'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': The Method Man's backstory unveils as Bobby and Shotgun try for record deals

We also see a cameo from Jake Hoffman as Steve Rifkind who helped launch the Wu-Tang Clan

In this week's episode of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga', we see the Method Man, then known as Shotgun (played by Dave East), still reeling from Haze's death from the last episode. This week, the episode opens with a young boy playing lacrosse and we find out that this boy is Shotgun. Many did not know that the Method Man played lacrosse, but he did speak about it during an interview in 2017 and in this episode, we see what he spoke about being played out on the screen. We also see the GZA (Johnell Young) talk to his agent for Bobby (Ashton Sanders) and the latter gives Shotgun's track as well. While the record executives are excited about signing the two young men, Shotgun is angry at being racially profiled by the executive he talks to and acts out in the club. This does not make the agent happy, who decides not to take on Shotgun anymore, but we see the birth of Prince Rakeem (what Bobby chose as his rap name before he thought of the RZA), a name inspired by the Five-Percent Nation.

Back to Shotgun - as a young boy, he played lacrosse in Long Island, but he is forced to leave when his uncle who is out on parole, relapses. When he first comes to Park Hill, we see him being made fun of for holding the lacrosse stick, but a young Haze stands up for him, giving a shoutout to Jim Brown - a professional NFL player for the Cleveland Browns and is in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. More than five years ago, Method Man had spoken about this player, admiring him. 

Young Shotgun holding his lacrosse stick, on 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' (Hulu)

During The Dan Le Batard Show in November 2017, Method Man got high and spoke about playing lacrosse with the hosts. He mentioned an incident from when he played where he was body-checked by another player and Shotgun was given the 30-second penalty. But he comes back and levels the other player, getting called off the field. We see this exact event in this week's episode of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga.'

Here are a few more things you may not know about Method Man, who was reportedly the Notorious B.I.G.'s favorite rapper. Method Man's youngest son is named after his groupmate from Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon, and plays football. He was against the Wu Wear, despite the clothing brand bringing in a lot of revenue for the group. In a video for GQ, he spoke about casting Dave East to play his younger version, saying he "saw it as an opportunity for somebody that's like myself when I first got into it, 'cause there weren't a lot of people giving you the chance to show that you can do it. So, when I seen Dave's name in the pot, I was like, 'yeah, he's just like me."

Shotgun (Dave East) and Bobby (Ashton Sanders) stand near Haze's memorial on 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' (Hulu)

In this episode, we see Bobby and Shotgun discuss what their rapper names could be and while they didn't say "the RZA" or "Method Man" yet, we can see it coming. The show also depicts how the two transcended their Stapleton-Park Hill rivalry to make music and hope for something better in their lives. 

You may have recognized Dustin Hoffman's son Jake Hoffman in this episode. He's there for a minute barely, but his character, Steve Rifkind is very important to the story. Rifkind is an American music entrepreneur, who according to XXL magazine, is "responsible for breaking in some of hip-hop’s biggest artists in his 25 years in the business." He was influential in launching the music careers of several hip-hop artists in the early and mid-90s, including - you guessed it - Wu-Tang Clan.

'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' airs on Hulu on Wednesdays.


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