MC Eiht: Geah!

It’s easy for LL Cool J and Ice Cube to have released so many albums. At least, it’s easier when you’re backed by a major label. What about the others though? Who are the veteran’s of Hip-Hop? Who’s managed to make the most records, and still get up in the morning to rap? MC Eiht […]

It’s easy

for LL Cool J and Ice Cube to have released so many albums. At least, it’s

easier when you’re backed by a major label. What about the others though?

Who are the veteran’s of Hip-Hop? Who’s managed to make the most

records, and still get up in the morning to rap? MC Eiht deserves your respect,

and as you’ll see, he commands it.

While Lloyd Banks’ line about Eiht may’ve been a playful poke, it

serves as an eerie reminder to the lack of respect new artists are paying the

greats. In his sixteenth year, with almost as many albums, Eiht is a living

legend. And if your experience with Eiht’s music has been limited to admiring

his defiantly gangsta album covers, or Eiht’s a figment of your youth,

now’s time to make the sale and reunite.

On the verge of

releasing, Veterans Day, Eiht and AllHipHop shoot the breeze about

Lloyd Banks’ line, New York gangstas, Tupac’s adoration of Eiht’s

music, Mack 10’s credibility, and more. Lace up your Chuck’s, and

park your Regal to the left, we gotsta give it up to a true Hip-Hop hero. Don’t

get gaffled.

The records I’m hearing lately are monotonous. Veteran’s Day

is the best Eiht record I’ve heard in ten years. The obvious thing,

without pulling punches, is Lloyd. Why does that bother you, what he rhymed?

MC Eiht: I took

it as him, trying to reference himself to me. It’s a little ludicrous

to me. I respect Young Buck. I did a song with him a couple years ago. I know

him. I don’t know Lloyd, I don’t know 50. I know Game a bit. When

I first heard it, everybody was trying to approach me as, “Is he dissing

you?” I feel like this: it’s a positive and negative. My first reaction

is, why’s a n*gga talkin’ ‘bout me? My second reaction is,

maybe he just swingin’ on my nuts. Maybe he wants to be an east coast

version of me. But I been around for fifteen years…that’d be me

trying to compare myself to a Tupac or Biggie.

It reminded me if Nelly saying he’s number one, and KRS got heated.

MC Eiht: Right,

right. Definitely. To say you number one, I give you props for sellin’

ten million on the albums. But still, lotta records today sell off of gimmicks.

They don’t sell off of quality lyrics and beats no more. It burned me

a little. But the cat’s not me. He’s done one record – good,

but I’ve done twelve, thirteen albums.

Plus, the night Eminem was discovered at the Rap Olympics, you performed. You

brought out the crowd, and thus the Interscope execs. By chance, Em gets a deal.

Without Em, would 50 be as large? Without 50, is Lloyd as big? You see where

I’m going here.

MC Eiht: A lot

of people have told me about that. Even Wendy Day mentioned that. I performed

the night Em got discovered. I waited til’ all these lewd, up and comers

get they shine on. I sat there, three, four hours, listenin’, watchin’.

My pops had just [died]. But as a true professional, I had to perform.

But I know you’re deeply rooted with true gangsters out in New York. It’s

not coast hating.

MC Eiht: No doubt.

It’s funny, because there’s real n*ggas who don’t have to

symbolize themselves by doing what we do. Fat Joe. When I started going to New

York in ’90-’91, I used to be real cool with Premier. Premier used

to pick me up at the airport. Busta Rhymes, Red and Meth, there are true gritty

n*ggas in New York that I have way mad love and respect. A n*gga can’t

respect Eiht if Eiht put on some pink jerseys, bandannas, and Timberlands. That’s

not my trademark. Stick to what you stick to. Don’t confuse the public.

Don’t step in my arena. It makes a n*gga who knows what real is, come

at you.

You said fourteen albums. The only people close to that in my mind are LL and

KRS, Too Short. Especially in the last ten years, I think it’s great that

you can sell a record a year. But the acclaim went down. We Come Strapped

was a classic. Aren’t you worried that you’re over saturating? Can

a Section 8 or Th8t’s Gangsta mean anything in ten years?

MC Eiht: I don’t

look at it like that. I look at it like it keeps me fresh. When you older, you

gotta exercise. Somebody might not get this, or that. But the more I do, the

more variety I’m giving a person to choose from. I put a record out every

year. Some of ‘em sell, some of ‘em don’t, but I don’t

care. But as long as that muthaf***a’s in the store. As long as a fan

can say, “Damn, Eiht’s still doing records!” I can make money

off of other s###, but I wanna do that record. Because, this one might be the

one to reach the people! Last one didn’t work? Okay. I got more tricks

in my bag.

You got the classic loop on “Streets Don’t Love You,” Barry

White was a gangsta, what did somebody like that mean to you physically and


MC Eiht: Definitely.

He was an O.G. Blood from L.A. That’s what made his music so street. He

came from South Central. Barry White had perfect s**t for me. I been using Barry

White since I started rappin’. Barry White or Issac Hayes. They just had

that depression, that struggle music. It was a perfect marriage.

You said depression. How much in making the albums, is it difficult?

MC Eiht: Really,

every time I write a rap, when I’m writing on some real s**t, I don’t

worry. I just want somebody in my neighborhood, or in some neighborhood to be

going through what I’m going through. N*ggas who don’t have Bentleys,

and don’t have jobs, what is they going through? Unemployment is high

right now. Everybody can’t be rappers like me, or editors like you, or

magazine owners or store owners. There’s people who wake up everyday ready

to shoot themselves. I connect with them, because I know struggle. I’m

not no motherf***kin’ billionaire! I struggle everyday to feed my kids.

‘Pac used your records to inspire him in jail. Did he ever tell you why

or how?

MC Eiht: Basically,

what he said is that my music got him make it through the day in jail. I get

this from a lot of people. Because you be f***ed up when you locked up. You

feelin’ like nobody going through what you going through. Nobody understands

what you goin’ through. When you listen to a n*gga, and put his records

on, and he talkin’ ‘bout mothaf***as is f***ing you, and you struggling,

trying to maintain, life just ain’t fair.

Hoo Bangin’ Records was the first time a big budget label in the West,

was built upon veterans. It was the underground Death Row. What the hell went

wrong, that was supposed to be your big break?

MC Eiht: Hoo Bangin’

didn’t work because it wasn’t the hard labor and longevity dream

of a n*gga who had struggled. I mean, Mack 10 came in the game like a baby with

a sliver spoon in his mouth. Mack didn’t have to put out two or three

records before he knew what it was to have fans, and be successful. Mack got

thrown into a pot of platinum n*ggas. His direction was foggy. The headman didn’t

have no ambition. He liked the name, and gettin’ the check, but when it

came to runnin’ the day-to-day operations, like a Suge would do, or a

Puffy would do, Mack didn’t give a f***. He didn’t care.

How do you feel about the new Compton – Game and Guerilla Black?

MC Eiht: I don’t

know about Guerilla Black. I heard he was from Mississippi. I gotta get some

more feed on him. Get some references, man. I mean, it’s good for the

city. Eiht is still here – a n*gga that’s been down since ’83,

rappin’ since ’88, reppin’ Compton ever since.

You and Quik. As a man who damn near spilled blood over wax, how do you feel

about these silly hype beefs as of lately?

MC Eiht: That was

some real s**t. It was real! It wasn’t a media hype thing like Ja Rule

and 50 Cent, Nas and Jay-Z. We wasn’t trying to get on TV or stage and

talk about each others’ mommas or girlfriend.

I bet that ordeal didn’t even sell that many more records for y’all.

MC Eiht: It didn’t

help me sell no records. We didn’t talk on the phone the night before

and say, “Okay, tomorrow when you at the record store, I’m gonna

come…” No! N*gga, if I found out you was at a record signing, we

was gonna pull up there and the record signin’ was fittin’ to be

cancelled, ‘cause there was gonna be some s**t. I wasn’t try to

sell a single record. That’s why, when it stopped – it just stopped.

We put this to bed before somebody get they head knocked off. This ain’t

no Rap thang. Bullet shells really burn!



drops September 28th, respect the architect.