Previously in the Rise to Fame series, we have talked about actors and producers, singers and rappers, and more. What makes today’s Rise To Fame special?
Well, today we are covering the story of a man who has done everything from acting, singing, hip-hop, and production all alone. It’s the story of Clifford Smith Jr. Oops! I mean, Rapper Method Man.
Born in Hempstead, Long Island as Clifford Smith Jr on March 2, 1971, Method Man had a different than usual childhood. Clifford spent his childhood days divided between his father and mother. Some days he was with his father at his Long Island residence whereas the other days he was found with his mother at her home in the Park Hill section of Staten Island, which is locally known as Killa Hill.
He has two sisters named Terri and Missy. He was a student at New Dorp High School. During his time at New Dorp High School, he befriended another fellow rapper who later went on to be a part of his hip-hop group.
During his childhood days, Clifford also loved playing Lacrosse. To date, he supports and enjoys watching the games of Lacrosse.
Member Of Wu-Tang Hip-Hop Clan
Method Man was an assertive and talented young fellow. He became involved with Wu-Tang Clan during the initial stages of his career. Wu-Tang Clan was a hip-hop band formed in 1992 on Staten Island, New York City. The original members of Wu-Tang Clan included Method Man alongside RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Masta Killa, U-God, and more.
Method Man had a lot of influence in the hip-hop group. When Wu-Tang Clan released their debut hip-hop album titled Enter the Wu-Tang, he was one of the only two members to have a complete solo song in it.
Method Man later went on to release a solo album while being a part of the clan. This was possible because of a strange agreement that allowed all the members of the Wu-Tang Clan to create and release their works with any record label.
Method Man Goes Solo
In 1994, Method Man came out with an album named Tical which marked his solo debut as a singer and songwriter. The album proved to be a major hit, sold over a million copies and ranked amongst the top 5 on US Charts.
Mary J. Blige remixed the single track titled ‘All I Need’ which was originally from Method Man’s solo debut album. The remixed version won a Grammy for Mary J. Blige.
1998 was the year when Method Man launched his second solo album titled Tical 2000: Judgement Day. The album received critical acclaim from the audience.
Up until now, both the solo works of Method Man were well-received by the audience but the bad-luck spell was inching closer for his career. Before revealing to you what this spell was, let us have a look at the glossier events that happened in Method Man’s career before it.
Guest Features And Tours
Method Man struck a usual and selfless friendship bond with a fellow NYC based rapper named The Notorius B.I.G. When the latter’s debut album Ready to Die was released, Method Man featured as a guest rapper in it.
Method Man later featured on Spice 1’s album in the track ‘Hard 2 Kill’. In 1995, he was seen in the track Got The Flava in the album Goodfellas. In 1996, established rapper and hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur gave Method Man in his Album All Eyez on Me’s track song titled Got My Mind Made Up.
He toured with hip-hop rappers Jay-Z, Redman, Ja Rule, and DMX between 1999 and 2001. During the Hard Knock Life tour, Method Man recorded a studio album with his rhyme partner. The album was called Blackout!
Blackout was soon boasting the platinum status in the US and Canada, thanks to Tear it Off and Cereal Killa tracks.
Career Disappointment & Immediate Comeback
Talking about the poor spell that Method Man had to face during his career, it was the time in 2004 when he released his third solo album titled Tiscal 0: The Prequel. This album, even though certified gold standard by the RIAA did not receive much love and appreciation.
When compared to Method Man’s past two solo albums, this album couldn’t match up to them. It failed to reach the platinum status as well. The critics of the album complained of monotonous sound beats and too many mainstream guest features in the album.
But this setback was compensated in a span of one and a half years when Method Man came out with his fourth album called 4:21 The Day After in 2006. Backing the album were brilliant producers such as Havoc, Erik Sermon, Scott Storch, and more. Clearly, Method Man was taking no chances this time and the album went on to be a grand success.
Method Man, in the late 1990s also tried his luck in acting. Starting off his acting journey from Television shows, the rapper was seen performing roles in HBO’s The Wire, The Twilight Zone, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
He was seen on many TV shows such as Mind of Mencia and Chappelle’s Show later on. In 2017, he also co-hosted a celebrity rap battle show called Drop The Mic with Hailey Baldwin.
Method Man proved his acting talent when he was featured in the 1998 film called Belly. His fellow rappers Nas and DMX were also a part of the star cast in the movie.
Method Man also appeared in movies Garden State and One Eight Seven. He had a cameo role in the 2005 horror movie Venom. Method Man played a deputy who gets murdered shortly into the movie.
More recently in 2020, the rapper was seen in the Netflix original series Teenage Bounty Hunters playing the character of Terrance Coin. The same year he also acted in the film called Concrete Cowboy which was an adaptation of the book Ghetto Cowboy.
The 50-year old hip-hop sensation shows no signs of slowing down. Active in the industry since 1992, it has been 29 years since this gem has been blessing us with world-class hip-hop rap!