Angry Method Man Goes Back To His Roots On Gritty New LP (Interview)

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Method Man
Photo: Def Jam

The man who once rapped "Bring the Pain" is feeling bruised.

"Over the past three years, I aint heard, seen or read nothing good about myself," an enraged Method Man told MTV News recently. "And I dont f--- with nobody, man. You could ask

Photos, audio and video from this story

Method Man
"Whats Happenin (Feat. Busta Rhymes)"
Tical 0: The Prequel
(Def Jam)

people about me. Im a very humble dude. I dont think I deserve that. Its not coming from the fans in the street — its starting to now, because they believe what they read — its coming from the industry people that are trying to push my black ass out. Im not going, though. I think the game needs me, cause a lot of yall cant even perform, let alone rhyme."

Meth, whose 4:21 ... The Day After was released Tuesday (August 29), has been facing harsh words since the release of 2004s Tical O: The Prequel, a critical and commercial disappointment despite an impressive lists of collaborators (see "Missy, P. Diddy, Snoop, Busta Join Method Man On New LP").

"It wasnt like I was trying to please a mass audience or anything like that," Meth said in his defense. "I was just doing it basically for myself. And whats so crazy about that sh-- is, they want artists to grow. Well a part of growth is change. You cant be afraid to try new sh--, and thats what I did. I went in with Puff Daddy — so to speak, cause he was barely there ... but I got a lot of love for Puff — but it was like the formulas didnt mix. The fans didnt want to hear me like that. I went from dark to light. I dont understand that, but people looking from the outside in, they see things different. So I take notes and I move on."

Method Man, who said he recorded 20 tracks with RZA for Tical O only to have Def Jam shelve all but one, said he was pressured into working with Diddy (see "Method Man Drops Diddy, Seeks Clarity On New LP, 4:21 ... The Day After").

"I wanted to get my album out, honestly," Meth said. "Imma take full blame for everything. Im not giving no excuse, Im just giving yall the story. I want to get an album out, so if they wanted me to work with the pope at that point in time, I wouldve worked with the pope just to get my mother----in album out. Cause Def Jam was going through their transition, people were leaving in the middle of the project and all that."

On his new album, Meth is "back to the gritty sh--" and back with RZA on several tracks (see "RZA Happy To Once Again Be The Peanut Butter To Method Mans Jelly"). Erick Sermon, Kwame and Mr. Porter (D12s Kon Artist) also contributed tracks, and Fat Joe, Redman and most of the Wu-Tang Clan make appearances.

"I got a posthumous Ol Dirty Bastard joint, so its a tight album," Meth said. "Everything these people got mad at me [for not having] on the last album is all on this album right here, man."

Thats not to say the albums come without controversy. For one, the rapper and Def Jam have had words over the first single, "Say," which samples Lauryn Hill.

"All I said was, and yall can quote me on this, when I was in a radio station I said, All right, its a dope song, but I think it would be a dope second single for Method Man, not a first one, because when Meth come out the gates, I come running," the rapper explained. "I figured, OK, this is a different angle. Imma ride with these dudes, whatever. And then it gets back to the label that Method Man dont like his own single. Never came out my mouth, not once, but people get it twisted."

"Say," a response to Meths critics, has also taken heat over the songs lyrics.

"Certain radio stations didnt want to play it, because they got offended by a line in the song: Radio lyin, that aint where hip-hop lives, " Meth said. "Now if I can explain that line right there. Hip-hop starts where? In the street, and thats what I said after that line. ... Anybody that takes offense to that line, it pertains to them, bottom line. And I said that cause Im just offended."

A video for "Say" was delayed after Method Man "wasnt too happy with the treatment" (surprise!), but it should be arriving soon.

— Corey Moss, with additional reporting by Eric Araya

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