West Coast legend, MC Eiht, has released his first full-length album in 11 years. However, the Compton native may be unfamiliar to hip-hop fans in my age bracket. Most people my age who have heard of Eiht, have so because they are familiar with his guest verse on Kendrick Lamar‘s “m.A.A.d city”. What many people my age don’t realize, is that Eiht is a staple in West-Coast hip-hop, whose style has influenced a number of West-Coast rappers, including Lamar. Without artists like this, we would not know the West-Coast sound for what we know it as today. MC Eiht continues this sound on is new album, Which Way Iz West, and ultimately makes this project a blast from the past, in a good way.
One thing to take note of is the fact that DJ Premier (another legend) was an executive producer on the project, and even made a couple of the beats too. His influence can clearly be heard on the album and makes the album that much better. The album is clearly very West-Coast, however Preemo’s presence gives it a very vintage edge. A track like “Compton Zoo” embodies this observation. The beat on this track is just as boastful as Eiht’s hard bars. It embodies the West-Coast “ride or die” mentality while infusing Preemo’s vintage hip-hop flavor. It’s quite the track.
Another plus about the album was the guest features. First off, there’s a TON of em, including The Outlawz, Kurupt, B-Real, Xzibit, and Eiht’s very own, Compton’s Most Wanted. All guests delivered, which is a rare feat for an album containing that many guest features. However, I gotta give a shoutout to my favorite feature on the album, The Lady of Rage, because GODDAMN. She hasn’t lost a step since The Chronic.
In all honesty, neither has MC Eiht. Eiht is still aggressive as ever and West-Coast as f***, and it shows vibrantly on this album. It’s easy to say that this album is good because it’s “nostalgic” but in reality, it’s just a very well made hip-hop album. Production is handled excellently, and as I stated before, Eiht brings a lot of energy and passion to his lyrics that complements the energy of the beats very well. It also comes at a perfect time with summer just getting started (at least for me here in Rochester, NY). West-Coast hip-hop and summertime go hand in hand don’t you think?
Anyways, if you’re a fan of 90’s hip-hop and are still blasting The Chronic in your subs, I really don’t need to say much more. This is most definitely for you. This isn’t just good West-Coast hip-hop, this is QUALITY West-Coast hip-hop. It was really nice hearing Eiht back on some quality West-Coast s***.