MC Eiht

Words: Johnny "Jbutters" Mann; Photography: Dan Menick

eihtcover1new_550x730“When I first started listening to rap I listened to people like Afrika Bambaataa, Treacherous Three, Schooly D., Eric B. and Rakim, my neighborhood favorites like Mixmaster Spade and Toddy Tee, Kurtis Blow, DJ Pooh, Just Ice, The Fat Boys, Biz Markie and all that,” reminisced MC Eiht. “I came from the era with artists that kids look at right now and say you niggas are played out. But they taught me longevity and how to rock the mic. Back then, it was about glamorizing your skills. The biggest of the biggest niggas back then was just rapping. It wasn’t about my record went platinum this week and we was in the club pouring Kristal all over naked bitches. Back then niggas told stories, Slick Rick told stories, Heavy D. taught you how to have fun and N.W.A. put you in situations. I learned not to get caught up in ‘I sold fifty million and I bought the Eiffel Tower and put a diamond on it!’ I can’t relate to that and niggas I hang with can’t relate to that cuz we don’t have it, we on the grind trying to hustle right now. Niggas back in the day taught me not to get caught up in the glitz and glam cuz you can have it today and tomorrow you don’t but if you got skills those skills are gonna carry you a long time.”

Those skills have carried Eiht throughout his fifteen-year career that began when N.W.A. blew open the door allowing him and his Compton Most Wanted cohorts to provide a second helping of the gang inspired poetry that put Compton on the map. In 1989, CMW presented a different flavor than Eazy and Dre with their debut “It’s A Compton Thang,” which served as the inspiration for John Hughes’ film “Boyz in The Hood” and gave the soundtrack a hit single in “Growin Up in the Hood.” CMW followed up with two more albums, “Straight Check’n Em” and “Music To Driveby” before Eiht started out on a solo career that would produce another eight albums anchored by the classic single “Streiht up Menace” from the Menace II Society soundtrack.

Magazine:Elemental Magazine
Date: June 09, 2004