Written by Agah Bahari and Photographs by Ashley Sherwood
As a part of Legends Series, the American GRAMMY Award winning hip hop artist, record producer, actor and one-ninth of the hip hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan, was back in Toronto. Clifford Smith, AKA MZA, yet best known as Method Man, was back to share the magic with a packed, sold-out house at Sound Academy.
Arrived at 9:00PM, I joined a medium-sized line of people in different ages, shapes, sizes and colours, surrounded by ticket scalpers in different ages, shapes, etc. It was around 9:30 when I was by the entrance. Just before getting in, I noticed that a lot of comp(limentary) tickets were being handed out. No shortage of interest, of course, yet a bit of a puzzling act for a sold-out show. I got inside and joined the already half-packed venue.
Going through the opening act by Rez Fresco, there was a heavy, constant injection of new people into the venue. I stepped out for a minute and realized that a lot of people are being rejected due to the number of people who were already inside the building. I went back inside and right then, Method Man stepped on the stage, wearing a heavy vest and a Canada Goose aviator hat. Through the screaming of the crowd, Method Man started his set with “Release Yo’ Delf”, a classic from his 1994 debut album, Tical. Already among the crowed, Method Man continued with “Bring the Pain”, another hit from the same album.
Method Man took his fans on a smashing ride through his 20+ years career with some of the most acclaimed and memorable combinations of words ever created and used in the hip hop scene and culture, since the beginning. As expected, however, it was Wu-Tang Clan classics that really satisfied Toronto’s hip hop community, also created the coolest and most energetic, chaotic moments of the show. Method Man finished his 75-minutes set with another classic, “C.R.E.A.M.”, from Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang.
During the act, Method Man expressed his disappointment on how strict Canadian customs regulations are (which by the way is the only complain about Canada I’ve ever heard from any touring musician) and shared a story that that ended with him standing up in the middle of a customs office and yelling the famous Wu-Tang line: “Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuthing ta fuck wit”. It was immediately followed by the song of the same name, yet another classic from Wu-Tang’s debut album. Other than that, Method Man frequently mentioned how much he loves Canada and it’s weed. A notion that was strongly carried by nodding heads, lighting up joints, and Method Man himself sharing a few puffs on the stage of Tornto’s Sound Academy.