Method Man Explains Why He Did Not Want To Do All I Need

Method Man won a Grammy Award for his Mary J. Blige collaboration “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By.” The song, which originated as a track on Meth’s 1994 solo debut Tical, went on to receive a Puff Daddy remix, and become a classic in both Hip-Hop and R&B circles, along with its “Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group” win in early 1996. However, at the onset, Method Man did not want to do that particular song.

Speaking with The Breakfast Club, Meth spoke about the early 1990s Rap landscape. “When Wu-Tang came out, where were we at in Hip-Hop, if you really think about it?” he shared at the 13:40 mark. It wasn’t shiny suits [yet], but we were in suits, and a lot of that attributed to wanting a seat at the table—where the R&B singers [were. R&B] basically put Hip-Hop on the radar and s__t. Plus, it was hot. R&B mixed with Hip-Hop was hot. I mean, Puffy been using that for years. He [and maybe Andre Harrell] took Mary J. Blige and said, ‘You know what? I hear these Kid Capri mixtapes and s__t, and they’re doing f___g R&B songs, and he’s mixing Hip-Hop beats underneath it. Let’s do that!’ Mary blows up. ‘Okay, we got Biggie. Let’s flip it the other way: we’re gonna take the R&B track and let him rhyme on those.’ The formula works the way it should. But who are we to say, ‘F__k that R&B s__t!’? ‘F__k outta here with that,’ but it worked.’ If it wasn’t for that R&B s__t, it wouldn’t be ‘All I Need.’ There wouldn’t be a ‘One More Chance’ [or] ‘Big Poppa’ [or] Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It,’ which is a direct bite of Slick Rick’s [‘Children’s Story’], if you ask me.” Moments later, Method Man clarified that “biting” is often actually homage—and he uses Biz Markie’s covers of 1960s and ’70s songs as an example that predates the mid-’90s. He says that when artists spit line-for-line is when it gets to be a problem.

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A minute or so later, Charlamagne Tha God asks Meth’ if he knew that “All I Need” would become a staple of wedding playlists when he made the cut. “I was scared of it,” responds the Wu-Tang MC. Charlamagne reveals that the popular remix was a song he and his wife danced to at their wedding. “I didn’t even want to put the record out,” he adds. DJ Envy asks why, and Method Man says, “‘Cause I knew what it would do…I just didn’t wanna be put in that R&B light. Remember, we had a problem with that,” he notes—alluding to his previous point. “You can paint it any way that you want to paint it—it’s still [LL Cool J’s] ‘I Need Love,’ but for another generation.” Both songs begin with a keyboard noise, though in different moods.

Envy asks how Def Jam Records eventually convinced him to share the song with the world. “I think they gave me $50,000. It was like either $25,000 or $50,000. I was supposed to buy a car with it—but I didn’t. I put that s__t right in the bank.” Method Man speaks about his lifestyle being manageable in the interview, while admitting that at times, he’s been stunned to see the sums in his bank account.

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During the interview, Method Man speaks about working with The Notorious B.I.G., and encouraging Dave East to portray him in his own way on Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He opines about Wu-Tang competing against the Death Row Family in the championship round of last week’s Greatest Rap Crew Of All-Time tournament, which is hosted by BET in conjunction with Ambrosia For Heads.

Recent Method collaborations alongside Lloyd Banks, Statik Selektah (alongside Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Inspectah Deck), and Vinnie Paz are currently on the AFH playlist. Last year, Iron Lung released Meth Lab Season 3: The Rehab, which featured Redman, KRS-One, Jadakiss, Cappadonna, RJ Payne, and others.

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#BonusBeat: An in-depth AFH interview with Method Man from 2015, he discusses the first Meth Lab, not cursing on a song in years, and his love of all Hip-Hop: