Method Man is an American hip hop artist, rapper and producer who developed as one of the most visible voices from the East Coast hip-hop collective known as Wu-Tang Clan. He also forms a part of a duo with another rapper known as Redman. Seen as one of the pioneers and pacesetters during the formative stages of hip hop in the US, he is part of a special generation of rappers including Tupac, P. Diddy, fellow New York City-based rapper, the late Notorious B.I.G. A Grammy award winner and actor, Method Man has been an influence in the industry for over three decades. With six solo studio albums to his credit and four collaborative albums, he has cemented his place as one of hip hop’s most revered figures.
How Method Man Found Success As Part of The Wu-Tang Clan
Method Man was given the name of Clifford Smith at birth on the 2nd of March 1971 as the third child of his family. He, like his sisters, divided his time between his parents who were separated at the time. His father lived in Long Island and his mother in Staten Island so a young Clifford was raised in both places.
The difficulty in his childhood stemmed not only from his parent’s separation but also from financial difficulties. Clifford took a lot of odd jobs to support himself and eventually ended up peddling drugs. Despite this rough childhood, he had some education in poetry and music from his father. This background allowed him to become a part of the Wu-Tang Clan, and he made it onto the group’s debut album which was called Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.
The Wu-Tang Clan allowed its members to also pursue solo careers and release their own projects under any record label of their choosing. Method Man chose to sign onto the rap label Def Jam Recordings and in 1994 he released his debut solo album which he named Tical. Tical was a critically acclaimed and very well-received project. It entered American charts in the number 4 spot and has today sold over a million copies.
The track titled All I Need was remixed by Mary J. Blige and the remix went on to win the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Method Man also found some incredible chemistry with another rapper called Redman and the two formed a hip-hop duo known simply as Method Man & Redman.
As a solo act, He went on to release six studio albums which included Tical (1994), Tical 2000: Judgement Day (1998), Tical 0: The Prequel (2004), 4:21… The Day After (2006), The Meth Lab (2015), Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium (2018).
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With the amazing success that Method Man has had in music, he still went after an acting career starting in the 1990s when he appeared in the film Belly alongside other rappers like Nas and DMX. Since then he has added many more credits both on feature films and television series. In fact, he has had recurring roles in some big television shows like HBO’s The Wire and Oz. The rapper has also shown up in a series of video games made by Def Jam. Altogether he has featured in over 35 films, one of the most recent being the 2019 film Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
The Rapper Has Never Been Far From Controversy
It’s no news that most hip hop artists of his era were never far away from issues with law enforcement. Method man has previously alluded to the fact that he dealt with drugs and also experimented with its usage as a teenager before facing music squarely.
In May 2017 New York City Law enforcement pulled over Method Man over for a regular check only to discover he was in possession of marijuana. The officer on duty when he asked him to wind down was met with smoke oozing out of the car. With further investigation, other bags containing marijuana was discovered. The marijuana found weighed found 28 grams.
He was charged with driving under the Influence, criminal possession of marijuana, and driving an uninspected motor vehicle. He, however, reached a plea bargain which had him agree to community service, and make music for children in which the lyrics must warn about the dangers of drug use.
Method man has also been arrested for tax violations. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion and failing to file his income tax between 2004 and 2007. During that period his unpaid taxes were $33,000. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge and had to cough out a $106,000 fine. Method Man is said to be worth $20 million. Most of that money still stems from his career in rap, but his acting appearances have also no doubt contributed. He has also pioneered a fitness brand Tical Athletics which mostly makes fitness gears.
The Ace Rapper Has Long Been Married To His Ride-or-die Tamika Smith
Method Man has always prioritized his family life especially considering his own childhood with separated parents. He got engaged to the woman who became his wife, Tamika Smith, in 1999, and in 2001 the two got married. Tamika Smith has worked as a caretaker – providing developmental aid for adults who have physical disabilities at SIDDSO. Her Nursing Education was completed at Oneonta Job Corporation.
Together, Tamika Smith and Method Man have three children. Their first son Sha Smith was given birth to in 1996, and in 1997 their second son Raekwon Smith was born along with their only daughter and last child Cheyenne Smith. The two sons are following in their father’s footsteps as rappers and the family lives in Staten Island, New York.
In 2006, Tamika Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer. The family kept her entire fight with the disease pretty private until talk show host Wendy Williams went public with the news. Prior to that, close family members and relatives didn’t even know she had an ailment. Method Man didn’t take this breach to his privacy kindly especially when she laced it with allegations that he was having an affair with his wife’s doctor.