is a memorable scene in which Method Man, U-God and Ghostface Killah get into an argument over camera time, radio interviews, and clothing mishaps.
Method Man appeared as a hip hop business mogul in an episode of "Burn Notice" on USA.
Method Man is the first of the Wu Tang Clan to produce a series of eponymous graphic novels for Hachette Book Group USA's imprint Grand Central Publishing (to be followed by GZA and Ghostface Killah).
- 1994: Tical
- 1998: Tical 2000: Judgement Day
- 1999: Blackout! (with Redman)
- 2004: Tical 0: The Prequel
- 2006: 4:21...The Day After
- 2008: Back to Back: Raw & Uncut (with Streetlife)
- 2008: Crystal Method
- Method Man Seeks Clarity On New LP - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
- The Breakdown Channel, Onloq
- New Method Man track gets high marks | Method Man | Download This | Music | Entertainment Weekly
- Method Man Talks Beef With Wu & ODB | Daily Hip-Hop News | SOHH.com /
- Dear Superstar: Method Man Article on Blender :: The Ultimate Guide to Music and More
- The Breakdown, an internet show on www.Onloq.com
- YouTube - Method Man Calls out Diddy
- Phew-Tang Clan! Posse guy in dope-filled car bust
- Method Man criticizes his Fox show | Method & Red | In the News | TV | Entertainment Weekly
- Sohh Tv
- Method Man Sounds Off, Entertainment Weekly
- More Comics Coming from Hachette, Publishers Weekly, December 5, 2006
- Method Man Crystal Method - www.hiphopgalaxy.com
- Method Man at IMDb
- Method Man official site
- IONCINEMA.com interview with Method Man for The Wackness
- Wu-Tang Clan official site
- Method Man Interview: The Art Of War
- Dear Superstar: Method Man
- Method Man's Favorite Things
- Method Man speaks to SOHH
- Another Method Man interview
- Method Man interview and concert :: Video Report on OC-TV.net