Many know Method Man for the laid-back, yet hard-hitting rhymes he crafted with the Wu-Tang Clan, but few know that the rapper has love for another hard-hitting game — lacrosse. It’s true; the Ticallion Stallion grew up in the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island, NY, before moving to Staten Island and playing on the New Dorp High School lacrosse team.
Method Man’s love for lacrosse had only briefly been mentioned in interviews in the past, with the first one I can find dating back to 2015 (42 min interview, talks lax at 9 min). Then, in 2017, Method Man went on ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, and around the 22-minute mark reveals that he was smoking a blunt, and then goes on to discuss his love for the game:
“My cousin started me off when I was like 11 years old, and I just took to it, you know,” Method Man says. “Something with those sticks, and hitting people with them. When you’re a young, frustrated kid, you know, stick in our hands, and tell us get it, we’re gonna go get it.”
Then, in Season 1, Episode 7 of Hulu’s Wu-Tang biopic series, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, the episode opens with a scene depicting Method Man on a lacrosse field as a kid. This shined the spotlight even brighter on the rapper’s background with the sport.
Method Man is also involved with the Professional Lacrosse League, having partnered with them in 2020 for the released of a merch capsule, and also recording “BOOM”, the league’s official anthem.
The 2020 PLL Championship Series featured a cardboard cutout of Method Man in the bleachers alongside folks like Tom Brady and Steve Nash, but nobody really thought anything about the Method Man’s lacrosse background until he dropped in for an interview during an August 2020 game between Redwoods and Atlas to further discuss his connection with the sport.
Apparently, Method Man was quite good at lacrosse, and was especially fond of taking faceoffs as a midfielder. Among other things he talks about in the interview are a play that he remembers from high school called “North Carolina”, which allowed him to take the ball to the cage. He also reminisces about spending time in the penalty box and enjoying the physicality aspect of playing lacrosse.
After his PLL interview Deadspin tracked down Method Man’s youth lacrosse coach Alan Hodish and asked him if remembered what the rapper was like on the field as a kid. Hodish didn’t know who they were talking about until they mentioned Method Man’s real name, Clifford Smith Jr., and that’s when the lights came on. Hodish also remembered the North Carolina play and said that is was still in his repertoire for the superior athletes today.
Watch the full interview clip with Method Man, Paul Bermeister and Ryan Boyle below, and listen to the PLL anthem “BOOM” below that.