Method Man Was Not Supposed To Be The First Wu Soloist. ODB Was & He Blew It (Video)
Method Man has always appeared to be Wu-Tang Clan’s most accessible group member to the mainstream public. Even his fellow Wu Gambino Raekwon admitted in a 2013 Vlad TV interview that Meth had the most passion in the group to be their breakout star. Chef noted that was also why the group collectively decided to release his solo song “Method Man” as their follow-up single to “Protect Ya Neck” from their classic debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993.
In addition to speaking at length with Ambrosia For Heads, Meth’ appeared on Desus & Mero television show to discuss several jaw-dropping backstories and factoids for Wu’s diehard fans about the early days of the Clan’s emergence in the Rap game. This includes RZA’s, Ghostface’s, and Meth’s days hustling in the streets to launching the Wu brand, as well as a crazy Ghostface gunfight that “Ironman” miraculously survived.
At the 12:00 mark of the video, a hilarious story Johnny Blaze revealed was that he wasn’t supposed to be the breakout star with the first solo album release, Tical, on Def Jam Records in 1994. In fact, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was destined to drop his debut solo release Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version on Elektra Records ahead of Meth’s album. However, O.D.B. overspent his advance money from his solo deal to by a jalopy car in North Carolina, far from his home in Brooklyn.
“[I was first by] default because Dirty couldn’t finish his [album],” Meth’ stated. “He took the budget money and ran with it, spent that sh*t up and bought this little piece of sh*t-ass car, but he loved that car…It was something red, like a Hyundai or some type of sh*t that wasn’t worth the money. He went and bought it. The [sound] system costs more than the f*cking car. And I remember driving it — this is like my first time driving, or my second time driving — I drove it from North Carolina to New York. Me, him, and RZA. And the car had a pull to it towards the right, so there wasn’t no relaxing with one hand. You had to keep doing this (mimics two-hands on the wheel to correct car’s bad alignment) to keep the car straight,” said the MC who is presently appearing in David Simon’s latest series, The Deuce as well as gearing up release of Wu-Tang’s The Saga Continues project this Friday (October 13). “I never told that story before. True story.” Last year, legendary A&R Dante Ross told Questlove Supreme he approached RZA early on, wishing to make Method Man and Ol’ Dirty a duo in the vein of Run-D.M.C. RZA declined, but allowed Ross to sign O.D.B., while Meth’ went to Russell Simmons’ Def Jam.
Further along, Meth talks about his experience recording his collaboration “The What” with The Notorious B.I.G. on his debut album Ready To Die, and why Wu-Tang took exception to him making a track with the Bad Boy Records camp. “I had to sneak to go do that sh*t…it wasn’t no animosity, ’cause at that point in time, [Raekwon] didn’t even have any animosity [with] Big. It was the fact that we were building our own brand, and we didn’t want to share that money with anybody else, so why would you let one of your hottest MCs go over here and share this money with these dudes. Me, being a fan of the music first and foremost, I got put onto Big early by my man Dan Smalls.” He added that both he and The Notorious B.I.G. penned their verses that night in a small studio session with the rappers, Puff Daddy, and producer Easy Mo Bee. Having heard Wu’s skit, Bad Boy’s founder apparently wanted to battle Meth’ in “torture.”
Additionally, Meth discussed his writing and recording his Grammy-winning single “All I Need (I’ll Be There For You)” with Mary J. Blige, which was originally penned for his wife. He even admitted that then-Def Jam President Lyor Cohen paid him to release the song, knowing it would be a smash hit single. It later earned the Staten Island MC a Grammy.
At the end of the interview, Meth finally answered the longstanding question of where his coined term and nickname “tical” originates — an acronym meaning “Taking Into Consideration All Lives.”
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.