Thursday, March 8, 2012

Line for Line: Method Man on "Next Up" by the Sunz of Man

--Official Stats--
Artist: Sunz of Man
Producer: True Master
Title: Next Up
Album: "The Last Shall Be First"
Release Date: July 21, 1998

Some time ago I mentioned that I might review this track due to the dopeness of Method Man's verse. Well, it's follow through time! I will say up front that Method Man brings his game on his verse, and he out-games his hosts. But who the hell are his hosts? Nobody knows. The Sunz of Man. Who? Exactly. So this album was the first album released by Wu-Tang Records, it goes the heavily religious route but still manages to pull out a few bangers. I think it even had a major hit with the song Shining Star, featuring ODB and Earth, Wind, & Fire with production by Wyclef Jean. That's weird (and not a very good song). In the end the album was pretty good and earned significant spins in the Tort Labs back in '98 - '99. Cool.

So this song is a late album banger which isn't that much of a banger after all. The problem is that the production is a bit stale which forces the MCs to step up their energy an lyrical game. Fortunately everyone does. I guess I should just say what everyone is thinking, True Master has some dope production, but he's no RZA. I get sick of writing up reviews of medicore songs and then discovering that True Master was asleep at the boards. Come on!

While the producer may have been lacking on the beat, the MCs were not...well, some of the MCs were not. This is a posse cut, I guess, with three Sunz spitting a verse and then Method Man closing out the track, and I don't know if I can say this right but the title of the album is played out in this song. If I listed the MCs in order, best to worst, the last on that list is the first to spit. "The Last Shall Be First". Get it? Dammit this blog is stupid. What I'm trying to say is that the each MC that spits is better than the guy before him. 60 Second Assassin is first and his verse is just bad. Prodigal Sun is next and also flops. Thankfully Hell Razah brings a decent verse, kicking it off with this line:

"If I could chew glass to this Ture Master shit..."

Dope right? Yes.  So Method Man ends it and just kills everyone. He does way better than he should have. Yo, Meth, you should have saved this one for your own album, you know, to make it less wack. Okay, so here is the verse:

[Hell Razah] Next up?
[ Method Man ]
Yo, I believe that’s me.
[ Hell Razah ] Aiyyo Meth lock it down like LAPD.[ Method Man ]
While you proceed to cut the mustard, I cut the cheese.
Mr. Freeze givin' cold shoulders to MCs.
The sickest of disease,
Johnny Blaze at three hundred and sixty degrees,
my PLO steez is from here to overseas.
Guerillas in the mist swingin' from the highest trees,
bombin’ enemies.
See me in the global war being all that I can be:
camouflage fatigue, hard-headed, major league.
Got 'em under siege. Your battleship is sinkin’
20,000 leagues beneath sea level.
Adjust the treble on that thang thang get your shovel.
Can you dig it? Keep talkin’ ‘bout it while we live it.
All day, every days a Billie Holiday.
Lady sings the blues, get the street news.
By the way, have you heard crime pay?
Hit your block like that lava that burnt Pompeii: mega hot.
In the melting pot, felt the shot around the world
We unstoppable like Juggernaut, baby girl.
Armed and dangerous street militia, I'll make you famous.
Gamma-radiated verbal going through changes.

We get some required comic book references (X-Men & Spider Man), some history, some clever wordplay. It's all good, and one of Meth's best. And it's buried on this weird album that nobody heard. I would say keep up the good work Meth, but we all know that didn't happen.

Method Man Score 10/10
Next Up Score 7/10

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