Method Man found success as a member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, but things really kicked off for him when he went the solo route shortly after the group’s debut in 1993. The Staten Island native dropped his debut album Tical and kept the buzz going, but it was his “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” collaboration with Mary J. Blige in 1995 that elevated his popularity to a wider audience.
At the time, Meth was becoming a sex symbol and he evidently didn’t like it. During his recent visit to Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast, the 51-year-old explained how he hated the image he received from the Grammy Award-winning song and attempted to reject the love he was getting.
“I fought that ‘All I Need’ shit,” Method Man said. “I didn’t wanna put it out ’cause it was at a point now where, when we were doing these shows [with] Wu-Tang, I would come out and it’d be girls screaming. Now, for me, it’s like, I’m grimy, same-clothes-for-three-days-in-a-row nigga; who wants to go the sex symbol route at this point?!”
Math Hoffa was blown away and asked Meth if he realized what was happening with his career at that moment. He also reminded the Wu-Tang member how many girls had his poster on their bedroom wall when he was growing up and how he enjoyed more luck with the ladies once his Method Man-esque beard connected. Meth said he did the same thing growing up with pictures of New Edition, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and Ola Ray from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video on his wall, but it still wasn’t connecting with him.
“But at that point in time, this is how I viewed it: all the guys that did the sex symbol shit lost their audience, which was the dudes co-signing and shit like that, ’cause dudes, you know, they playing the music,” Meth continued. “Chicks be like, ‘I don’t wanna hear all that.’ But they get exposed to it through their guys. So for me it was like, ‘N-gga, whatever. I’ma drop this ‘Bring the Pain.”’
Meth explained “Bring The Pain” got him a lot of buzz despite it not being a huge record. Whenever he walked into a club, the crowd would part to let him through, but things got different when “All I Need” dropped.
“Then it got to a point where the ‘All I Need’ joint drops,” Method Man said. “Before, the shows was packed, but it would be a bunch of fucking gangstas all in the front, ready to vibe out. I’d jump in the crowd, throw water and all that shit. After that ‘All I Need’ dropped, n-gga, it was a bunch of blonde-haired, silver clothing-wearing — flooded, all chicks.”
He added, “And it gets to the point where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I did come to see the nigga; how many bitches in here yelling for that n-gga for? Man, fuck that n-gga! I hope he trip on stage and break his fucking neck.’ They ain’t necessarily feel that way, but this the shit I’m thinking in my head because I’m that type of n-gga.”
Method Man said he hated male Hip Hop sex symbols so much that he changed his opinion on Big Daddy Kane. “In hindsight, I was wrong, but in my eyes at that era, that’s when I was like, ‘Rakim the n-gga.’ I wasn’t fucking with Kane after that.”
Relive Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s “All I Need” below.