Meth Gets the Assignment: Taking a Walk Down Memory Lane With Cliff 'Method Man' Smith

There aren’t many people in hip-hop with an enduring legacy like Cliff “Method Man” Smith.

His lyrics went from “M-E-T-H-O-D Man” to, “I came to bring the pain hardcore from the brain.” He got sentimental with, “I got a love jones for your body and your skin tone.” And was lit (pardon the pun) rapping, “Excuse me as I kiss the sky.”


What’s your favorite Method Man track?

While I can’t remember when I first was first introduced to rapper-turned-actor Cliff “Method Man” Smith, I do remember my older brother (who was a staunch fan of the Wu-Tang Clan) blaring “Ice Cream.” I was too young to understand what any of the song’s double entendres meant, but I did get that Method Man was that dude.


Parlez-vous français? Mi amor, merci, oui oui, bon bons and all that good stuff,” quipped Meth. Now, as an adult watching that very video, I hear charm and wordplay and see the chipped-tooth smile.

Method Man, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday (50 where?!), has become a sex symbol, and his biceps remain the subject of many-a-group texts. The rapper-turned-actor is also a NAACP Image Award winner (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series) for his role in Power Book II: Ghost.

Give this Black man his flowers.

Smith offers sage advice to The Root on how to build a legacy: “I’d say being in the right place at the right time, dedicating yourself, finding your path and sticking to it regardless of any adversities or obstacles that get in the way.” The Grammy Award-winning rapper continued, “There’s gonna come a time when you look in the mirror and say that I’m tired of my own BS, and that’s the day that you have growth.”


Watch The Root take a stroll down memory lane, with our favorite zaddy, one of Shaolin’s finest, Cliff “Method Man” Smith.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.



I didn’t follow his music much after “You’re All I Need” but I’ve always liked his vibe. Of all the hip-hop artists of that time, Method Man seemed like the only one who would (and DID) actually grow up and mature into the kind of man that a woman could make a nice life with. Not a ‘Love & HipHop’ life of limited intellect, elevator fights, out in the street kids and one-upsmanship on watches and cars but one with real life values and milestones and anniversaries. I’ve never heard him spouting idiotic opinions loudly or even being places he should have tired of decades ago. Maybe I’m projecting based on the trajectory of his acting career and the types of roles he’s taken but I’d like to think he’s one. A ‘real one’ that I could respect.

See, y’all can’t say I don’t like Anybody!