Method Man – “The Meth Lab 3: The Rehab” review

This is the 7th full-length album from Staten Island’s very own Method Man. Coming up as a member of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan, he would go on to have a very successful career of his own on top of that whether it be albums like the solo dolo Tical & the Redman-assisted Blackout! or appearing in movies like How High or shows such as Power. He’s already dropped the first 2 installments of The Meth Lab trilogy to mediocre reception & is already closing it out by dropping The Rehab.

“Stop Crying” with Cappadonna is a soulful opener encouraging that there’s no room for bitching in this game whereas “Butterfly Effect” with RJ Payne finds the 2 over some airy boom bap production talking about being in the public eye. Hanz On tags along for the rock-tinged “Black Ops” taking shots at those who thinks they can be a music critic just before the grimy “Guillotine” produced by Rockwilder reminds everyone how raw Meth is with the lyrics.

Meanwhile on “Live from the Meth Lab”, we have Redman & KRS-One accompanying Meth over some dusty drums declaring themselves as the ones leading into Jadakiss as well as Eddie I & 5th Pxwer coming into the picture for “Switch Sides” talking about they can’t be around those who change up over a crooning vocal sample. 5th Pxwer sticks around for the Bollywood-influenced “Act Up” laced by Erick Sermon telling everyone to move back from them, but then “Training Day” takes a more morbid route thanks to the homie Blizzard welcoming listeners to such.

“King of New York” with Carlton Fisk & Chunk Bizza finds the trio on top of an eerie instrumental advising no one wants trouble with them while the song “Find God” with Intell incorporates some more rap rock production talking about either becoming a born again Christian or grinding hard. The penultimate track “The Last 2 Minutes” is a boom bap banger with a haunting sample saying he’ll give you the world & “K.A.S.E.” with Carlton Fisk & Hanz On ends the album with some social commentary over some more traditional East Coast production.

I didn’t go into this album with the highest expectations given how lackluster the previous 2 installments were, but it’s probably my favorite of the trilogy albeit not by a whole lot. The features are pretty uninteresting for the most part & Meth can still rap his ass off much like the predecessors, but the production is a tad bit better.

Score: 2/5

Method Man – “The Meth Lab 2: The Lithium” review

Method Man is a 47 year old rapper known for being apart of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan. He only dropped 1 album this decade, which was The Meth Lab back in 2015. Personally, I found it to be his weakest effort yet due to the cut-rate production & packing damn near every track with features just for the sake of having features. However, he’s returning with his 6th full-length album & it serves as a sequel to that project.

After the “Pilot” intro, we go into the first song “Kill Different. Here, Meth & Raekwon talk about achieving success over a rap rock beat. The track “Eastside” with Intell & Snoop Dogg see the 3 paying tribute to their home coasts over a boom bap beat with some strings & after the “Thotti Gotti” skit, we go into the song “Grand Prix”. Where Meth compares himself to Ricky Bobby in getting money over a gloomy Dame Grease instrumental.

Then after the “Impractical Jokers Pranks” skit, the song “Drunk Tunes” with N.O.R.E. & Mall G perfectly lives up to it’s title over a bland beat. Following the “Emergency Forecast” skit, the song “Wild Cats” with Redman, Streetlife & Hanz On talks about how reckless all 4 of them are over a piano & a guitar. “The Lab” with Spank talks about the drug game over a minimalist beat while the song “Bridge Boys” with Kash Verrazano Talk about hood fame over an apocalyptic beat.

The track “Back Blockz” with Youngin’, Cardi Express & F.R.E.A.K. talks about doing shit by themselves over an eerie beat while the song “Ronins” with Cappadonna, Masta Killa & Hanz On is filled with battle bars over a gritty beat with an organ. After the “Impractical Jokers: Torture” skit, the song “2 More Minutes” talks about being underrated over a rap rock beat. Then after the “Pussy on SoundCloud” skit, the song “S.I. vs. Everybody” is a boring rendition of “Detroit vs. Everybody” off the 2014 Shady Records compilation SHADYXV.

The track “Lithium” with Hanz On & Sheek Louch reflects on their days in the streets over a boom bap beat with a wailing guitar while the “P.L.O.” remix is a lackluster sequel to the song off Meth’s classic 1994 debut Tical. The song “Killing the Game” with Pretty Blanco speaks for itself for a generic trap beat & before ending with the outro, the final song “Yo” tells the listener to respect them over a somber trap beat.

Yeah, I didn’t care for this. Method Man still has it lyrically & the production is slightly better than the predecessor but just like last time, I still feel like it’s packed with a lot of filler.

Score: 2/5

Wu-Tang Clan – “The Saga Continues” review

When it seemed like 2014’s A Better Tomorrow would be the almighty Wu-Tang Clan’s final group album, they’re now returning with their 7th official full-length album (excluding the single-copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) & they have enlisted Wu-Elements member Mathematics to produce it in it’s entirety. After a 91 second instrumental intro with a spoken word sample & then an actual spoken monologue from the Clan’s de facto leader RZA, we are then treated to the album’s first song “Lesson Learn’d”. Here, Inspectah Deck teams up with Redman to remind you that they never play around over a hard hitting boom bap instrumental & I also didn’t mind Deck’s jab at the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin purchaser Martin Shkreli near the end of his verse, given that he’s an evil culture vulture. The track “Fast & Furious” is pretty much Raekwon & Hue Hef getting mafioso over a menacing instrumental & while Hue was just ok, Rae definitely made up for it. After a short instrumental interlude that takes it back the group’s early days with a Kung Fu sample, we are then lead into the next song If Time’s Money (Fly Navigation). It’s pretty much a Method Man solo cut, but he makes up for his last album The Meth Lab by hopping on an instrumental you can really kick back to & spitting a long yet charismatic verse.

The track “Frozen” may have a lazy hook as it recycles a couple Rae & Ghostface Killah lines from “4 Horsemen”, but the verses from Meth about pushing the limit as well as the vivid storytelling from Killah Priest & the lethally angry Chris Rivers make up for it some keys along with a bass guitar & a regular guitar. After a 45 second skit with a soulful instrumental in the background, we then get into the next song “Pearl Harbor”. Here, the late Sean Price gets with Meth & RZA to confrontationally spit bars like being the greatest & telling your crew to wear shorts with an image of you on it over some gritty horns as well as some keys & an organ. I also love how RZA brings back his Bobby Digital alter ego during his verse & the one line he makes midway through his part about how he can turn Lady Gaga heterosexual again was pretty hilarious. The track “People Say” sees Deck, Meth, Rae & Masta Killa linking back up with Redman alongside to get braggadocious over a very soulful boom bap beat. “Family” is a 1 minute skit containing a sample of a mother talking about family (hence the title) & the next song “Why Why Why” is basically a conscious RZA solo cut over some funky bass & some decently sung vocals from Swnkah.

The track “G’d Up” is basically Meth & R-Mean talking about being just that & the beat is pretty luscious, but the Mzee Jones hook sounds like a cut-rate T-Pain. The song “If What You Say Is True” sees Cappadonna along with GZA & Masta Killa getting with Streetlife to spit some abrasive battle rhymes over some sinister horns. The “skit” Saga is less of a skit & more of RZA spitting about haters not wanting the Clan grow & even a cool reference to the Flint water crisis over some beautiful strings. The 91 second “Hood Go Bang!” has a decent Redman hook, but then lone verse that Method Man delivers nearly has the same rhyme scheme throughout that it’s crazy. The final song in the track listing is “My Only One”, where Cappa along with The Abbott & Tony Starks rap about their boos over a grimy instrumental. The next 2 tracks are just a 2 minute interlude with a funky instrumental & long spoken word sample & then a 45 second monologued outro from the RZA over the same instrumental as the one in the intro.

At the end of the day, this was a lot more consistent than the last few group albums. It feels more like a compilation considering the fact that there’s only 1 or 2 group members on a number of tracks & U-God not being on it at all, but everyone including almost all the features go & Mathematics probably made it the Clan’s most well produced album since The W

Score: 4/5