Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 fantastic first solo albums recorded by artists who departed—or simply took a temporary hiatus from—their respective groups, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
METHOD MAN | Tical
Def Jam/Polygram (1994)
Selected by Daryl McIntosh
The Shaolin style was in full demand after the Wu-Tang Clan helped usher in a new era of hip-hop with their late 1993 LP Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Fighting his way to the forefront of their eight-man roster was Method Man, whose raspy, smoke-tinted vocals helped make some of the most memorable sound clashes throughout the collective’s groundbreaking debut.
Propelled as one of the group’s more prominent, if not their premier member, the auditory architect RZA seemingly rushed Method Man into the lab for the release of his debut solo LP. In arguably the most competitive year in hip-hop history, Method Man’s Tical (1994) initially received some harsh criticism in comparison to The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die and Nas’ Illmatic, but in retrospect Tical is a very solid album from a young artist that bore the responsibility of leading the charge for one of hip-hop’s most important movements.
Twenty-four years later, DJs can still spin “Bring the Pain” and “Release Yo Delf” at hardcore hip-hop venues to immediately invoke raw emotion from a crowd of now thirty and forty-year olds, which is a testament to Tical’s timeless street anthems and ultimate staying power.