July 13, 2010

Reader Review: Method Man - 4:21...The Day After (August 29, 2006)

(For today's Reader Review, D-Silbs brings our attention back to one of the better examples of recent Wu-Tang Clan output, Method Man's 4:21...The Day After. Be sure to leave your comments for D-Silbs below.)

On the heels of an undisputed classic (Tical) and a lesser quality-yet-highly popular follow-up (Tical 2000: Judgement Day), Method Man released his worst album ever, Tical 0: The Prequel, in 2004. Allegedly it sold enough copies to earn him a golden plaque, bit I highly doubt it, seeing as it sucked ass and all. (Not that something like poor quality has ever hurt anyone before, of course.). The story goes that Def Jam Records, his label home since the dawn of time, got all up in his grill about the beats: Meth (and, by proxy, Wu-Tang Clan fans) wanted The RZA to handle more of the production, whereas the label felt Puff Daddy should have more input (because of his amazing track record? What could have possibly caused this train of thought to leave the station? It couldn't have been a budget issue, because I would think that keeping The RZA happy would be much less expensive than paying for Puffy's entourage). As expected by everyone except the label brass, Diddy proceeded to screw everything up, so with his fourth album, 4:21...The Day After, Method Man was finally granted his wish, and The RZA was allowed in the building once again.

Hopefully this will hold up when compared to when I first heard 4:21...The Day After, retaining the Wu-Tang sound that we all miss, although considering that Ghostface Killah and GZA/Genius don't make any appearances on here, I somehow doubt it.

However, this quote from Meth, taken from dubcnn.com, is both fitting and funny: "This is just more RZA on production, shit like that. But some of the shit I couldn't do, because some of these producers were screaming out these n----s want a $100,000 for a track. Fuck that! Kiss my ass. I'm not paying nobody a $100,000 for shit, unless I can live in that mothafucka. Straight up. So that's what that is right there. But it's what I feel is the best I could do."

After a sound bite from an educational DVD about weed, Method Man takes over your mind, ripping shit over a sick RZA beat. The beat reminds me of “Buck 50” from Ghostface Killah's Supreme Clientele, which I suppose isn't that surprising, as they are both RZA productions. The song is too short, but who cares? It's still awesome.

Although Max wrote that he hated this song, I will go in the opposite direction and say that I loved it. Meth flows effortlessly over this Scott Storch instrumental, which sounds like a modern-day version of “C.R.E.A.M.” from Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). This may not be the old school Wu-Tang that we all love, but it's still nice. The hook is stupid, but you should expect that, since this is still a rap album.

The beat is classic Erick Sermon, but I haven't yet decided if that's a good or bad thing yet. Meth sounds good, sure, but the song is just boring.

Havoc (of Mobb Deep) brings a string-laced instrumental, and I kind of liked it. Method Man sounded pretty good, and his lyricism and delivery was on point. His line, "There ain't no pedophile that could fuck with the kid", is funny and creepy: however, I'd like to point out that he reused it on Blackout! 2, which is just lazy.


The instrumental is utter piffle, and even Method Man's above average delivery can't save this mainstream piece of shit. Sounds like a Soulja Boy Tell 'Em beat. Ugh.

Erick Sermon and Mathematics (representing the Wu Elements) craft a simple beat around some old Dirt McGirt lyrics, and it works extremely well. Dirty's opening words ("Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!") are inspiring, to say the least, as they immediately set the tone for a burst of nostalgia from the 1990's. Meth rides the beat flawlessly, and compliments the late ODB very nicely. Straight banger right here.

Yes! Another RZA production, and this one is even better than the first! The beat is perfect: eerie and awe-inspiring at the same time. Sadly, The RZA doesn't actually spit a verse, but Meth sounds amazing, and Carlton Fisk and Streetlife sound damn good as well. Hell, when even Max admits a song is perfection, then it is perfection. (I left that last line in there to stroke my ego, but I will say that this song still fucking bangs today.)

The beat is a little boring, which is strange, as I typically like Mr. Porter's production work. This track doesn't mesh with the overall flow of 4:21...The Day After, and for that reason alone, this is a skip. Also, the song sucks.

RZA reworks a technically-unreleased Ol' Dirty Bastard beat (for "Skrilla", off of A Son Unique) and the results are fantastic. This Wu-tang posse cut is my second favorite on this album, and here's why: U-God spits an extremely good verse for being the worst member in the clan, Raekwon sounds awake for once, and Meth spits fire over an amazing beat. A fantastic cut.

Pointless, really.

The sample is a little annoying, and the G-Funk, West Coast-ish beat doesn't fit Johnny Blaze at all. Nice try Meth, but it didn't work. Skip.

Every rapper has their one mandatory track per album that addresses all of the haters: “Say” is Method Man's contribution. To his credit, Meth manages to sway my opinion and blame his last shitstorm of an album on Def Jam and not himself, so bravo for being overly convincing.

There was some controversy surrounding this song upon the release of 4:21...The Day After, because Meth didn't know that Joey Crack and Styles P were going to make guest appearances (apparently Def Jam forced it upon him). As for the song itself, the beat rocks my socks, Meth sounds fantastic, Fat Joe sucks, and Styles P. does that annoying thing where he talks in the background of his verse. Overall, Meth shouldn't have been that worried, as I've heard worse.

RZA provides a strings-laced beat for Meth to basically freestyle on, but don't expect anything like “Knowledge God” off of Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Johnny Blaze sounds pretty good on here even without the burdedn of following a specific theme. This was an enjoyable listen.

Allah Mathematics provides the beat for this one and it is a banger, but I disagree with Max, as I feel "The Glide" is the better track. The hook sucks ass (Streetlife should hone his songwriting craft a bit), but the Rebel INS drops a quality verse, even though he claims that Masta Killa is alongside him when we never hear a verse from the guy. But hey, a Wu-Tang posse cut is a Wu-Tang posse cut after all, so its still a banger.

Reggie Noble never ceases to amaze me. He teams up with his “How High” partner for another fantastic collaboration, with RZA, Erick Sermon, and Versatile behind the board. Why they needed that many producers is beyond me, but hey, at least it worked out well.

This interlude is actually pretty funny.

It's about damn time! A traditional Kung-fu sound bite leads into one of the most Tical-like beats I've heard from The RZA in a long while. The beat perfectly complements Rae's sleepy ass flow, and RZA and Meth rip this track to shreds. This song is flawless.

Sure, this is the usual Def Jam radio friendly single-slash-contractual obligation, but the beat really isn't too bad for that sort of thing. The love rap happens to be Meth's forte, so he seems pretty comfortable with the subject matter. All in all, pretty good.

FINAL THOUGHTS: 4:21…The Day After is definitely not an old school Wu-Tang Clan album. However, the fact that it has any RZA production at all puts it above a lot of the group's output as of late. The second half of the project is much better than the first, but the production on the album as a whole is consistently good. Method Man sounds rejuvenated when he spits, making this pretty damn close to being a modern day Wu-Tang classic.

BUY OR BURN? Don't expect another Liquid Swords, but you should absolutely buy this shit. It's pretty damn good, and Wu fans will not be disappointed.

BEST TRACKS: "Intro"; "Is It Me"; "Dirty Mef"; "4:20"; "The Glide"; "Ya'Meen"; "Konichiwa Bitches"; "Everything"; "Presidential MC"


(Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave your comments below. And if you're interested, here's a link to my original write-up.)


  1. Tical is not an undisputed classic. It's a pretty good album, but it's dated as hell and I haven't seen one 10/10 review for it ever.

  2. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    This was the first Method Man album I heard way back when, and it was a minor revelation in '06.

    Now going back to it as you have and skimming through it, it's underwhelming, mainly 'cos of Method Man himself;
    the punchlines are dry as Hell and even songs like Presidential MC ain't sound as good 'cos of his lyrics.

    Tical '94 all the way.

  3. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    Good review
    Is it me sounds nothing like CREAM as I recall
    Presidential MC, 4:20 and the intro were all Tical-level
    Got to have it was pretty funny
    Solid album from Meth, doubt he'll let us down with his next

  4. Unless you counted Wu-Massacre as his "next"...

  5. @Evan - my own Tical write-up wasn't perfect (I didn't care for one track, and my writing back then was much more sparse than it is now), but it's fairly close to naming Meth's first effort as a "classic": http://hiphopisntdead.blogspot.com/2007/04/method-man-tical-november-15-1994.html

    Thanks for reading!

  6. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    meth never made a good solo album

  7. It's not that Meth never made a good solo album, it's just he never made a consistent album. They were kind of all over the place, it was hit or miss. The hits were fucking grand slams, but the misses were like being bombarded with garbage.

  8. I always tended to ignore this album I might just pick it up now.

  9. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    hey dude i like your blog, i'd like to see a review of "a prince among thieves" by prince paul..dope songs on that

  10. AnonymousJuly 15, 2010

    Been a long time reader, 1st time posting. Love your blog, keep it up man and review that new big boi! Peace from the UK

  11. A.R. MarksJuly 15, 2010

    This joint was good enough but I said fuck it. My "version" of 8 Diagrams is a mix of the RZA joints (the best ones pretty much), the best ones off there and some of the Chamber Muzik songs.

    I disregard this album and just listen to my own mix.

  12. AnonymousJuly 16, 2010

    for the love of god go back to your old format and use bigger test! even on my computer the text is way too small. i love this album though. i bought it when it first came out and it had to grow on me. i actually think fall out is kind of cool. even if the beat is a little mainstream. simple is safe, and not always awful. but seriously, please go back to your old format so i can read on my phone, and so i don't have to get a new prescription for my eyes lol.

  13. longtimereaderJuly 23, 2010

    New Wu is BULLSHIT. They completely fell apart after the 5 year plan. You're all living in the past and just hoping for something half as good as Tical to come out, but they just keep dropping garbage.

    Ya’ll are like old men still hanging up your KISS and AC/DC posters, telling the young guys stories about the music of the old days. It’s embarrassing. 4:21 is terrible just like Wu-Massacre…. Stop livin’ in that haze and see this shit for what it is.

  14. this is by far meths best album i might say that cuz the others are kind of befor my time only being 22. but this guy is dissing on some banger tracks do not listen cop the cd for free i promise it will rattle your side mirrors.

  15. this is space one 421 this my best cd aka sp1 my hart to yours

  16. yo method man this is space one 421 give me a call an ill pimp you out at our casino lauplin strip navada 928 234 7271

  17. I LOVED AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE THIS CD. 421 will be like those CD's sold out , Regulary in the shelf of CD stories 20 years ago and 20 years later. nam saying?! Love this review. Love method man. Very Strong delivery of his words. **Gag* *breathes* sigh* FUCK YEAHHH

  18. 4:20 is a ridiculous song, but I don't see how you can say Streetlife and Carlton Fisk's verses were "perfection." If it were just Meth then that would be the case - I don't know what he sees in Streetlife but he's not a very good rapper. If they were able to make Glide a Wu posse cut then they should have been able to do the same for this, the beat is even better. Just pisses me off that Meth wasted half of this legendary RZA beat w/ these two lame ass weed-carriers