Method Man’s ‘4:21…The Day After’ Gets A New Release Date

4:21…The Day After hits stores
August 29. The album features
special guest appearances from Fat
Joe, Styles P, Ginuwine
with production by RZA,
Erick Sermon, Scott Storch
Denaun Porter

In the dark,
womb-like sanctuary of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady studios in
downtown Manhattan—a place that has birthed historical musical
moments—sits the artist known as Iron Lung, Tical, Wu Brother
#1, Johnny Blaze, and of course…Method Man. With a trusty,
half-lit blunt by his side, he is lounging in front of white grand
piano, his hands sweeping the keyboards, trying to remember a tune he
memorized years ago.

Maybe the idea of one of hip
hop’s finest—and grimiest—emcees tickling the
ivories sounds odd, or out of place, but Mr. Mef has never been the
type to fit in. His husky, guttural voice is perhaps the most distinct
in the game, his flow—dark and complex like the graphic novels
from which he took his moniker from—can bury itself in cinematic
tracks from RZA, complement the voices of R&B divas and or attack
party tracks from Rocwilder. Whether he is trading verses with partner
in rhyme, Redman, crowd surfing at a Wu Tang show, or stealing a scene
in various television shows and films, Method Man is a true individual
spirit. With his latest album, 4:21, The Day After, he is also focused
on being a true artist.

Unlike some
previous efforts—where Meth admits his priorities were
different—on this new album, he says he’s focusing on
lyrics. After his last album, Tical O: The Prequel, he went through an
especially rough time in his life—both personally and
professionally—which provided him with a bulk of material.
“I had a lot on my mind at the time and the second thing was, I
decided to really talk about something and I had a lot to draw from
and when the pen hit the paper it was like damn, remember this? And by
the time I was done it was like shit, let’s go.” The
result is his most personal and introspective work yet.

Doing the work behind the boards on 4:21, are Wu Tang mastermind and
long-time collaborator, RZA as well as Scott Storch, Havoc, K1 and
Eric Sermon. “With Eric, we did three songs in three
days,” Meth says with an amazed smile, “He just comes in
with ideas of top. And with RZA, shit, I’ve watched him build
tracks from scratch, so all I really have to do is put the pen to the
paper”. Eric Sermon provided the beat for Meth’s first
single, “Say”, featuring Lauryn Hill. The track finds Meth
addressing critics, fickle fans and haters for disrespecting him and
his Wu Tang brethren.

“I’ve been venting about
all this for years and [my manager] was like, ‘Write about it,
Eric has the perfect joint.’ And, Lauryn Hill herself, she just
had the raw emotion, the small things she said on the song was enough
for me to push my pen and let myself be vulnerable.” Meth says
his ability to let himself be so open is in line with the entire
concept of the album, and its title. “The national weed smoking
day is 4/20, so I named my album 4/21 the day after. Because after
that day, you have this moment of clarity when you’re not high
and you see things clearly.” The Grammy-winner sighs and
continues, a serious, determined look on his face. “You feel
like you’re not in on the joke, and everyone’s laughing at
you. I felt like no one was taking me seriously. I got real angry and
I just starting writing.”

Anger proved to
be a great motivator, as the Ticalion Stallion wrapped up the album in
a few short months. He says the creative process has been cathartic,
and though his skin hasn’t gotten any thicker, he’s able
to use his writing talent to inspire self-confidence.

“It’s real talk, I’m going to keep my spirits up
and not let it get things to me. You know, if you start reading your
own press and feeding into it, and you start questioning yourself,
like, ‘am I wack?’ and you have to be like,
‘No!’ I learned to pat myself on the back, and that
it’s ok to pat myself on the back sometimes.”

We definitely

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