Some fast talking landed ML at the New York press event for The Wackness. After some roundtables, I had the pleasure of interviewing the always entertaining Method Man. A very nice PR lady walked me down a floor to where Meth’s room was and once I stepped into the hallway, the weed smell punched me in the face. Inside his room, Meth was sprawled on a couch and really out of it compared to earlier when he was doing the roundtables. He was really chill and friendly, but what really impressed me was when we got on the topic of the state of hip hop. Unlike some rappers who would launch into an old-head tirade, telling younger cats to eat a dick, Meth was nonchalantly optimistic and responded in a way that really made me think to myself, can it be that it was all so simple? Regardless of how high he was, he definitely displayed a rare level of maturity and wisdom.
ML: How did you get the part?
Meth: I wanted to do something independent and my manager, when she got the script from Jonathan, read it and was like ‘this is it, right here.’
ML: What’s better, music money or movie money?
Meth: They’re both good. Money is money.
ML: Who pays more?
Meth: Movies. Definitely.
ML: Do you think you’re going to be leaning more towards movies now?
Meth: Nah, I like music better. I do that for free.
ML: Ben Kingsley stole the show. What was the scene with him like?
Meth: It was cool. I mean, it was a small scene, but I learned so much in that little bit of time right there, y’know? Timing, giving the actor something to work with, just real subtle things to pick up on.
ML: You were on the set a couple of days, but do you have any funny stories from the set? Did you hang out with anybody at all?
Meth: I just remember stank in that motherfucker a little somethin’ and my man was there, Shannon Briggs, cool ass dude.
ML: Do you think it paints an accurate picture of New York in ’94?
Meth: Oh he murdered it. He killed it, because the towers at the end, that was dope. Blowing of the Nintendo cartridge, priceless. Yeah, I think he did his damn thing. Fire Island, yeah.
ML: Anything you would have put in there that he forgot?
Meth: I would have had some of those benches missing slacks on em. ‘Cause you know dude, shit, New York, all that’s left is the cement part.
ML: What were you up to that summer?
Meth: We was on tour. We was out in LA.
ML: What was hip hop like? Illmatic is out, Ready to Die is coming in September.
Meth: It was more about lyricism than anything else. That’s what New York was known for. Deep lyrics, things was nice, flow, stories, some of the nicest came up out of here, but you can’t sleep, Snoop was hittin’ ‘em too.
ML: So, Snoop is your favorite on the West?
Meth: I got a lot of favorites on the West. I love Snoop, Game, I like Roscoe, Kurupt, Daz, all my niggas over there man, Jayo Felony, Black Knights, word, my name Dru Down, Luniz, shit man, so many, man. Cypress, shit, definitely Cypress, my niggas.
ML: I remember Easy Mo Bee talking about recording “The What” and he said that Biggie thought that you outdid him.
Meth: Word? What do you think?
ML: I can’t tell, you’re both amazing on that song. “Spit on your grave then I grab my Charles Dickens”.
Meth: Yeah, that was the time we used to make up all kinds of jokes. Damn. It’s flattering, it’s nice to hear shit like that, to know that you held your own with one of the dudes that’s considered to be one of the all-time greats. That’s why there better be a place for me in that history book.
ML: You have some of the greatest guest verses ever. How does it feel murdering everybody on their own songs?
Meth: [Laughs] I almost walked into that shit. I think that I just try to meet the same level as the artist that I’m working with. You know what I mean? And then you leave it up to them to whether they’re going to man up and meet the level that you set. It depends on who goes first, you have to meet the level that the first person set. I don’t think I outdid any MC whose shit I rhymed on. I think I complemented the track, but outdid ‘em? Nah.
ML: One of my favorite songs on All Eyez on Me is “Got my Mind Made Up”. How did you get on a West Coast record like that?
Meth: That was the time when there was beef, but I was fuckin’ with the Dogg Pound heavy. And we was in Daz’s basement and he threw the joints on and we writin’ and a nigga spit.
ML: So you were just hanging out and you ended up on a song?
ML: Did you know Pac?
Meth: I met Pac once.
ML: What was it like?
Meth: It was weird ’cause I was high on Mescaline. So, it was weird and shit, but Pac was cool, man. He was a cool nigga, you know? He was just explaining something to me that had happened in Vegas with a partner of mine and tellin’ me that if there was anybody he would fuck with on the east coast, it would be Wu-Tang. I remember him saying that.
ML: So was there ever any chance of a Pac/Wu-Tang collaboration?
Meth: If there was, I ain’t heard of none, but we would’ve loved to work with Pac. My dudes respected son.
ML: What’s your most memorable collaboration? You worked with Pac and Big, that’s amazing right there.
ML: I’m bringing up all these fallen legends, I gotta mention ODB. Do you have any crazy ODB stories you could tell me?
Meth: One night he’s getting his dick sucked at the bar. That was pretty weird. Yeah.
ML: How far along is Blackout 2?
ML: Can we expect the same producers? Erick Sermon and them? RZA?
Meth: You can expect to hear Erick. I don’t know about RZA though. Kwame, Pete Rock and a few others I ain’t gon’ mention ’til we get the tracks.
ML: What about acting, do you have anything on the table?
Meth: Right now, I’m looking at some scripts. I just finished an episode of Burn Notice. Hopefully I’ll get another CSI. I just wanna do another HBO.
ML: One of my favorite songs on Cuban Linx is “Ice Cream”. They’ve been talking about Cuban Linx II forever. Are you gonna be on that?
Meth: Yeah I’m on there twice, I hope. I’m on two songs, that’s if they make the cut.
ML: Wu is still tight, right?
Meth: Yeah, the Wu definitely still tight.
ML: I remember after 8 Diagrams, Raekwon said something like ‘we wanna do one thing without RZA called Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang‘.
Meth: I remember him saying something like that.
ML: Is that real?
Meth: I don’t know, you have to ask Rae.
ML: Would you be on that?
Meth: I don’t know, depends. As long as it doesn’t separate. We can’t alienate certain individuals. We still Wu.
ML: Did you hear RZA’s new album, Digi Snacks?
Meth: Nah, what is that? His album?
ML: It’s a Bobby Digital album.
Meth: Oh word?
ML: On Koch.
Meth: Wow. Damn, Digi Snacks, huh? How is it?
ML: It’s pretty cool, it’s out there.
Meth: Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He definitely is. Circle the planet nine times and shit. I think it’s just a little hoppy for him right now. He aight.
ML: RZA is all over this acting stuff. He’s always saying he wants to direct and do soundtracks. Would you be down to do a movie with him?
Meth: He’s always coming to me with movies. I don’t know, I guess.
ML: Who are you voting for?
Meth: No one.
ML: Do you like anyone more than anyone else?
Meth: Nah, it’s not that, I just don’t vote. That level of government doesn’t trickle down far enough for me to even want to vote. Ghetto don’t see none of that money that niggas be spendin’.
ML: I asked you in the roundtable something like, ‘what do we do to fix hip hop?’ and you said ‘I’m not doing anything’. I can’t believe that, you really don’t care what happens to hip hop now?
Meth: I mean, what am I gon’ do now without looking like a disgruntled, sour grape ass rapper.
ML: Put out the album that changes the world again? I don’t know.
Meth: Who’s gonna buy it?
ML: I don’t know, that’s a good question.
Meth: There’s been albums like that that thought they was gon’ change the world. Everybody goes into the studio thinkin’ they gon’ change the world. Hip hop’s gonna fix itself, not one individual. It’s gon’ take a mass amount of people. All I can do is plant a few seeds here and there.
ML: Is there anybody in particular of these up-and-comers that you like?
Meth: I like a lot of these dudes, man. I like Max B, Hell Rell, I like T.I. UGK been around a long time so I don’t think they count though, but I always loved UGK, man. I like a lot of these new cats, B.
ML: In five years, what kind of movie stuff do you think you’re going to be doing then? Do you think you’re going to move up to starring roles or do you like your spot right now?
Meth: It depends, I don’t know. At this point in time, the way things work, for every twenty five white actors that get in, one black one gets in and I think they made their quota. Will’s new movie drops the same day that ours, but we’re the little movie that could.
ML: What’s the last thing you bought?
Meth: Football equipment for my boys.
[PR lady is letting me know time's up]
ML: It’s an honor to meet you, man.
Meth: Respect, my brother. Always. Thank you very much.
The Wackness hits a Limited Release in New York & Los Angeles on July 3rd.