As a member of the iconic Staten Island crew, the Wu-Tang Clan Method Man was a product of the 1990s. However, the emcee admits that he has seen a significant shift in hip-hop quality over the last three decades. In a recent appearance on the New York radio show The Breakfast Club, the musician (real name Clifford Smith) explained the differences.
In conversation with hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God, Smith highlighted the distinct quality of the ’90s, explaining, “Let’s say Hip Hop was in its early 20s,” he began. “Still young, but still, likes to fuck a lot, you know what I’m sayin’? I’m finding out what these streets are about; so there’s a lot more authenticity. When you heard records from the West Coast, you know it was from the West Coast. When you heard UGK, we know that was down south.”
The ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ artist continued, “I’m not taking anything away from the music nowadays, you know? Because whatever works, works. And I like some of the shit they be doin’ today. But back then, we had identities. And everybody was fightin’ for their own identity. Whereas now, it seems like everyone’s fighting for the same identity.”
Smith was most likely highlighting the prevalence of trap music within hip-hop today. However, the Tical rapper still acknowledged that despite the homogeneity of today’s sound, he believes that the culture will continue to prosper, stating, “[I don’t mind because] that’s going to spark the mind that changes everything, you know?”
Method Man has shown much respect to the new generation and, in an interview on the red carpet of the Grammys, gave a shoutout to Memphis female rapper GloRilla. Who garnered vast amounts of attention following her song ‘Tomorrow 2’ featuring Cardi B.
Although the Wu-Tang lyricist admitted he doesn’t consume a lot of modern-day rap he highlighted GloRilla, revealing, “I don’t really listen to much [of] today’s music. But right now, who’s relevant in my household? Who they playing in my house? Glo.” The ’90s artist even disclosed how when he met GloRilla, she had never heard of him.
However, Smith admitted that regardless she was very respectful and courteous to him as an elder in hip-hop, declaring, “That speaks volumes to her character. Love her.” Method Man performed with the Wu-Tang Clan at the New Orleans Jazz Festival earlier this year. You can hear his interview with The Breakfast Club below.