Personnel includes: Method Man, Booster, Carlton Fisk, Inspector Deck, Street Thug (vocals); Blue Raspberry (background vocals).
Engineers include: Prince Rakeem "The RZA", Method Man.
Recorded at 36 Chambers, Staten Island, New York; Chung King Studios, Firehouse Studios and Platinum Island Studios, New York, New York.
One of the most impressive debuts in hip-hop history belonged to the Wu-Tang Clan, who took the industry by storm with their chambers of underground artists. Among the Clan's royalty is the Method Man, the lyrical mastermind behind the group's breaking single, which happens to carry his name. TICAL, then, is basically the "return of the Wu-Tang" in the form of the Meth.
Where any Wu-Tang release is concerned, Prince Rakeem The RZA is responsible for the production, emphasizing da beats. On TICAL, he drops a discordant, two-note piano all over "What The Blood Clot," and a loud, wandering electric piano line which competes with the vocals in the mix of "Biscuits," offering a sort of hip-hop analogy for buzzing lo-fi guitars. The RZA also accents the pop feel of "Release Yo' Delf," which mischievously swipes the melody of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," with an anthemic trumpet line that could have come from the ROCKY theme.
The anxiously-awaited TICAL humbly portrays Method Man's capability to "impregnate the rhythm with the wisdom." But his bravest move, in the midst of street-tough raps that promise to "Bring The Pain," is to offer a hardcore love song. "All I Need" is a promise of devotion to a woman who has stood by him through thick and thin, and serves further notice that TICAL is not just another ruffneck release.
Rolling Stone (12/29/94-1/12/95, pp.178-80) - "...He's...capable...of something resembling a love song....But it is with its heaviest numbers...that TICAL delivers the primo goods."
Entertainment Weekly (12/9/94, p.76) - "...one or rap's most formidable players....[Method Man's] gripping rhymes creep out of the darkness and take listeners hostage..." - Rating: B
Q (7/01, p.88) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q (2/96, p.65) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995 - "...every second [is] worth paying attention to..."
The Wire (10/01, p.46) - "...Compact but fried....There's a reason Meth is the closest The Wu have to a star..."
Vibe (11/94, pp.125-126) - "...Method is the man who would be king....Method takes the listener on a brilliant journey through the broken boulevards of existence..."
The Source (1/95, p.85) - 4 Mics - Slammin' - "...His hoarse voice and sense of what's metaphorically fly have seen him take over as hip-hop's urban paramilitary....He shows a fragmented hip-hop nation what this music is really about..."
Melody Maker (5/23/00, p.56) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[Meth] comes correct with [this] beamed-down-from-Planet-Mars [stuff] making music that's way darker and more disorienting than was previously thought possible. 'Bring The Pain' is 'still' the bomb."
NME (Magazine) (12/23-30/95, pp.22-23) - Ranked #40 in NME's `Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995.
NME (Magazine) (1/28/95, p.47) - 8 - Excellent - "...The East Coast hip-hop renaissance continues apace...supremely laid-back, mooching along at a bass-weighted amble whether it's framing the monogamous lover's lament of `All I Need'...or the `I Will Survive' hook of `Release Yo Self'..."
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