Method Man has opened up about his continued status as a Hip Hop heartthrob, powered in part by the success he’s found in his second career as an actor.
Following his appearance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards as part of the Hip Hop 50 Tribute on Sunday (February 5), the Wu-Tang Clan rapper spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the significance of the milestone anniversary.
“I think we gave a voice to a lot of people that were voiceless,” he said of the role rappers have played over the years. “We basically were the ghetto news reporters for lack of a better word. And we we took a culture that people thought wouldn’t last and turned it into a multibillion-dollar business.
“The purpose of the music is universal,” Meth continued. “It brings people together no matter what ethnicity, what creed, what gender. And music means love.”
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When the conversation turned to Method Man’s roles on series like The Breaks, The Last O.G. and Power Book II: Ghost — for which he won the 2022 NAACP Imagine Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series — he was asked about his status as a middle aged sex symbol.
“Honestly, it’s great. It’s great to have to get your flowers now,” he said. “It’s also even better to be a fly on the wall to hear the conversations. But I’m gonna stay humble and keep doing what I do.”
The Staten Island star hasn’t always felt that comfortable about attracting fans with anything other than his music.
During an appearance on Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast last year, the 51-year-old revealed that he hated the attention he got from “All I Need,” his Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Mary J. Blige, and attempted to reject the love.
“I fought that ‘All I Need’ shit,” Method Man said. “I didn’t wanna put it out ’cause it was at a point now where, when we were doing these shows [with] Wu-Tang, I would come out and it’d be girls screaming. Now, for me, it’s like, I’m grimy, same-clothes-for-three-days-in-a-row nigga; who wants to go the sex symbol route at this point?!
“This is how I viewed it: all the guys that did the sex symbol shit lost their audience, which was the dudes co-signing and shit like that, ’cause dudes, you know, they playing the music,” Meth continued. “Chicks be like, ‘I don’t wanna hear all that.’ But they get exposed to it through their guys. So for me it was like, ‘N-gga, whatever. I’ma drop this ‘Bring the Pain.'”
As for his success in Hollywood, which, to date, includes starring and guest roles in over 20 films and 25 television shows, the rapper told Entertainment Tonight that it isn’t a coincidence. “I honestly really worked on the craft, too. And I guess it’s paying off, it’s working,” he said.
In a previous interview, however, Method Man explained that he believes there’s a less noble reason why he and other rappers have been able to make a seamless transition into acting.
“I think a lot of rappers are great liars,” he told daytime talk show host Sherri Shepherd last year. “I’ll just keep it a buck, a lot of them are great liars and I think that translates on screen. Honestly, it’s more of being able to stand in front of 15,000 people or 1,500 people and command their attention.
“Even like when people do plays,” he added. “We know that the scenery isn’t moving and we know that they’re not on an actual moving train, but we’re so intrigued by the actors and the process that’s going on in front of us that we allow ourselves to fall deeper into our imaginations.”
In January, Method Man notched two more NAACP Image Award nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Motion Picture for his role in the Paramount Plus film On The Come Up and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series for Power Book II.
He is next set to voice a character in Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil’s Dinosaur, an animated series about a brilliant 13-year-old girl who accidently transports a Tyrannosaurus rex to present-day New York City.
The show premieres on the Disney Channel and Disney+ on Friday (February 10).