More than 3,000 fans crammed into the Garage on Dunster Street yesterday to meet Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man and singer Redman at Newbury Comics.
The rappers signed autographs inside the store for almost four hours while hundreds of fans staked out the tour bus parked on Dunster Street, waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars.
"How far back do I have to go?," said one Cambridge Police Officer asked to name as spirited a crowd. "Led Zeppelin at the Boston Tea Party in 1969--from my small vantage point, it seems like the same kind of reaction."
Many of the fans said they waited more than three hours to meet the singers. But most said it was worth the wait.
"Oh my God, it was the shit," said Katie Berdachowski, 21, who arrived at 4 p.m. and got her autographs around 7 p.m. "It was completely worth it."
The two only signed special edition "Month of the Man" posters. Fans had to buy a copy of an album to receive a poster.
Of the two, Method Man, whose latest album Tical 2000: Judgement Day has sold 500,000 copies since November 17, seemed to be the main draw.
"I didn't say much [to Method Man]," said Kathia Diaz, 17. "I was just in awe."
Fans who were able to talk to the singers praised them as friendly and down-to-earth.
"He's just a normal human being," Summer Perry, 22, said of Method Man, whose real name is Clifford Smith.
"I got to talk to him for a little bit," said Sammy Leonard, 21, a Boston University student. "He's pretty cool."
Sargent Richard Gardner of the Cambridge Police Department estimated more than 3,000 fans passed through the store.
Outside, fans chanted the singers' names and waited for the rappers to emerge from the Garage.
Darnell Ballard, 15, a student at Cambridge Ringe and Latin High School, said rumors of the singers' appearance in Cambridge had spread through the school all day.
Ballard waited on the sidewalk with his friends for several hours to see who he said was one of his favorite rappers.
"Every album he [Method Man] comes out with, I'll be the first one to get it," Ballard said.
A few Harvard students were among the predominantly teenage crowd.
Katie M. Heikkinen '02 said she had not knownthat Method Man was coming to the Garage, butrushed to Newbury Comics after hearing he wasthere.
"I was so excited I ran through Annenbergyelling `Method Man is here," she said.
The singers left Newbury Comics at about 7:30p.m. As he stepped into the tour bus, Method Manwaved to the throng behind a police line onDunster Street, then threw his jacket into theirmidst.
The mob then followed the bus, which had apolice escort, as it left Cambridge down Mt.Auburn Street.
Tina Williamson, 17, waited in line for threehours. After receiving an autograph--and ahug--from Method Man, she could barely containherself.
"Since seventh grade, I've been in love withhim," said Williamson, who turns 18 next month."This is the best birthday present ever."
--Joshua H. Simon contributed to thereporting of this story.