June 17, 2007

Method Man - Tical 2000: Judgement Day (November 17, 1998)

After Wu-Tang Forever, the Rza's five-year plan for the Clan was at an end, which allowed the nine core members the freedom to handle their respective solo albums in any fashion they so chose. (This was an easy way for the Rza to avoid taking the blame if the Clan's follow up albums weren't any good.) As such, the nine men went their separate ways to record their various projects for their nine separate record labels, reaching out to each other sporadically for support, and for the still-mandatory-at-this-point "Wu posse cut".

And all of these albums sucked.

Well, not really, but that got your attention, right? The first five out of the gate already proved they were capable of handling an entire album on their own, so that left Masta Killa, U-God (ugh), Inspectah Deck, and the Rza himself, to prove their worth to the music industry. Before any of those albums materialized on the shelves, however, Method Man reappeared with his second effort, Tical 2000: Judgement Day (and yes, I know that's spelled incorrectly, but that's what it's really called).

Released on the Def Jam label in 1998, Meth tried to build on his success (and his Grammy) from Tical. He did this by putting out a bloated 28-track effort with way too many skits (although one of them is provided by the skitmaster Prince Paul) and a ridiculous amount of guest artists, although to be fair, most of them are Wu-related in some way. While the Rza provided a handful of tracks, most of the album is produced by Wu-Element True Master, who tries to make the most of his opportunity.


Tical 2000 sold over one million copies, most of which are sitting in a warehouse in Staten Island under the name "Clifford Smith". You have to give Meth credit for taking all of the critical heat for the Clan, especially since the Rza's first solo album (under the Bobby Digital moniker) actually came out one week after Tical 2000. But I'll talk about that one later.

Let's see how this goes.

1. JUDGEMENT DAY (INTRO)
Rap album intro. You know what to do here. Skip.

2. PERFECT WORLD
The first of three Rza productions presented here. Lyric-wise, Meth sounds pretty much how he did on the first Tical. Rza started his 'digital' sound on this album, though, for better or for worse. Why for worse? Because this beat sounds like shit, that's why.

3. CRADLE ROCK (FEAT LEFT EYE)
Great Odin's Beard, this album is off to an awful start. (Rest in peace, Left Eye.)

4. DANGEROUS GROUNDS (FEAT STREETLIFE)
Sounds exactly how a song on Method Man's follow up album should sound. In hindsight, Meth, probably should have bumped this up to track two, huh?

5. SWEET LOVE (SKIT)
...

6. SWEET LOVE (FEAT CAPPADONNA & STREETLIFE)
You know, for someone who was never really part of the Clan, Cappadonna sure pops up all over the place. (At least, he did before the gypsy cab stuff.)

7. SHAOLIN WHAT (SKIT)
This is interesting. They call it a skit, but it's really Method Man spitting a quick verse over a hard beat. Nice. Now why doesn't anyone else ever rhyme during their own skits?

8. TORTURE
For a song with this title, Meth sounds oddly subdued. Pretty good song, but not a harsh as you would expect from a guy who described multiple torture methods waaaaay back on Enter the Wu-Tang.

9. WHERE'S METHOD MAN? (SKIT) (FEAT ED LOVER)
There's really no need for this.

10. SUSPECT CHIN MUSIC (FEAT STREETLIFE)
Sounds as if Meth and Street were rhyming over a Gravediggaz outtake, which makes sense, since Rza provided the beat. Unlike his first contribution, this song is actually decent.

11. RETRO GODFATHER
And now Rza is one for three.

12. DOONEY BOY (SKIT)
...

13. SPAZZOLA (FEAT STREETLIFE, RAEKWON, MASTA KILLA, KILLA SIN, & INSPECTAH DECK)
The Wu posse cut. (Killa Sin is a member of the Wu-affiliate Killarmy, who I haven't reviewed yet, but it'll come.) In a sure sign of things to come, this song isn't very good at all.

14. CHECK WRITER (SKIT)
See the above Ed Lover skit.

15. YOU PLAY TOO MUCH (SKIT) (FEAT CHRIS ROCK)
Prince Paul-produced skit, featuring Chris Rock poking fun at all of Meth's various aliases. This was funny the first time I heard it, back in 1998. Now, it just sounds sad. Go ahead, release the dolphins on me, I don't care.

16. PARTY CRASHER
The beat is simple, but effective. That's all I got.

17. GRID IRON RAP (FEAT STREETLIFE)
I heard this song on one of Def Jam's Survival Of The Illest teasers that were packaged either with the first DMX album, the third Onyx album, or the Def Squad CD (I forget which). This song had me pumped to hear a continuation of of the first Tical. You can imagine how I felt after buying Tical 2000.

18. STEP BY STEP
Erick Sermon produces Meth's cover of that New Kids On The Block song from back in the day.

19. PLAY IV KEEPS (FEAT INSPECTAH DECK, STREETLIFE, & MOBB DEEP)
If only Mobb Deep were Wu-Tang, this would be the superior Wu posse cut. It even reads classier, what with the roman numerals and all. (There was another version of this song leaked online around 1999, which I remember as being much darker with different lyrics, but I might be wrong. Anyone have any info on this?)

20. DONALD TRUMP (SKIT)
Really, Meth? Are you fucking kidding me?

21. SNUFFED OUT (SKIT) (FEAT STREETLIFE)
Another skit with some rhymes, this time with Streetlife on the solo tip. Meh.

22. ELEMENTS (FEAT STAR & POLITE)
I have no clue who or what Star is, but Polite was one of Raekwon's weed carriers from the group American Cream Team. Inspectah Deck really shouldn't produce anymore.

23. KILLIN' FIELDS
After the Warriors-style intro, the True Master track kicks in, and Meth rides the beat as only he can. Pretty decent track.

24. BIG DOGS (FEAT REDMAN)
After the success of "How High" (from The Show soundtrack), the rap world was salivating for a collaborative album between Meth and the great Reggie Noble. Reggie gives the better performance here, but the duo work well together.

25. BREAK UPS 2 MAKE UPS (FEAT D'ANGELO)
The second single, which was a ploy to reach the fans who liked the "All I Need" remix with Mary J. Blige. It doesn't hold up. There's a version remixed by DJ Krush (featured on the Japanese release Tical: The Alter-Ego Remixes) that sounds infinitely better than this Trackmasters-produced snoozefest.

26. MESSAGE FROM PENNY (SKIT) (FEAT JANET JACKSON)
Why even bother having Janet Jackson on your album if she doesn't sing?

27. JUDGMENT DAY
The first single, which is inexplicably spelled correctly, when the actual album title is not. There was a backlash when this song leaked online, since most listeners didn't appreciate the new direction Meth was shooting for. I always thought the song was ok (the remix on the Japanese album mentioned above is much better), but the execution was lazy. He repeats the first verse for his third verse, which is inexcusable to me, unless this were an eighties new-wave song, which I'm sure it is not. Really. I just heard it, I'm pretty sure.

28. C.E.O.UTRO (SKIT)
And finally this album is over.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tical 2000: Judgement Day is, to put it nicely, not what people expected in a follow-up from Method Man. (To put it harshly, this album sounds mostly fucking awful.) I'm all for artistic growth, but this album was the first rock aimed at the Wu-Tang throne. It's clearly obvious that the Rza had more of an influence on the Wu sound than the other eight members would ever admit.

BUY OR BURN? 28 track album, with eleven skits? Sorry, Wu fans, but I can't condone that shit. There are some hot songs on here, but that's why burning was invented.

BEST TRACKS: "Dangerous Grounds"; "Suspect Chin Music"; "Big Dogs"

(Disagree with the above review? Leave a comment below! Don't be shy!)

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Wu-Tang Clan - Wu-Tang Forever
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
Method Man - Tical
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Redman - Dare Iz A Dark Side
Redman - Whut? Thee Album
Mobb Deep - Juvenile Hell
Prince Paul - Psychoanalysis (What Is It?)

16 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 18, 2007

    Meth got lazy on this shit, just seemed like he was in it for the paper...

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  2. Come to see my blog man!!

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  3. my thoughts exactly !I felt disapointed when i bought it back in the day and still am today! and you're right the beginning of this album sucks in a legendary way, it starts with the worst tracks , still get a shiver when i listen to those first two "songs"

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  4. EF Huttin'June 18, 2007

    Actually, I bought this album back when I was in college, and I liked it a lot. It's not quite a classic, but it's still definitely one of the best Wu-Tang albums, not to mention being light years ahead of the majority of the bullshit that rappers have the nerve to go into a studio and record, then charge us for. I'd buy it again.

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  5. I bought this album when it dropped. Let's just say it's one of the reasons I listen to anything before I buy it now a days.

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  6. AnonymousJune 21, 2007

    lol i got this in the cd club 12 for a penny thing back in the day luckily i think i played it 4 times and it got straight forgotten

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  7. I always thought that the beat to "Shaolin What" was so good. That should have been a full length song. Ghost tends to do that with his albums. Tical 2000 seemed to be an effort for Mef to try to please everyone. Too much ambition for any album.

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  8. I wouldn't burn a copy of this album if my life depended on it! The only decent album that Meth ever released was "Tical".

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  9. Dude, I disagree entirely. I loved this album, this whole album was a banger for me, especially for Junior Year. And that perfect world? I don't think you fully appreciate the capacity of Meth's lyrics, sir. And insulting the beats? What? Perfect world was well-produced du. I mean who else besides rza makes some shit like this? Pretty basic, but that's what really seperates whack producers from the good ones. When a producer can use a few or even 1 basic loop and make it sound hard. You need to up your appreciation game there bud.

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  10. EliteghostMarch 15, 2010

    the title track was pretty good in my opinion, despite the first & 3rd verse being the same.

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  11. I don't see why people are so dissapointed with this album. It wasn't on par with first round of solo albums, but the real shit like "Bobby Digital in Stereo" or "Golden Arms Redemption" were yet to come, and people are throwing "Tical 2000" in the same bag.

    Max, even your review was inconsequent, as out of 17 tracks, you thought at least 10 plus "Shaolin What" skit were at least good, and that isn't "mostly fucking awful". It may be a burn, but you hated, say, "Grandmasters" more, and you recommended to buy that one.

    Throw away the skits and Inspectah Deck productions and you got decent album, much better than what was to yet to come from the Wu.

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  12. this album is far from perfect but there is a lot worse stuff out there to buy!! cant believe you didnt like Spazzola?!?!

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  13. It's sites like yours & that Rapreviews website that make me miss out on albums like this. Tical 2000 is far from perfect, but it's also far from wack.

    Basically, it's Mef's Doc's Da Name 2000

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  14. I thought this album was better than Tical, his debut. Yup, actually I thought it was excellent, and Street did to this album what Ghost did to Rae's debut. This album was great.

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  15. Max, fuck you for turning me away from Cradle Rock. That shit was a fucking classic. Cradle Rock is shit and Party CRASHER gets a pass??!! Fuck outta here.

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  16. This album is a much better listen than The Day After, man. The hell is wrong with you?

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