Method Man’s ‘4:21…The Day After’ Hits Stores August 22

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 agree.

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