Microphone Check: Still Checkin’ ‘Em Lyrics

Compton’s Most Wanted Lyrics

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Some people get into rap for the money. Others, like MC Eiht, do it because it is in their hearts. With his third LP just hitting the racks, I spoke to him about longevity, career and real rap.

Why do you think you are so popular in the underground?
Because I don’t have any gimmicks or make party records so girls can shake their b***s. I’m tryin’ to give you a street dictionary of real life. Not what’s goin’ on in Africa, not politics and the government, but what’s happening with us, from my side of town. What goes on when youu a brother 12, 13-year-old and you gotta grow up in this type of sh*t. That’s the type of lyrics that I kick. I’m true, I ain’t one of these fake-a** “real n***az” out here.

This is your third album. Are you as big as you think you are supposed to be, or is it still a struggle?
We still haven’t really got our props in terms of platinum albums and mainstream recognition. I guess it’s because we don’t come out with records about shakin’ our a**es, partyin’ and gettin’ drunk. But I always try to stick to where I’ve always come from. If I keep doin’ that, eventually people are gonna say, “This n***a been down, he ain’t never change.” But it’s cool for me, because I make the music for my people anyway. As long as my homies is happy and I know true n***as is happy, my job is done. Maybe I ain’t got no mansion and five, six cars and sh*t, but I’m cool. I ain’t strugglin’. I’m still here. Talkin’ with Epic right now about the fourth album, so I ain’t goin’ nowhere. A lot of people are just concerned with makin’ money. But when I first got into this rap sh*t, I just wanted to be a rapper. It wasn’t about the money; it didn’t have nothin’ to do with gold or platinum. It didn’t have nothin’ to do with the b*t*hes it just seemed like a cool thing to do. I’m not in it for the money, I’m livin’ and doin’ my own thang. Not only am I cool, but I’m still making the music like I want to do it.

As a gangsta rapper, do you have any thoughts about what happened to Ice-T?
I think that it was wrong that they pressured him into taking the song off. But what’s crazy is how they think what we say on a record can hypnotize people, like there’s something going through the radio tellin’ you to go kill cops. They need to sit down and give mu’f**kas the respect and sense they was born with. Everybody was raised and—I don’t give a f**k if you was the baddest n***a that ever lived—you was raised by your folks to know what was right and what was wrong. You ain’t gonna just do something ‘cause somebody said it on a record.

So what can we expect on the album this year, any changes?
We came a little different this year, not as musical. We came all out. If you sit back and really listen to it, I’m pretty sure everybody will like this mu’f**ka ‘cause it’s pretty hard. That’s why we call it Music To Drive By. Music that you can drive to. It ain’t like you flick in the tape and one song is good then you got to fast-forward like three songs to get to the next good one. I wanted to make it like you don’t even have to touch the tape. Just let it keep on rollin’.