Method Man

Tical 0: The Prequel

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Method Man's third solo work, following 1998's uneven Tical 2000 (and released a month after Ghostface's superior-in-every-aspect Pretty Toney Album), arrived with many conflicting rumors and circumstances attached to it. On the M2 program Spoke 'n' Heard, Meth informed journalist/host Touré that Tical 0 is his best record, and alluded to being boxed in when working with one producer and one sound. Around the same time, the official Wu-Tang website reported that the MC was not pleased with the version Def Jam opted to put out, due to its scant number of RZA productions -- one single cut, when an entire record's worth was allegedly put together throughout the past couple years. Whatever the circumstances might be, there's no doubt that Tical 0 is even less penetrating than Tical 2000, a record that at least had its ambitions to retain interest during the lulls. At its best, this one offers brief bursts of okay-to-decent tracks. The most energizing moments typically come when Meth's supported by the likes of Busta Rhymes ("What's Happenin'") and Ludacris ("Rodeo"), but the productive conveyor belt of guest spots -- which chucks out well over a dozen of them, including Missy Elliott, Raekwon, Kardinal Offishall, Chinky (not Chingy), and soon-to-be fellow sitcom star Redman -- also weighs down the whole process. Likewise, the list of producers comes pretty close to being lengthier than the list of guest MCs; this makes the record seem unfocused and disjointed, not diverse and well rounded. Meth seems more clear-headed than ever, possibly a result from his cleaned-up, family-oriented lifestyle. (The lyrical matter, however, does nothing to reflect this change.) His throaty rasp isn't nearly as doped out as it was a decade prior, but his personality remains an attraction. As an MC, he's had nothing to prove for quite some time. Give or take a couple hot tracks, this release is not likely to play a significant role in his legacy.

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