Straight Checkn 'Em
Though Compton’s Most Wanted failed to achieve the notoriety of Dre, Cube, and Eazy, those with an ear for great hip-hop flocked to the group in droves. In reality, C.M.W. were not opportunistic newcomers but hardened veterans of the Los Angeles hip-hop scene. Old school electro pioneer the Unknown DJ crafted the moody, breakbeat-laced G-Funk of Straight Checkn ‘Em over which MC Eiht, who had earned his stripes as a member of WC’s Maad Circle, delivered a series of brooding hood narratives worthy of Ice Cube himself. Though critics derided them as glorifying mindlessly violent imagery, stark tales such as “Driveby Miss Daisy” and “Straight Checkn ‘Em” do not merely depict violent acts but explore both their consequences and their underlying causes. MC Eiht and Compton’s Most Wanted would go on to release several excellent albums, yet few of them were possessed of the brute power and ruthless economy of their remarkable debut.