Much like Walter White, Method Man is in the empire business. From his beginnings as a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan to his acting career, which has included incredible roles like Cheese from The Wire and Silas from How High, Method Man has always been a dynamic entertainer with his eyes just beyond the immediate.
Now the legendary rapper is back with his latest release, The Meth Lab, and you can peep the album trailer above to see an animated Method Man hunt down Jesse and Mr. White as he lays claim to his own empire, sounding as lyrically deft as ever. Having called his studio The Meth Lab for years, it was only a matter of time before the rapper went full Breaking Bad and embraced the semantic perfection of this pop culture reference. His abridged name is Meth–like, come on, man; it is too perfect. The album drops August 21 via Tommy Boy Entertainment, and I am already so stoked about it.
We also caught up with Method Man briefly to discuss his fascination with Breaking Bad, the How High sequel, and what to expect from his latest album. Check out the conversation and the new album artwork below:
Nerdist: Who is your favorite Breaking Bad character?
Method Man: From an actor’s stand point, I’d probably say Jesse. From a character’s standpoint, of course Walter White, but from an actor’s standpoint that character had so many arcs and layers that it’s an actor’s dream to play a part like that.
N: What about Breaking Bad inspired you musically?
MM: I mean, honestly, it was a no-brainer. My next album is going to be called Crystal Meth. Crystal meth is reference not necessarily to the drug, but to me. Being beyond gold–I love that reference. The thing you do before you get the crystal meth is bring it the meth lab, of course, to get everything right. That is a metaphor for the studio. A lot of times when we write our rhymes, we make references to pop culture, and that’s definitely a big part of pop culture now. It’s probably going to go down as one of the best shows in television history. Why not make that comparison to what we’re trying to do.
N: Who would win in a match of wits, Cheese from The Wire or Jesse from Breaking Bad?
MM: I think Cheese would whoop Jesse’s ass. Cheese wasn’t on drugs. Jesse, his outlook on life was hazy because of his drug use, whether he was on it or not. You still have a withdrawal process. There is also the fact that he didn’t handle pressure well, whereas Cheese was a little bit more cool, calm and collected and out for himself. He’d beat Jesse.
N: What can we expect from the new album?
MM: I kept it real and low-key, like I do in my studio. I know a lot of artists that have reached out, but I wanted to save those artists for my last Method Man album. I wanted this one to be a platform for more Staten Island artists to be heard that aren’t getting heard, because you know if it isn’t Wu Tang–I mean, we never blocked anyone from trying to get a record deal. I mean the way the record industry works is, if something’s not broke, don’t fix it. Bottom line is there’s a lot more talent to be heard from Staten Island outside of Wu Tang artists, and these kids are dope. I wanted to just give them a platform to be heard. I’m on every song, but I’m not exactly on any songs by myself, with the exception of one.
N: Any updates on your How High sequel with Redman?
MM: It’s funny you ask that, because we all sat down with a couple of writers about a year and a half ago. Their thoughts were good , the pitch was excellent, and we loved the idea. We went and we pitched it to Universal, who sent it to Focus, I believe. I don’t want to jinx anything, but, I mean, we got that far, so you never know what’s in the future for How High 2. I’m doing my due diligence now to see what’s popping and what’s not. And also, I’m doing my own work as far as acting.
N: Any final words of wisdom?
MM: No, just don’t eat the yellow snow–that’s all I got.
What is your favorite Method Man song? Let us know in the comments below.