Born: March 2, 1971
Birthplace: Hempstead, Long Island, New York
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Career and Life
Clifford Smith aka Method Man, is an American rapper and actor. He is known as a member of the East Coast hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He is also one half of the hip hop duo Method Man & Redman. He took his stage name from the 1979 film Method Man. In 1996, Smith won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By", featuring American R&B singer Mary J. Blige.
Smith has appeared in films such as Belly, How High, Garden State, The Wackness, Venom, Red Tails, Keanu and The Cobbler. On television, he and frequent collaborator, fellow East Coast rapper Redman, co-starred on the short-lived Fox sitcom Method & Red. He has also had recurring roles in three HBO series, as Tug Daniels in Oz, Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff in The Wire, and Rodney in The Deuce. In 2016, he had a cameo role in Luke Cage which aired on Netflix.
As Wu-Tang Clan ascended to hip hop stardom, Method Man was always one of the most visible members of the collective. He was one of only two members to get a solo song on the group's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and he was the first to release a solo album under the Clan's unusual contract which allowed its members to release albums under any record label. Method Man chose to sign with rap label Def Jam Recordings, although Elektra Records A&R man Dante Ross initially wanted to sign him around the same time Ross signed fellow group member Ol' Dirty Bastard. Method Man's solo debut, Tical (1994), was critically acclaimed and well received, entering the American charts at #4 and eventually selling in excess of one million copies. That album featured the hit single "All I Need", later remixed featuring Mary J. Blige, which won a Grammy ("I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need"). During this time Method Man also became close friends with fellow New York City-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G., and was the only guest rapper featured on his debut album Ready to Die. He was also featured on Spice 1's album AmeriKKKa's Nightmare on the track "Hard 2 Kill". In 1995, he was also featured on "Got the Flava" off Showbiz and A.G.'s album Goodfellas. In 1996, Method Man appeared on Tupac Shakur's album All Eyez on Me, on the song "Got My Mind Made Up" alongside his rhyme partner Redman, the Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt) and Inspectah Deck, whose verse did not make the released album version (although his nickname "Rebel INS" can be heard as the song fades). He was also featured on Redman's 1996 album Muddy Waters on the track "Do What Ya feel".
On June 3, 1997, the Wu-Tang Clan released their Grammy-nominated multiplatinum double CD Wu-Tang Forever, the long-awaited follow up to 36 Chambers. The album has sold over 8.3 million copies to date worldwide.
His second solo album was Tical 2000: Judgement Day, released in 1998, which was heavily influenced by the apocalypse theories surrounding the forthcoming end of the millennium, and which featured myriad guest appearances from his fellow Wu-Tang MCs. The album was certified double platinum. Other guest appearances include Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, D'Angelo, Chris Rock, Mobb Deep, Redman, and brief cameos from Russell Simmons, Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, Janet Jackson, and Donald Trump. The album sold better than his first fueled by the party track "Judgment Day" and the D'Angelo collaboration "Break Ups 2 Make Ups", earning Platinum and Gold certifications in the U.S. and Canada respectively. Reviews for the album were mixed and its long runtime and abundance of intermittent comedy skits were widely criticized. Producers on this album included True Master, 4th Disciple and the RZA.
Method Man was part of the very successful Hard Knock Life Tour with Jay-Z, Redman, Ja Rule, and DMX. During this tour, Method Man & Redman recorded Blackout!, a light-hearted, bass-heavy, profanity-laced, party record with an EPMD-evoking emphasis on funky beats and the mischievous wit and cool flows and good rhythm of the two MCs. The album reached platinum status quickly, both in the U.S. and Canada, fueled by "Da Rockwilder", "Cereal Killa", "1, 2, 1, 2", "Tear It Off" and "Y.O.U." This album also featured three previously released tracks on which the two collaborated.
Their success would lead the duo on to star in movies and TV shows, become product spokespersons and household names, but also associated them with marijuana use in the media. The most immediate results of their success was their co-starring roles in the major motion picture film How High, their endorsement deal for Right Guard, Redman's starring role in Seed of Chucky and a short-lived sitcom on Fox Television entitled Method & Red.
The Wu-Tang Clan released The W on November 21, 2000, and Iron Flag on December 18, 2001. The W received both critical and commercial success for the group, while Iron Flag did receive some but not to the effect of The W. The efforts earned two more platinum plaques for the Wu-Tang Clan.
His first prominent role came in 1998 with the film Belly, along with fellow rappers Nas and DMX. He has since added many credits to his name, including roles in the films Garden State, One Eight Seven, and many others, with starring roles in feature films such as How High and Soul Plane. On March 27, 2007 Redman confirmed on BET's show Rap City that the sequel to How High was being written. The script for How High 2 is being written by Dustin Lee Abraham of CSI, who also wrote the first movie. In 2005, Method Man had a cameo in the horror movie Venom, where he played a deputy who is killed shortly into the movie. He also appeared in the 2008 movies The Wackness and Meet the Spartans.
Method Man appeared in the Def Jam series of video games. In Fight for NY he voiced Blaze, one of the main characters. In Icon, he voiced Gooch, a major character in the storyline. In Def Jam: Underground, He voiced Meth, one of the major characters. He made a guest appearance in the music video for the 2003 "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys, where he played the role of her boyfriend. He also appeared in Beanie Sigel's music video "Feel It in the Air", where Method Man played an undercover cop leading an operation against Sigel.
In 2004, Method Man starred in a Fox sitcom called Method & Red. However, after only a short time on the air, the show was put on hiatus and never returned. Method Man later spoke to the press about Fox's influence on the show's style, saying that "there's been too much compromise on our side and not enough on their side" and criticizing the network's decision to add a laugh track.