"M.E.T.H.O.D. Man" (1993)
Birthday greetings are in order for living hip-hop legend Method Man who celebrates his 38th birthday today. One of the founding and most prominant members of the Wu-Tang Clan, in recent years he has been more well-known for his rhyme partnership with Redman and his acting career, which includes a role on the HBO series The Wire.
Born Clifford Smith, the young Method Man grew up in New York on both Long Island and Staten Island (aka Shaolin), where he would help form one of hip-hop history's most popular and influential groups, the Wu-Tang Clan.
As a member of Wu-Tang, Method Man had the distinction of being the first solo star to emerge from the rap supergroup that also featured Rza, GZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa. The group's groundbreaking 1993 debut heavily showcases his talents and includes the hit single "Method Man."
The song's refrain M-E-T-H-O-D was drawn from the previous decade's Hall & Oates hit "Method of Modern Love" from their 1984 Big Bam Boom album. Within just a year of the Wu-Tang debut album, Method Man released his own debut solo album, 1994's Tical on Def Jam, featuring such timeless hip-hop tracks as "Release Yo Delf," "Bring The Pain," and "All I Need" (a later version of this song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group under the title "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" with Mary J. Blige).
In addition to his Wu Tang and solo output he has also recorded/released projects as one half of the successful rap duo Method Man & Redman. Additionally, he acted alongside Redman in the 2001 stoner comedy How High (a sequel is in the works) as well as on the short-lived Fox TV sitcom, Method & Red. The pair also hosted a pilot on MTV called Stung, where Method Man was also once featured in an episode of Cribs.
As an actor he played small parts in the 1997 films Cop Land and 187. His first significant acting break in 1998 was in the movie Belly and he has since appeared in such films as Garden State, Venom, and Soul Plane. But Method Man is perhaps best known to many for playing the character Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff in the popular HBO show The Wire. Other TV shows he's acted in include Oz, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Twilight Zone, and Law & Order SVU.
In addition to numerous upcoming acting roles, musically we can look forward to the long awaited follow up to the 1999 album Blackout! by Method Man and Redman, Blackout 2, which is scheduled to drop on April 28th through Universal and will feature production from such heavyweights as Pete Rock and Erick Sermon. Happy birthday Method Man!
Method Man & Redman "How HIgh Part II"