Method Man on Heroes, Aging, and His Dream Dinner Party Guest List

Portrait of Method Man
Portrait of Method ManDaniel Prakopcyk

Method Man, the legendary rapper, currently starring in the Starz series Power Book II: Ghost, on aging with grace, life among the Wu-Tang, and a sure-fire cure for heartache.

Men’s Journal: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Method Man: Save your money because you’re not going to last long in this business, pal.

Patrick Dempsey photographed by Nigel Parry on February 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. Styling by Annie Jagger. Grooming by Jill Dempsey. Production by Cool Hunt, Inc. Dempsey wears a vintage Tag Heuer Autavia. Clothes his own.

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Who were your heroes growing up?

I had superficial heroes—Superman, Bruce Lee, people like that. When I got older, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King came into play.

How should a man handle getting older?

With grace.

What does grace look like to you?

Just walk with confidence, like you get it now. What’s that old adage? “If I knew back then what I know now.” It’s like, I know now. That’s how you age with grace.

Who’s been the biggest influence on your life?

My team, Wu-Tang Clan. A lot of life lessons learned amongst eight, nine different individuals.

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Such as?

When you’re amongst a group of men, a good listener learns. And sacrifice. Everything you do isn’t for yourself. It’s for the betterment of your team.

What role should vanity play in a man’s life?

Appearances matter, especially in this business; your appearance has to ref lect your brand. Me, it depends on my environment. When I’m at home, I’m just regular. When I’m out and about and I know people are going to be there, I can turn up.

And what human quality do you most deplore?

Mean people. What are you mean for? Mean people need their own planet where they can all be mean to each other. Let the beautiful people stay here and smile all day.

What living person do you most admire?

Our Black intellectuals are doing a great job right now—from Michael Eric Dyson to Neil deGrasse Tyson. I got to shout out to my brother Cornel West. And AOC. They’re doing so much to be heard and seen. I wish I could do more, but I’m not as eloquent as some of these people.

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What’s the best cure for heartache?

Ice cream.

What’s the most indulgent purchase you ever made?

An ice pick I bought myself, a diamond ice pick.

I’ve gotta ask: How much does one of those set you back?

One hundred K.

Who do you invite to a dream dinner party?

Jesus. Burt Bacharach. My granddaddy, who I never got to meet. Obama—I’d definitely invite him and Michelle, because I was on his playlist one year; that was dope. Dave Chappelle. And Cookie Lyon, from Empire.

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What adventure most changed your life?

My last overseas tour. I came to the realization that I wasn’t moving forward or progressing. No album was being put out, no movies or TV shows were being made. I said, “I’m going to do something different; I can contribute more to this game than just performing at these shows.” I made a commitment to acting and went and slept on my manager’s couch for a month. Went on auditions, took classes. That was a turning point for me.

How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone?

I’m glad you asked that. Not too long ago, somebody was asking me how I wanted to be remembered and I said, “Wu-Tang Clan has a district in our old neighborhood. I’m going to be remembered. That’s proof right there that I was here.” — Interview by Larry Kanter

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