Method Man Recalls Def Jam Blackballing R.A. The Rugged Man
R.A The Rugged Man says Def Jam prevented him from working with Method Man. Method Man questions Def Jam sending him to Quad Studios.
R.A. began the conversation by speaking on his first encounter with Method Man, which took place at the Def Jam office. He revealed that Meth approached him first and that shortly after their meeting, the Wu-Tang Clan lyricist released his record, "Method Man.”
He says he then told Meth that he was being black-balled by the label, but the rapper didn’t believe him.
“The first time I met Meth I was in the Def Jam office,” R.A. The Rugged Man said. “And he was like ‘Yo, Crustified Dibbs. Yo, Dibbs.’ And I was like ‘yo.’ I said ‘Thanks. Appreciate it. What’s your name?’ He’s like ‘Method Man.’ I was like ‘I heard of you, man.’ Then three, four months later that fuckin’ ‘M.E.T.H.O.D.’ was the biggest record on the fuckin’ radio. And then his career went a little better than mine. And I seen you. I said ‘Yo, they black-balled me, Meth.’ And you was like ‘They didn’t black-ball you, R.A.’ I’m like ‘No, they black balled me.’”
Method Man then shared his side of the story as he commented on being perplexed by the label’s opposition to him recording a collab with R.A.
“And I didn’t know,” Meth said. “And this is where I take over the story. I had no fuckin’ idea. So, I’m pining for my dude. I’m like ‘Yeah, I need R.A. The Rugged Man on the joint and shit.’ It got quiet. ‘No, we are not paying for R.A. The Rugged Man. What are you gonna get out of him? It’s like this is the guy that shows his ass on stage with dirty underwear and shit. No, no fuckin’ way.’ And I had to take a step back and shit because at that point in time they had never told me ‘no.’ You know what I mean? And it was like I had to analyze the shit and shit. And I was more or less like ‘Maybe the nigga just—What did he do? Did he—Is he fuckin’ crazy or some shit? What the fuck?’ You know what? Safe than sorry. Safe than sorry. And you know what? My G, I should have did it any fuckin’ way. And just let it ride out.”
“A lot of rappers should’ve did it anyway,” R.A. added. “And you know what’s crazy? Before that happened he said to me too, he was like ‘You are not black-balled. You are not black-balled. You are not black-balled.’ He didn’t believe me. I said ‘I’m black-balled. Trust me.’”
Lastly, Method Man stated that if Def Jam had his safety in mind then they wouldn’t have had him record at Quad Studios, the New York City recording studio where the late Tupac Shakur was shot five times.
“And honestly, if Def Jam was really worried about my safety they would not have had me in there recording at Quad where Pac got shot,” Meth said.
Following his departure from Def Jam, R.A. The Rugged Man has addressed his time spent at the label. During an interview with Unkut.com last year, he revealed that both Def Jam and Jive wanted him to hide his identity.
“So when I first signed to Jive, and when Def Jam wanted to sign me, they all wanted to do it where nobody knew I was a white boy,” he said. “They wanted me to keep the hood on my corner, because they knew I was respected amongst black folks. There was just radio, there was no YouTube clips, so everybody knew R.A. The Rugged Man, the name. but they didn’t know the face. So they said let’s not show your face on the single or the album cover.”