Method Man Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Wu-Tang Clan “Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours” (1997)

Producer: 4th Disciple

Album: Wu-Tang Forever

Label: Loud/RCA/BMG

Method Man: “That’s a Park Hill song right there. That was a given. That was one of those songs right before the lethargic attitude starting coming in. I had a few gems on [Wu-Tang Forever], but I started [losing interest] towards the middle of the album.

“That verse Ghost got [on ‘Impossible’] like, ‘Call an ambulance/Jamie been shot!’—why couldn’t I write some shit like that? He not the only one. There were a few brothers on there that were getting it [on that album]. I listen to it in hindsight, knowing where I was at mentally. I’m always so hard on myself, I’m thinking, ‘Damn, I can tell that I’m not interested as I wanted to be when doing that Wu project.’

 

I stopped going to the block as much as I used to. I was more in Cali and Miami doing all that shit the big dudes do. It was fun—I ain’t gonna lie... Shit was cool. Then after a while, I lost focus.

 

“I would come in, lay a verse, and break out, whereas before I would come in, lay a verse, be like, ‘Yo, I got an idea for a hook.’ Somebody else would be like, ‘I got an idea for a hook. Let’s combine our shit and get it popping.’ It wasn’t like that this time. It was the lifestyle.

“I stopped going to the block as much as I used to. I was more in Cali and Miami doing all that shit the big dudes do. It was fun—I ain’t gonna lie. In the beginning, we had energy, we was fired up, we was in L.A. for the first week and doing it big. Shit was cool. Then after a while, I lost focus. It was too much of this, too much of that.

“Since we were recording in L.A., soon as you step out your door you on camera. It got to a point where I wasn’t comfortable abound everybody, even so-called stars and shit like that.

“[The first time I felt uncomfortable] I was at the Soul Train Awards pre-party at the House Of Blues. I was fucked up off weed and mushrooms. But I don’t take mushrooms no more. I caught myself sitting in a corner and in the back of my head I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. That fucking 2Pac and Biggie beef is going on right now. Niggas is probably looking at me like, ‘What that nigga doing in the corner?’

“Now I’m moving around and I’m looking at people and starting to notice shit, because the [East Coast/West Coast] shit never popped in my fucking head. There was never any East Coast/West Coast shit, we was real niggas and that was a ‘Pac and Biggie thing. But then it hit me like, ‘There’s motherfuckers in there that think it’s a East Coast/West Coast thing. Let me stand my ass up.’

“So I’m standing up and I’m looking around but I’m not partying anymore. I’m too observant of everything. I’m looking at niggas and I’m seeing the same pattern of just shit—bodyguards, niggas flexing for chicks, chicks flexing for niggas, and bottle popping. I’m looking at this shit like, ‘Everybody in this bitch right now is fronting.’

 

At the end of the night, 2Pac taps me on the shoulder. This is my first time meeting the guy and remember, I’m fucked up on weed and mushrooms. I turn around and he’s talking to me. All I keep hearing him say is, ‘If there’s anybody we would fuck with on the East Coast it’s Wu-Tang.’

 

“Then this one [rapper] came through. I’m not gonna say his name because it’s not good and shit. He don’t really speak to me at social gatherings but he felt like he should speak to me that day. Who the fuck knows, maybe it’s because he felt uncomfortable being on the West Coast and shit.

“He spoke to me this day with like six fucking bodyguards around. [That was] fucking uncomfortable. I’m standing next to this nigga and all these fucking people looking and shit. I can feel the eyeballs, but I don’t think he feels shit. I’m like, ‘Man, this ain’t my fucking scene right here.’

“Then at the end of the night, 2Pac taps me on the shoulder. This is my first time meeting the guy and remember, I’m fucked up. I turn around and he’s talking to me. All I keep hearing him say is, ‘If there’s anybody we would fuck with on the East Coast it’s Wu-Tang.’ But then a camera light came on. Then, all the lights in the club came on because it was time to go.

“So now I’m standing there and this nigga is hot! He one of the hottest niggas in the game and I’m standing right next to him. Uncomfortable right there. But I love this nigga. He said what he said, and I was like, ‘Love is love. It is what is is Pac’ and I turned around and walked the fuck away. I ain’t even say peace to Suge.

“I just wanted to get out of that area with all those cameras and people watching. It had nothing to do with Pac. It was just...I had that epiphany that night. Now everything was bothering me. So that was the day I took the blue pill [like in The Matrix] and I ain’t been the same since.”

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