We waited 6 years for this? It's a shame how the mighty have fallen, as Clifford Smith AKA Method Man is now but a mere shadow of his former self. While he maybe the Wu's most recognizable and beloved member, he has certainly displayed the worst work ethic in all of Hip Hop the past decade. With 10 years in the game, "Tical 0: The Prequel" is surprisingly only his third solo effort, and easily his worst.
There are no real words to describe the transformation of Method Man on "Tical 0" but disgraceful. Not many could have envisioned an abominable effort the likes of this, however, Method Man did the unexplainable by dropping the worst Wu album in the clans long and prosperous history. While Meth proclaimed that Def Jam sabotaged his latest effort by not allowing him to choose which tracks would make the final cut, there is no real excuse for producing material this bad in the first place. "The Prequel's" main downfall is the production aspect, which is down right appalling. Saying the production on "Tical 0" is the worst to come along in the last 5 years would be an understatement, as Method Man's beat selection could only be outdone by a deaf man.
Even though Meth has stayed in the commercial limelight, his gritty demeanor has always transferred over onto wax, no matter his superstar status. However, that is not the case on "The Prequel" as Meth replaces the old hardcore and grimy sounds of the past with dated, simplistic and embarrassing keyboard production. Yes, that’s right, you will not hear Mr. Meth kick some hardcore shit on "Tical 0". Instead, you will hear the Ticallion Stallion rock over some of the worst beats known to mankind. With production ranging from bad to unexplainable, Mr. Meth constantly struggles to find himself over uncharacteristic beats by the likes of Jelly Roll, Dofat, Rick Rock, Denaun Porter, E3 & Rockwilder.
The worst of these being the Jelly Roll produced "Who Y'all Rollin Wit" featuring Street Life. The track is without a doubt the worst Method Man song ever. Jelly Roll's bouncy West Coast keyboard production is down right atrocious, as is Street Life's contribution with his extremely weak hook. However, Method Man can't pass off all the blame, as his performances on this and the majority of the album are proof of his deteriorating skills over the years. With an abundant amount of forced and overused punch lines such as "I'm the new era like ball caps", Meth displays hardly any lyrical hunger on "Tical 0". Not to mention his flow, which has been down graded to mediocre compared to his prime in the mid to late 90's. More lyrical and production blunders can be seen on unbearable tracks such as the Rockwilder produced "Act Right", "The Prequel" & "Crooked Letter I" featuring Street Life.
Besides the production aspect, "Tical 0" also suffers from an overload of forced guest appearances. The club sounds of "Say What" featuring Missy Elliott is a generic and contrived effort from Meth, as P.Diddy & Dofat lace the track with a typical Bad Boy club sound that is all too uncharacteristic for Meth. Even worse is the gimmicky sounds of "Rodeo" which is so awful it can't even be saved by Ludacris. Besides uninspiring club anthems, Meth also tries his hand at duplicating his last big solo hit "Break Ups 2 Make Ups" with "Tease" featuring Chinky. But as with all the material on "Tical 0", the end results never meet expectations.
While it's hard to believe that Method Man would release an album this bad, it's quite true. "Tical 0" is a formulaic album that was made specifically to move units, not to appeal to Method's hardcore fan base. However, if you can possibly sit through one of the years worst albums there are a couple of decent tracks that prove Mr. Meth isn't completely dead just yet. With Rza behind the boards for "The Turn", Meth & Raekwon prove the two can still come together to produce good material. Ghostface also comes through to lend a helping hand on the morning after tales of the "Afterparty". And even though "The Motto", "What's Happenin" and "The Show" fail to live up to Method Man's lyrical standards, compared to the ten other unbearable tracks on the album, they are a welcomed edition.
Even though the Wu have had their struggles over the years, no member has ever sunk this low and released an album of such poor quality. All excuses aside, one has to question what Method Man was thinking while recording most of the material for this album. It's almost mind boggling how such a great emcee can fall off so hard and degrade himself to putting out material like "Who Y'all Rollin Wit", "Say What", "Rodeo", "Act Right" & "Tease". Whether it's Def Jam's fault for forcing Meth to put certain material and individuals on "Tical 0" is another story in itself. Nevertheless, Method Man should be ashamed for releasing material this bad in the first place. Let's just pray that Meth gets his head together and is able to rebound from such a monumental disaster. But knowing his work ethic, this will probably be the last Method Man album we will ever see.