The Wu-Tang Clan were one of hip hop’s most notorious crews. Formed in New York’s isolated and desolate borough of Staten Island, the Wu-Tang Clan would become one of the most impactful crews of 1990s hip hop, and an integral member of the crew was rapper Method Man.
Method Man (real name Clifford Smith, Jr.) was a crew member during its heyday. At its peak, the Clan was compromised of: RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, ODB, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa. The Clan were praised the world over for their lyricism, diversity and approach to using hip hop as a philosophical vehicle.
However, when the Clan started running into issues after the turn of the millennium, only a few artists managed to land on both feet and have successful careers as solo artists. Method Man was one of the few. After the death of Ol Dirty Bastard (ODB) in 2004, Raekwon and Method Man were the only Clan members to achieve success with their solo careers. With ODB dead, the Wu-Tang Clan slowly dissipated, and by the end of 2004, the crew was effectively non-existent.
While other artists succeeded in their careers, they didn’t necessarily find success in music. Original Clan member RZA did find moderate success but in the field of acting. RZA has featured in many films, including the 2007 film American Gangster alongside Denzel Washington, and has even directed films such as the 2017 film Love, Beats, Rhymes starring Jill Scott, Common and Azealia Banks.
However, irrespective of RZA’s success in Hollywood, it paled in comparison to the success Method Man had in music. After the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man paired with Redman to form the duo Method Man and Redman. The duo starred together in the 2001 stoner film How High and, in 2004, even went on to get their own sitcom on the Fox network. Furthermore, the duo’s debut album, Blackout! went platinum upon release.
Method Man achieved great success as a solo artist but still pays respect to the Wu-Tang Clan in all of his interviews and has toured with them several times despite the fragmented nature of the crew. In an interview with ThisIs50, an urban media outlet owned by 50 Cent, Method Man was asked by the interviewer, June Archer, what his favourite Wu-Tang Clan song to perform was and answered with ease.
Rapidly responding, the rapper revealed, “C.R.E.A.M!! Absolutely ‘C.R.E.A.M’ cause that’s what really put us on the map. ‘Protect Ya Neck’ got us in the door, ‘Method Man’ got us noticed, but ‘C.R.E.A.M’ solidified us, so C.R.E.A.M definitely C.R.E.A.M!”
The rapper continued, “Anytime we do that record, the crowd sings. Deck can barely say his verse. Even Chef (Raekwon) can barely say his verse because the crowd knows it regardless to what country we’re in. They don’t even have to know English, but they know that!”
You can watch the full interview below and listen to C.R.E.A.M below as well.