MC Eiht: Exploring His Impact on Hip-Hop Culture


Aaron Bernard Tyler, known across the music world by his stage name MC Eiht, is an iconic American rapper and actor. Born on May 22, 1971, in Compton, California, MC Eiht carved out a successful career for himself by drawing on his personal experiences growing up in the notoriously rough streets of Compton. The influential rapper chose his stage name partially as a nod to the numeral found in fellow rapper KRS-One’s name.

MC Eiht quickly rose to national prominence in the early 1990s as part of the seminal West Coast gangsta rap group Compton’s Most Wanted (CMW). Despite his young age at the time, he played a pivotal role in catapulting CMW to nationwide recognition, helping define the sound and style of the increasingly popular West Coast rap scene. Throughout the years, MC Eiht has showcased his lyrical prowess across a bevy of solo projects and collaborations, further cementing his status as a trailblazer in the hip-hop community.

From his roots in CMW to his extensive solo discography and guest appearances, MC Eiht has continued to shape and inspire generations of rappers and fans alike. With his unwavering dedication to his craft, MC Eiht has built a career that truly stands the test of time, proving that he is undoubtedly a key figure in the evolution and ongoing development of hip-hop music.

Early Life and Rise to Fame

Birth and Growing Up in Compton

Aaron Bernard Tyler, better known by his stage name MC Eiht (pronounced “M C eight”), was born on May 22, 1971. He grew up in the city of Compton, California, where he was exposed to “hood culture”. His stage name was partly inspired by the numeral in KRS-One’s name, and he chose Eiht for its links to hood culture, including Olde English 800 (8 Ball).

Forming Compton’s Most Wanted

MC Eiht was one of the founding members of the rap group Compton’s Most Wanted (CMW). The group’s music largely focused on their experiences and life in Compton. As CMW’s lineup changed, their record was eventually released under the name “MC Eiht Featuring CMW”.

Menace II Society and Streiht up Menace

In 1993, MC Eiht played the role of A-Wax in the critically acclaimed film Menace II Society. The film’s directors, the Hughes Brothers, sought out authentic street individuals for the cast, and Eiht fit the bill. His performance and the film’s success contributed to his rising fame in the entertainment industry.

During this period, MC Eiht released his hit single “Streiht Up Menace,” which was featured in the Menace II Society soundtrack. The song became one of his most iconic tracks and further established him as a force to be reckoned with in the rap world.

Throughout his career, MC Eiht has continued to make an impact in both the music and film industries. His collaborations with various artists, such as Bruno Mars on a remix of “Straight Up Menace,” have helped to cement his status as an influential rapper and actor.

Musical Career

Collaborations and Solo Work

Aaron Bernard Tyler, better known as MC Eiht, is an accomplished American rapper, actor, and producer. As a rapper, he began his music career as part of the group Compton’s Most Wanted (CMW), which gained nationwide recognition in the early 1990s through their West Coast gangsta rap. Later, MC Eiht would develop into an influential figure of West Coast Hip-Hop through his solo career.

MC Eiht has worked with numerous artists in the industry. Notably, his collaboration with DJ Premier resulted in the well-received 2017 album “Which Way Iz West”. Kendrick Lamar, another famous rapper, featured MC Eiht in the song “m.A.A.d city” from his hit album “good kid, m.A.A.d city”.

Albums and Singles

Throughout his career, MC Eiht has released several albums and singles, both as a solo artist and with Compton’s Most Wanted. Some of his noteworthy albums include:

  • “We Come Strapped” (1994)
  • “Death Threatz” (1996)
  • “Last Man Standing” (1997)
  • “Section 8” (1999)
  • “Veterans Day” (2001)

His discography also consists of titles such as “Real Talk” (2006), “Music to Driveby” (2001), and “Hood Arrest” (2006). In the singles category, “Keep it Hood” remains a popular track.

Style and Influence

MC Eiht’s influence on West Coast hip-hop largely stems from his storytelling abilities and the incorporation of elements from his life growing up in Compton. Many of his songs address topics such as gang violence and socio-economic struggles in the city. His stage name was also partly inspired by the numeral in KRS-One’s name.

MC Eiht’s style embodies a gritty, authentic feel that reflects the realities of street life. This approach resonated with fans and helped establish his unique voice within the genre.


Studio Albums

MC Eiht, the West Coast rapper from Compton’s Most Wanted, has released several studio albums throughout his career. His debut solo album, We Come Strapped (1994), featured collaborations with other Compton’s Most Wanted members, including DJ Slip, and garnered a strong response from fans of gangsta rap.

Eiht continued to release a string of successful albums, including Death Threatz (1996), which also featured collaborations with Compton’s Most Wanted. In 1997, he released his first solo album without any features from C.M.W. titled Last Man Standing. MC Eiht kept the momentum going with his fifth studio album, Section 8 (1999), and followed up with N’ My Neighborhood in 2000.

In 2002, MC Eiht released Tha8t’z Gangsta which showcased his signature storytelling style and street-smart lyrical content. Additional notable albums include Thicker Than Water (1999), where Eiht joined forces with fellow rapper Blaq Poet.

Compilation Albums

MC Eiht has also contributed to a number of compilation albums, providing his distinctive voice and lyricism to various projects within the West Coast gangsta rap scene. Some noteworthy compilation albums include:

  • We Come Strapped (1994) with Compton’s Most Wanted
  • Death Threatz (1996) with Compton’s Most Wanted
  • Thicker Than Water (1999) with Blaq Poet


Over the years, MC Eiht has released a collection of popular singles that have resonated with fans. A few of these standout singles are:

  • “Growin’ Up In The Hood” (1991), a song that sheds light on the experiences of growing up in a West Coast gang environment
  • “Fine By Me” (1997), a smooth, laid-back track with a catchy hook
  • “All For The Money” (1998), featuring an introspective look at the pursuit of wealth within the gangster lifestyle

By consistently releasing quality music and engaging with his audience, MC Eiht has solidified his status as a prominent figure within the gangsta rap genre.

Film and Television

Acting Career

MC Eiht, born Aaron Tyler, began his acting career with the 1993 film Menace II Society, where he played the character “A-Wax”. The Hughes Brothers, who directed the movie, wanted authentic street individuals in their film, which led to Eiht being cast in the role. He successfully portrayed a stoic gangster driven by the desire for violent revenge.

Appearances in Television Shows and Movies

Throughout his film and television career, MC Eiht has taken on various roles, collaborating with other notable figures in the industry. One such collaboration was with Snoop Dogg in the music video for “Candy (Drippin’ Like Water)”, which also featured artist Young Maylay. MC Eiht displayed his acting skills in the music video, which received recognition on the Billboard charts.

Additionally, MC Eiht has made appearances in various movies and shows related to the West Coast hip-hop and gangsta rap scene. His contributions often reference the street culture surrounding N.W.A, including themes like .38 caliber firearms and other elements of the Compton lifestyle. By participating in numerous TV shows and films, MC Eiht has expanded his artistic repertoire and influence within the entertainment industry.

Legacy and Impact

Influence on West Coast Hip Hop and Future Artists

MC Eiht, a prominent West Coast gangsta rapper, has significantly influenced the development of the West Coast hip hop scene. His involvement in the Compton, California, based group Compton’s Most Wanted, alongside DJ Slip, Tha Chill, and DJ Mike T, contributed to the group’s success and impact. MC Eiht’s style and lyrical content often revolve around his experiences in Compton, and as such, he provided an authentic representation of life in the area.

Ice-T, another important West Coast rapper, recognized MC Eiht’s talent early on and introduced him to a wider audience. With nationwide recognition, MC Eiht’s influence stretched beyond Compton. Artists like Spice 1, Brotha Lynch Hung, DJ Quik, and King Tee, all acknowledged the impact MC Eiht had on their careers. Rappers like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and their respective collaborators, Mack 10 and Goldie Loc, have similarly drawn inspiration from MC Eiht in their pursuits in West Coast hip hop.

Additionally, MC Eiht’s work has been referenced by newer artists, such as Kendrick Lamar, who sampled one of his songs on the track “m.A.A.d city,” further demonstrating his enduring influence on future generations.

Longevity and Pioneering Role

MC Eiht’s lengthy career in the industry can be attributed to his deep catalog and the credits he’s amassed, particularly for his work with Compton’s Most Wanted. Their debut single “This Is Compton” put them on the map, while subsequent releases like “It’s a Compton Thang,” “Straight Checkn ‘Em,” and “Music to Driveby” solidified their status as pioneers in gangsta rap music.

Working as both a solo artist and with Compton’s Most Wanted, MC Eiht has managed to stay relevant throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and beyond. His collaborations with various artists like 8Ball, WC, Kurupt, and Kam, showcase his adaptability and ability to work with others in the industry. His work on the “Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed (Remix)” and “The New Season” album with Ice Cube and Mack 10 highlights his ongoing relevance in the West Coast hip hop scene.

MC Eiht’s pioneering role and longevity as an American rapper are evident in his numerous releases and collaborations with a variety of artists during his career. He continues to work with other prominent figures in the industry, further cementing his position as a key figure in the history and development of West Coast hip hop and gangsta rap.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did MC Eiht and DJ Quik beef?

MC Eiht and DJ Quik, both rappers from Compton, California, had a long-lasting rivalry that can be traced back to DJ Quik’s debut mixtape, The Red Tape. In this mixtape, DJ Quik indirectly dissed MC Eiht’s group, Compton’s Most Wanted, and N.W.A. This feud continued for several years but has since been resolved.

How to pronounce MC Eiht?

MC Eiht is pronounced as “MC Eight,” with the “Ei” making the “ay” sound, and “ht” making the “t” sound. His stage name is inspired by the numeral 8, hood culture, and links to Olde English 800 (8 Ball) and .38 caliber firearms.

Total albums by MC Eiht?

MC Eiht has released numerous solo albums, with his debut album “We Come Strapped” released in 1994. He has also been a part of various collaborative works and mixtapes. With a music career spanning decades, MC Eiht has an extensive discography.

MC Eiht’s most popular songs?

Some of MC Eiht’s most popular songs include “Streiht Up Menace,” “All for the Money,” and “Geah.” Featured in his various albums, these songs have contributed to his reputation as a skilled rapper and storyteller.

MC Eiht’s acting career?

Apart from his music career, MC Eiht has also ventured into acting. He made his acting debut in the 1993 film “Menace II Society,” where he played the role of A-Wax. He has also made appearances in various television shows and other films.

How long has MC Eiht been active?

MC Eiht has been actively involved in the music industry since the late 1980s. He initially gained recognition as a member of the West Coast hip-hop group Compton’s Most Wanted and later transitioned to a successful solo career. With a career spanning over three decades, MC Eiht continues to contribute to the hip-hop scene today.