Monday, August 4, 2014

Revisiting Method Man's "Tical" [Repost]

As of this posting, I revisited this about two weeks ago and I remember my exact feelings after listening to it for about 3 days straight, and taking into account how I recently named Meth as my 7th favorite MC of all time. (As of this re-posting, it's back in my ride again, lol, so that right there prompted a revisit within a revisit, so to speak.) Also, this would be the first Wu-Tang solo album after 1993's CLASSIC "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," so a lot was riding on Meth's album and the anticipation was quite high. Let's begin! (I'll be adding some additional thoughts on this one.)

Release date: November 15, 1994

This album was produced entirely by The RZA (with two tracks having Meth and 4th Disciple as co-producers, respectively).

1. Tical

The album's opening track starts things off right, as Meth asks on the hook, "what's that shit that they be smokin," and he's answered "Tical!". RZA's beat is off the hook, while Meth delivers his normal flow to good results. *4 out of 5*

(This is the first of three songs on the album I'm going to touch on in reference to an interview from years back. In a 1998 interview, with VIBE magazine if my memory serves me correctly, Meth talked about this album, and he stated he felt he came weak on this song. I respectively disagreed then and I do so today. His flow and lyrics matched the beat RZA provided; he didn't sound weak to me on this one.)

2. Biscuits

Meth opens this song with the funny, memorable lines, "Yo mama don't wear no draws/I saw her when she took em off/Standin' on the welfare line, eatin'  swine/Tryin' to look fine, with her stank behind!" LOL. We have the usual rhymes from Meth, almost sounds like he's high on this track, and again, RZA's beat KNOCKS. Play this joint in your ride with the volume up if you have a nice system. *4 out of 5* 

(This is the second song Meth mentioned in the interview that he felt he came weak on. Listening to it again, I wouldn't say he came weak. While his flow and lyrics again matched the low-key, bass driven RZA beat, he could've been a little more energetic here. Either way my sentiments on the song are still the same.)

3. Bring The Pain

YES, true classic right here!!!!! Meth does bring the lyrical pain over one of RZA's best beats ever. This joint still holds up after all these years and it may be Meth's best song ever. *5 out of 5* 

(I have a few memories I'm surprised I didn't include the last time I posted this. When I was in the 5th grade at this time, there was a little "Method Man fever" running through me. I had a classic t-shirt of his that I searched all over on the internet and haven't found a pic of, and I also remember the homie Charles who let me borrow this single..... for one day (lol). Ah, the memories.)

4. All I Need

I've always said the Razor Sharp remix with the great Mary J. Blige should've been on this album, but it understandably was released in 1995, plus this version was just as good. Meth memorably details all he needs in a woman, and it's probably one of the best songs of that type in hip hop history. *4.5 out of 5*

(My prediction is that when/if Def Jam releases a 20th or 25th Anniversary re-issue of this album, the Razor Sharp remix will be included.)

5. What The Blood Clot

Over ANOTHER slammin track by the RZA, Meth delivers more memorable lines with no hook, and check out how AWESOME he closes this song:

".....Smoke a Dutchmaster, have 'em screamin' for the dutchess/Yeah, I gotta have it, so I strive to stack my papes/If I don't do it for mydelf, I'ma do it for Case/Cuz that's my peoples, we givin' you injections that be Lethal/Weapons, when niggas start the half steppin'/Then I get evil but don't let that negative vibe right there mislead you/I'm humble, a fuckin' Killa Bee, far from bumble/I sting you *BZZZ* and I bring you/36 Chambers of head banger, bitch/Why I deal with? I think the mic's on the fritz/Fuckin' soundmen, they be sabotagin' shit/ Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane/Meth-Tical, let the whole world know my fuckin' name what the blood clot!"

Man, it doesn't get any better than this. 
*5 out of 5*  

6. Meth vs. Chef (featuring Raekwon) 

In the spirit of true, friendly competition between two partners in rhyme, Meth and Rae do lyrical gymnastics over (say it with me) another slammin' RZA track. Check the intro:

Let's get ready to gel team!
Live and direct from the one-six-ooh
We got Tical, pow!  Raekwon the Chef, Tical!
It's about to go on, Tical!
You make the call, I make the call!
It's all for all
Method Man, Raekwon the Chef
(count my shells)
And there's about to be one left
(count my shells, nigga)
I know you know it'son kid
(Rae: Bring that shit I don't give a fuck!)
*bell rings*  
Overall, even though both MCs bring their A game to this one, I feel 
Meth was the victor.
*5 out of 5*
7. Sub Crazy (Co-Produced By: 4th Disciple)

The straight bangers on this album continue, as Meth essentially
rips this bass filled track, heading into "Release Yo Delf." 
*5 out of 5*
(4 out of 5 is more like it for this one.)
8. Release Yo Delf (featuring Blue Raspberry)
Wow, MORE memorable joints (both the beat and lyrics). After a nice 
intro by Blue Raspberry, Meth jumps right into it and kills it. This
is not the classic that "Bring The Pain" is, but it's STILL DAMN GOOD. 
*4.5 out of 5*
(This is the third song that Meth mentions in the aforementioned  
interview that he felt he came weak on. Never saw that, even 
20 years later.)
9. P.L.O. Style (featuring Carlton Fisk)

Mr. Fisk was decent when paired up with Meth, and this good track was no
different. It was a bit slower, but still on the fast paced side, than the preceding songs, 
but it doesn't interrupt the flow of the album. It actually adds to it. 
*4 out of 5*
10. I Get My Thang In Action

Meth nicely picks up the pace on this track, and it's another good one. 
Listen to him as he "gets his thang in action." 
*4 out of 5* 
11. Mr. Sandman (featuring The RZA, Inspectah Deck, Street Life, Carlton
Fisk, and Blue Raspberry)

Carlton Fisk closes this song on a decent note, but make no mistake 
about it, Meth, RZA, Deck, and Street Life KILL this joint. Has to be heard
to be appreciated.
*5 out of 5*
12. Stimulation

This is possibly my 3rd or 4th favorite song on the album. Very good stuff 
here. *4.5 out of 5*
(Lots of memories with this song, but I gotta 
drop this one to a 4 out of 5 rating.)
13. Method Man (Remix)

Of course it doesn't hold a candle to the remix, but it's still a dope one.
*4 out of 5*
Overall, although I've always known this album was tight, listening
to it this time felt like I was rediscovering it. Time has definitely been
kind to this album, and it'll remain Meth's best album for sure.
Rating- Man, I'm still undecided. I upgraded it from a 4 to a 
respectable 4.5. I'm sure it'll be going to a 5 at some point.
(Still a 4.5 at this point.) 

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