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METHOD MAN, 4:21...The Day After, Def Jam
Inside the jacket of 4:21... The Day After, Method Man thanks the industry for inspiration: "The day you stopped believing in me is the day I started believing in myself." The album title represents his "moment of clarity" after the fog that is 4:20. It's no wonder he's frustrated, as the album dropped with virtually no promotion and on the same day as The Roots' latest -- also on Def Jam. Not a good sign from new label head Jay-Z. The album's a little heavy on guests, but at least most make worthwhile appearances. Fat Joe and Styles P drop in on "Ya'Meen," Redman shows up for "Walk On," and Streetlife proves he's still hanging on patiently as Meth's Memphis Bleek on "Everything." Raekwon and the RZA rekindle the Wu fires with "Presidential MC," but most notable among Clan cameos is a recycled performance from the late ODB on "Dirty Mef." It only reinforces that he is truly missed. So is the Tical-era Meth. Although he starts to approach the days of old on the Scott Storch-produced "Is It Me," "Somebody Done F----- Up Now" and "Problem" -- and the executive production by Erick Sermon and the RZA helped -- Method Man just doesn't quite reach the heights of his past. And tracks that feature the soft sides of Ginuwine and Megan Rochell only drag it down further. The critics have inspired Meth, but just not enough yet. Don't stop believing, though.
Click here to find out how to buy this album.

-- Mason Storm

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