Bad news, Hip-Hoppers. That big anticipation for Meth’s new album has been called off. The early reports were wrong; all wrong. Now for all of those fans stuck in limbo, sorry about that. I guess the only thing you can do is revel in Meth’s past albums.
Yes, it is true, the Method Man of old is long gone. What we’re left with is a shadow of one of the standout MC’s from Shaolin’s Wu-Tang Clan. At first, I was anticipating this new album. The thought of The Prequel, as if to indicate a level of skills prior to Meth’s first solo venture was astounding. However, the actual Prequel was perhaps an album that should’ve been trashed in the ruins left by Judgment Day.
The album starts off with “Intro,” in which Rza cosigns Method’s new solo album over a cheap Yogi (of Cru & Hitmen fame) beat (also, co-produced by Rich Mae). After about one minute, with some weed choking, the album flows into the Rick Rock produced “The Prequel,” assisted by longtime Method Man collaborator, Streetlife. Lyrically and production wise, this is a good song. However, the problem is that Meth reintroduces himself over a West Coast flavored beat. Whatever happened to Rza, Mathematics, True Master, or 4th Disciple? On this track, Meth says “ladies and germs, without further ado/let’s keep it Wu/and fuck keeping it real ya’ll/just keep it you.” Yea, Meth, I was hoping you would do the same.
Other mistakes can be seen on the Denaun Porter (bka Kon Artis of D-12) produced “We Some Dogs.” This track features Redman and Snoop Dog, and has Denaun continuing his annoying crooning in songs. The beat is also another problem, as Denaun provides a cheap g funk type of beat that would put Dr. Dre and DJ Quik to shame. Or how about, the Boogz produced “Rodeo,” featuring Ludacris. A decent rock tinged beat, finds Ludacris in his element with a continuous flow while Meth tries to play catch up with lines that don’t suit him like, “to all the chicks with they asses thick/out the whole clique/she the baddest bitch/dosey dough, around your partner, Switch!/clan in the front, we be starting shit!” Obviously, Meth was out of his element; whatever happened to that Staten Island, NYC flavor? Sure, Meth was rhyming alongside Ludacris, but here he was clearly trying to flip that same southern style that Ludacris flipped. Much to no avail.
It just doesn’t end there. “You think you know, but you have no idea”—- what a fitting line for the Jellyroll produced “Who Ya Rollin Wit.” Over a cheesy and disturbingly quirky, but almost robot-like beat from Jellyroll, Meth comes through with another generic party track. Streetlife’s hook doesn’t help either with the following: “We drinking Henny till we flip/popping bottles till we sick/all you haters eat a dick/.let’s throw Barcadi in this bitch/all my niggas and my chicks/tell me who ya rollin wit?!”
However, this album does have its small moments of relief. On “The Motto,” former Hitman Nasheim Myrick provides a simple chord-driven beat. However, it works because it lets Meth drop his signature rhymes. Or how about the Rza laced, Raekwon assisted “The Turn?” Here we find Method Man and Raekwon trying to bring back that feel of “Meth Vs. Chef” that we felt on Tical. A true Wu-Tang Clan banger with a nice Miracles sample. Rae’s multilateral style and Meth’s cockiness go hand in hand like D&D (as Royce best put it). Also check for “The Afterparty,” where Meth continues with the more commercial appealing material however this was a good way of doing it. Rhyming about partying and waking up the next morning, Ghost chimes in with “Wu Tang the best rap group of all time.” Well, sadly this album doesn’t support that fact.
Other tracks like “The Show,” or even “Crooked Letter I” (where Denaun makes up with a nice gritty and quirky beat for Streetlife and Meth to rock to) are nice touches to the album. However, tracks like “Say What” featuring Missy Elliot, “Tease” featuring Chinky (not Chinky from QB), or the disappointing “Never Hold Back” featuring Saukrates and E3 make the album extremely hard to enjoy. Meth’s attempt to try the commercial bug was a failure (at least in my opinion) and instead of a new Tical classic, all that we, the fans, are left with is a mainstream abomination.
———- Tone Riggz