Album: Method Man

Tical 0: The Prequel, Def Jam
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The Independent Culture

He seems to have been around for ever, but Tical 0: The Prequel is only Method Man's third album, a remarkably relaxed schedule in hip hop. The years since 1998's Tical 2000: Judgement Day have been spent fulfilling Wu-Tang duties and pursuing other opportunities, notably the Method Man/Redman film comedy How High (a sitcom, Method & Red, is in the pipeline). But it's a long time to be out of the game, which has been changed completely by the rise of Eminem. Maybe that's why Tical 0 sounds a bit dated: compared with Eminem's razor-sharp psychodramas, Meth's routine boasts and lascivious sex-raps seem small potatoes. There are the usual isolated slick lines - "I think that marijuana is just nature's way of saying 'Hi!'"; "Rappers is fightin'/ Like Tyson/ When nothin' else work, I start bitin'"; "When I burn some/ Stick a fork in me, I'm done" - but the contributions of Missy, Puffy, Busta, Snoop and Ludacris are perfunctory, while Redman's chief addition to the se

He seems to have been around for ever, but Tical 0: The Prequel is only Method Man's third album, a remarkably relaxed schedule in hip hop. The years since 1998's Tical 2000: Judgement Day have been spent fulfilling Wu-Tang duties and pursuing other opportunities, notably the Method Man/Redman film comedy How High (a sitcom, Method & Red, is in the pipeline). But it's a long time to be out of the game, which has been changed completely by the rise of Eminem. Maybe that's why Tical 0 sounds a bit dated: compared with Eminem's razor-sharp psychodramas, Meth's routine boasts and lascivious sex-raps seem small potatoes. There are the usual isolated slick lines - "I think that marijuana is just nature's way of saying 'Hi!'"; "Rappers is fightin'/ Like Tyson/ When nothin' else work, I start bitin'"; "When I burn some/ Stick a fork in me, I'm done" - but the contributions of Missy, Puffy, Busta, Snoop and Ludacris are perfunctory, while Redman's chief addition to the sex-rap "We Some Dogs" is the charming promiscuity metaphor: "Take a piss on the tree and then I'm gone." Ultimately, the entire cast is put to shame by the minute-long contribution of Black Ice on "Ridin' For Outro", a stern critique of rap's gun culture, whose elegance stands in sharp contrast to the scatological sex-boasts dominating the album.

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