Five Best Songs From Method Man’s Debut Album ‘Tical’
In 1993, iconic New York rap collective Wu-Tang Clan unleashed their seminal debut, 'Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),' helping to spark an East Coast rap renaissance.
The album was an innovative breath of fresh air and showcased the crew's array of unique rhyming styles, as well as RZA's gritty production ability and love for Kung Fu samples. But among all the chaos, one member seemed to standout among the group's nine members: Method Man.
An instant fan favorite due to his engaging charisma and arsenal of flows and heady lyricism, he was the only member of the Wu to have his own solo cut on the album with "Method Man,' which was also released as the second single. Anticipation for Meth's solo set quickly grew and on Nov. 15, 1994, fans' appetites were satisfied via the release of Method Man's solo debut and the first of the eventual wave of solo projects from the Wu, 'Tical.'
Garnering positive reviews from fans and critics alike, the album would be one of the more successful rap releases out of New York in 1994. 'Tical' peaked at No. 4 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, respectively, and was certified platinum with over a million copies sold less than a year after its release. The album was the first true stepping stone in solidifying Method Man as the star he is today.
Today marks 20 years since the release of 'Tical,' and in honor of the project, we highlight five of its best songs.
The raw uncut that is 'What the Bloodclot' is a tough cut, but 'Meth vs. Chef' manages to get the job done. Methical goes head to head with fellow Wu member Raekwon in a sparring match of lyrical wits. Meth bobs and weaves on the beat, rapping, "Hit ya' chest like cardiac arrest, blow the front out the frame / Make the pussycat feel the pain of the dog s---, nobody move, run ya garments," while Raekwon comes out of the corner with brutal haymakers: "I'm going all out, kid, no turn-backs / You can try to front, get smoked, and that's that." Both opponents do a fair amount of damage, but in the end, Meth comes out as the victor by unanimous decision, making this a solid track on the album.
As soon as you hear what sounds like a woman wailing in a psych ward on the opening of 'Biscuits,' you're weirdly intrigued, albeit in a good way. RZA strays from the sample-heavy approach that was major staple early career, keeping the beat fairly simple on this number. He uses rugged drums to dominate the record and Morse code-sounding beats to do the rest. Meth doesn't disappoint on his end either and is his steady self behind the mic, clowning sucker MCs and "severing the heads of mental vegetarians" just for good measure. 'Biscuits' is a marriage of Method Man's two best attributes as an artist: humor and elite rhyme skills.
Method Man kicks off 'Tical' with the album's smoked out title track. Opening the song asking, "What's that s--- that they be smoking?," we then know this is the perfect time to bring out the Phillies and papers and act accordingly. Lines like "It's a bird, it's a plane, take a look in the sky / Method Man on some, n----s call me the fly," and "Open up a deadly venom style to be mastered / By a psychopathic and way beyond an average / Joe, with a hellafied flow," prove Johnny Blaze is in full effect on this opening cut, setting the tone for the album and creating a classic selection for the tokers in one fell swoop.
Before the rap-crooning of Ty Dolla $ign, Future and the like, there was Blue Raspberry. The Wu-Tang's resident songstress assisted Meth in a major way on the triumphant track 'Release Yo' Delf.' RZA dusts off a Herb Alpert record ('Treasure of San Miguel') and strips it of its glorious horns and pairs them with gritty drums, resulting in one of the more catchy beats on the LP. Method Man doesn't attempt to get in rap god status on this one, instead deciding to flow within the track without forcing the issue. The song still ends up as a memorable banger when all is said and done.
"I came to bring the pain, hardcore from the brain, let's go inside my astral plane," Meth raps as the opening lines on 'Bring the Pain.' Beginning with that classic bar, the rapper proceeds to give listeners three minutes and 10 seconds of perfection, dropping countless metaphors and one-liners with the terse focus of a sensai. Produced by RZA, the beat is in the vein of Bobby Digital's signature -- dark and brooding soundscapes -- and features a sample of Jerry Butler's 'I'm Your Mechanical Man.' Released as the album's lead single, the track was the perfect showcase for Meth's brand precision rhyming and confirmed that the promise displayed on earlier releases was definitely no fluke.