Method Man once compared Wu-Tang clan to Nirvana
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

Method Man once compared Wu-Tang clan to Nirvana

Method Man is a highly versatile MC who has been a constant presence since the late 1980s. Rising to prominence as part of the legendary Staten Island crew The Wu-Tang Clan in the mid-1990s, the rapper (real name Clifford Smith Jr.) is loved for his intricate lyricism, partnership with Redman and his famous stoner comedy How High, a must-watch that will have viewers laughing out loud. Known as one of hip hop’s greats, Method Man is undoubtedly a talent.

With the Staten Island rapper rising to fame during the mid-1990s, his career would begin officially once his crew released their debut single, ‘Protect Ya Neck’. With this track, the Wu-Tang Clan found a buzz. They would not only maintain this buzz, but they would build a legacy. Unlike some of his Wu-Tang counterparts, Smith achieved a vast amount of success as a solo artist.

Following the collective’s dissipation, Method Man paired with Redman to form the duo Method Man and Redman. Following this, the ‘C.R.E.A.M’ emcee turned his attention to acting and even secured his own sitcom on the Fox network. He has since appeared in Starz’ Power Book II: Ghost series.

With such legendary status, in 2021, Method Man appeared on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast to discuss all things Wu-Tang and his career achievements. Remembering his time as part of the Staten Island crew, Smith asserted that their popularity within the African-American community made the major labels pay attention. Referencing the group’s success, the lyricist told Hill, “I think a lot of it is attributed to how well received we were by the Black community, which makes others very curious, like what’s going on over there? What’s all the racket?”

The New York native also expressed how the Wu-Tang Clan were the quintessential and most influential ensemble and even likened the nine-piece outfit to Nirvana, stating, “That [Wu-Tang Clan] music is so relevant to them today, they want to play it for their kids! It’s them trying to tell them. This is your music education. This is where you should start at…it’s the same way they were rabid about when grunge was out and even heavy metal. And those guys were straight bums. They dressed like bums, but they were zillionaires from music…you look at Metallica…you see those guys, they ain’t got the big chains or none of that, you know, is grungy and Wu-Tang defined, you could call it a grunge rap, let’s call it that. Grunge hip-hop. That’s exactly what it was. So we were the Nirvana of our time.”

You can watch Smith’s interview with Jemele Hill in the video below.