“Jyeeeeeeah.” When that’s heard, you know MC Eiht is close by. Much like Ric Flair’s “Woooooo” and Snoop (or Too Short’s) “Beyotch”, Jyeeeeeeah was synonymous with Eiht throughout his 26 year career. He started out with Compton’s Most Wanted in 1990. They dared to storm on to the Compton music scene during the height of NWA’s success and quickly made waves, by starting an almost 15 year beef with DJ Quik. CMW released three classics, then MC Eiht flexed his acting chops as the O.G., A-Wax in 93’s Menace II Society.
“Straight Up Menace”, arguably one of the best songs on a soundtrack, was a huge hit and saw MC Eiht at the pinnacle of his career. He even was tapped to represent St Ides in their marketing blitz of the early nineties and found himself rhyming on a nationwide wide commercial. This laid the foundation for what was next. Eiht was now in his prime and kicked off his solo career after this. “We Come Strapped” released 22 years ago today, was his first solo and reached number 1 on the Billboard Rap/R&B charts. What an accomplishment as this was the album that he introduced his production skills. Eiht and DJ Slip from Comptons Most Wanted created newly formed EIHT HYPE responsible for the production of this classic. The entire albums production was flawless. They created a different sound than the G Funk that sold 100 million albums during the same time. The music featured a more jazzy and smooth sound that made you feel like you were in a dark juke joint.
Eiht starts the evening off with a photon bomb from Galvatron. “Def Wish III” was another entry in the scathing diss records between Mc Eiht and DJ Quik. Luckily this beef was kept on wax and bloodshed was avoided. Eiht got serious some jabs in over this smooth sinister track:
Uh, it’s time to vamp, lick my nuts like a stamp
Before your ass breaks camp, you get fucked like a tramp
Named David, they should call you Silly Billy
Mark ass nigga gets rolled like a philly
And you don’t want to see me
DJ Quik in a khaki bikini
“All For The Money” is one of MC Eiht’s finest songs and has to be on a greatest hip hop songs list of the 90’s. The vocals throughout the song, the smooth Tyrone Davis sample, Eiht’s laid back flow all help make this production perfect. He really flexes his storytelling as he effortlessly tells a tale of a 13 year old who robs folks in his neighborhood to make money. The kid is aware of the dangers but as Eiht illustrates,
“Now my other half is telling me I’d better quit
But I ain’t through in this shit, so I guess this is it”
“Nuthin But The Gangsta” was something hip hop dreams are made of. When I first bought this tape and saw my favorite MC – Redman had a song with MC Eiht AND Spice 1, I ripped the wrapping faster than Niecys clothes in high school. I knew something special was about to take place. I wasn’t let down. Eiht and Spice’s subject matter didn’t change, and Redman effortlessly was able to flow over the west coast gem that Eiht once again crafted. “Can I Still Kill It” was Eiht’s graphic sex talk over a funky production with a jazzy piano solo. This sounds as good it did over 20 year ago.
“Hard Times and “Compton Cyco” are both strong tracks. MC Eiht ends the show with the “Compton Bomb”. He puts the murder aside for a bit and gets braggadocious on us. Over a flawless production with more layers than a Vidalia onion, Eiht lets us know that his weed and music is the best thing to come out of Compton.
“We Come Strapped” came out in arguably the best year in Hip Hop history and you may have overlooked this. Understandable…..so there will be no judgment. The debuts of the Nas, Outkast and B.I.G all dropped this same year and they had all our focus. Plus we were still all high from The Chronic. This finely crafted album has stood the test of time, and sounds as magnificent as it did 22 years ago. So get your hands on this CD pronto and get ready for some 90’s hip hop gangsta nostalgia. Jyeeeeeeah.