Welcome to our new series, Rappers I've Met.
As you've hopefully figured out by the title, the series will consist of ...times...people...have...met... rappers, preferably in unpredictable situations. Meeting Kendrick Lamar backstage at a show, or during a scheduled interview, isn't a story. Having Kendrick Lamar crash your wedding, that's story, and while we'll be posting stories from a wide range of people, I'm kicking things off with the time I met Method Man in a suburban Domino's and he "borrowed" a dollar from me.
It's 2007, Boston, and my younger brother and I decide to hit up Rock the Bells, featuring a re-united Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang deliver an underwhelming performance, feels more like a line of kids waiting for their turn to jump off the diving board than a cohesive group performance, and it's also east coast summer hot so we're sweating like Rick Ross in a volcano, but whatever. I've now seen Wu-Tang Clan live, bucket list concert crossed off.
It's the Wu-Tang Clan.
The store is staffed and filled entirely with white teenagers whose eyes light up; partly excited, partly terrified, they look like people who just saw a spaceship land as they wait for someone to get off the tour bus. Within minutes the store is flooded with people, maybe 15 guys, but no one I recognize until Method Man walks in. It turns out Method Man in real life is exactly the Method Man you'd expect from the videos, or at least the Method Man you'd expect at 1 AM in a suburban Dominos. Loud, unstoppably energetic, undoubtedly higher than a Russian satellite, he briefly terrifies the kid behind the counter by demanding an entire container of those flake things before breaking out into a smile and laughing.
We're sitting in a back booth watching the insanity unfold when Meth spots us and approaches. "Yo, where'd you get that?" he asks my brother, nodding towards the Arizona Ice Tea. My brother points across the street to the CVS. Meth pauses, seems to be considering something profound. "Those things really a dollar?" he asks. Yep, they are. Another pause. "Yo, let me borrow a dollar," he says, not aggressively, but in a way that makes it clear he fully expects two random white guys to give him a dollar.
While he says this he has a diamond-encrusted Wu-Tang chain wrapped around his hand, the W resting on his wrist like a watch, and I briefly consider telling him to that he can clearly afford his own ice teas, but it turns out he's right. These two random white guys are totally going to give him a dollar, and once we fork it over he strides across the street to CVS to make his purchase.
Meth returns with an ice tea - I'm vaguely shocked he got it himself instead of sending some weed carrier to do the job - cracks it open, takes a satisfied sip, shoots us a nod of appreciation and the entire crew exits on mass backs to the buses, pizzas in hand. Within seconds the buses are gone and the store begins to feel like the morning after a hurricane. It's evident a storm was here, the wreckage is visible, but in the calm of the present moment it feels impossible that just a short while ago the environment was so radically different.
And that, is the time I met Method Man. He still owes me that dollar though...
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.
Photo Credit: A/V Club