CMW – Vinyl Special
Wednesday August 08th 2007,
Filed under: Compton Classics,Features,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
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Anyone who’s been reading Unkut Dot Com for a while will have noticed that New York rap gets a pretty much exclusive coverage. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate any hip-hop made outside of the Tri-state area though. A lot of great stuff was produced in LA pre-Chronic, while early to mid Rap-A-Lot is also classic material – basically, anything made before the “keyboard/live funk” era of beat-making. Since Unkut Dot Com is essentially “A Tribute To Ignorance”, now seems as good a time as any to change gears and focus some attention on some epic ignorant rap.

I’ve had a Compton’s Most Wanted post in mind for a while, but it was this mix that reminded me that it was time to give this some shine. When It’s A Compton Thang hit the stores in 1990, it initially seemed like just another addition to the ever-growing collection of novelty acts attempting to cash-in on the NWA/Compton hype. Turns out it was actually full of dope breaks and tough talk, which is pretty much my recipe for the perfect rap album.

One of the rawest tracks was “Rhymes Too Funky Pt. 1 (Live At Lonzo’s 1988)”, which I later found in it’s complete mix on an album called The Compton Compilation – worth grabbing out of the dollar bin for the cover alone. If you’re a fan of shotguns, Jerricurls, beepers worn as fashion accessories or 40’s of Olde E, this is for you. CMW’s DJ Slip produced the whole album, but Eiht and them only appear on the one track. But what a song! Nothing beats no-frills LA rap that sounds like it was recorded on two turntables and a mic in someone’s garage. It also rocks a bassline that would later be used by Lord Finesse on “Kickin’ Flavor Wit My Man”, while “This IS Compton” their first single release on DJ Unknown‘s Techno-Hop, flipped a loop that would also be heard on the Funkyman’s second disc (“Show Em How We Do Things”). Bugged, huh?

When the crew dropped their Orpheus album the following year, the label decided to release an alternative “radio-friendly” version of the LP, which dropped the anti-cop themed “One Time Gaffled Em Up” and replaced the gritty “Rhymes…” with the smoothed-out sounds of “We Made It”, which was ever featured on the clean vinyl pressing of the album (my tape and CD copies of the album don’t feature it). No prizes for guessing the subject matter, but it’s noteworthy due to The Chill MC performing the most positive lyrics ever heard on a CMW project.

Some local broads get their chance to respond to “Give It Up” on the b-side only “Whose Is It? Give It Up! (Pt. 2)”, and manage to piss-off Eiht in the process, who gets in the last word on the outro shout-outs. He can also be seen proudly sporting a classic “brick” cell phone on the cover of the twelve inch.

CMW feat. Old Man Conway – “Rhymes Too Funky (full version)”

CMW – “We Made It”

CMW feat. Foxy Fox and Broadway The MC – “Whose Is It? Give It Up1! Pt.2”

CMW – “This Is Compton” video:

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23 Comments so far
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But there is plenty of post-Chronic Westcoast HipHop that’s dope too, baed on samples or/and with live instruments. And Westcoast producers always knew how to incorporate live instruments way better than Eastcoast producers.

Comment by Lotuz 08.08.07 @

That’s what’s up…….In my opinion C.M.W.’s first 3 albums were poppin……You forgot to mention their beef with D.J. Quik………There are a lot of west siders that didn’t get enough dap…….Above The Law’s “Black Mafia Life” seems like the catalyst for Dr. Dre’s “Chronic”………Dre has been known to bite beats, and if you listen to “Black Mafia Life”, he ganks several beats from that album………Above The Law’s ” Cold 187 em “, is the son of Willie Hutch {accomplished musician that worked on The Mack soundtrack} …………….I could go on forever but I won’t…..Thanks for givin our side some shine……We must remember flavor is not a regional thing……Backday no one gave a fuck where u were from as long as you had that heat….

Comment by shamz 08.08.07 @

This is why I love this site,Compton’s Most Wanted is an uncredited master-group as far as I am concerned,I loved their first three albums,including their answer to Tim Dog’s”Fuck Compton”-(who’s xxxxing who)…classic.The West always represented with on point producers,even if (we)on the Eastcoast laughed at most of their emcees.Eiht fell in that category of b-level skills,no where near a King Tee,but not far behind either.Keep ’em coming Robbie,so many cats on the west coast producers and emcees alike(King Tee,Bobby Bobcat,Dj Pooh,Above the law,Quik etc.,deserve to be recognized, I love this site.Real HipHop is over here.

Comment by Roger Jones 08.08.07 @

And respect Shmz,I just schooled this young buck on exactly what you spoke on about Above the law getting jacked by Dre,they gave their story to Rappages back in the day,abput giving Dre the demo to Black Mafia Life,just before Suge strong armed his freedom fro Ruthless,it’s sad fact that many people think Dre produced-Above the law’s-Livin like Hustlers debut,Cold 187-um,has never recieved his propr due,his G-funk blueprint saved the Westcoast from obscurity back in 92-96.Props for bringing that up Shamz.

Comment by Roger Jones 08.08.07 @

Word up…Roger………It’s crazy that I have never posted anything on any other sites ever…..But Robbie is bringing so much heat I am forced to comment on shit……Free Cold 187 em

Comment by shamz 08.08.07 @

‘We Come Strapped’ is a some mid-90s dopeness! especially the track with Redman & Spice 1. I think they were quite tight with Primo too which is probably the best co-sign you can get

Comment by step one 08.08.07 @

CMW’s second album with Growin up in the hood and comptons lynchin’ is one of the best west coast albums eva.I’ll say Cypress Hill’s debut album is the best and CMW’s second album ranks number 2. I love those guys….Peep how many tracks on the second album were backed by real good loops alot of other artists east and west coast both fell in love with. Thanks for the post 4 real…these dudes never got their due just like Above The Law.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.08.07 @

Yo Shamz!
Nice post.. Like the name says..
“Always Checkin”
Keep up the good work Unkut.

Comment by Always Checkin 08.08.07 @

@shamz: I agree with you concerning Big Hutch, but he’s not the son of Willie Hutch. The late composer is his uncle.

Comment by Krisch 08.08.07 @

@mercilesz: i was always thinking the same concerning the loops on “straight checkin em”. on “can i kill it” u got two loops in one song, that later got used in big west coast songs by Ahmad and Cube. but i think they got their respect over on the east coast. think of pete rock having eiht as a guest on the “soul survivor” lp.
another favorite of mine is “all for the money” with that tyrone davis loop, that the beatnuts used at about the same time.

Comment by Krisch 08.08.07 @

yes sir….CMW was so official

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.08.07 @

nuff said,i alway was down with ny,philly…but cmw is an important milestone in hip hop music.

Comment by mario 08.08.07 @

Yupp the westcoast sound pre-chronic was dope , CMW’s 3 first albums is crazy nice, and of course early King Tee and CPO’s “To hell and black” and Above the law !!! Livin like hustlers…

Comment by Dolo 08.08.07 @


Comment by Big Homie 08.09.07 @

Dre co-produced the stuff I think, he makes certain beats better. Thats the reason why the production from ATL, Daz (he claimed he produced the chronic) etc becomes less good when Dre leaves. The 1st album from ATL is still the best in my opinion. Txs for the CMW songs Robbie, been searching those for a long time.

Comment by Fritz 08.09.07 @

What about ” J Swift”…..What about “Broadway”, { That Madcap shit had some heat}………..”D.J. Pooh”………”Ammo Dump” {Alladin and S.L.J.}…………..

Comment by shamz 08.09.07 @

my favourite westcoast album.
rhymes too sounded so raw and
could be easyily located as a
eastcoast track. never heard that
there was another version of the
album.the first 3 lp’s from cmw
were mad nice.

Comment by swordfish 08.11.07 @

a bit of a stretch… but does anyone remember (and have a copy of) another dope Primo/West Coast combo- his remix of Too Short’s “In the Trunk”?

Comment by Gangalee 08.13.07 @

and for a keyboard-rap record, Death Threatz (esp. the ones with NOTR) is one of the best West Coast Gangster records made

Comment by Gangalee 08.14.07 @

yep CMW definitely made some classic ish…’duck sick’, ‘compton’s lynchin’, ‘all for the money’…the list goes on…

Comment by Ryan P 08.14.07 @

CMW – Drive by miss daisy – classic!
That Compton Compilation hadnt got a listen in years..wicked album. I wondered how long it would take for someone to finally mention it. But who da F* was Old Man Conway!? Legion Of Boom..dope.

Comment by Don P.M.ES 08.17.07 @

Does the clean version of “It’s a Compton Thang” contain alternate lyrics to the songs that are on both versions of the album?

Comment by skywalka 08.30.07 @

gotta disagree…Eiht and CMW was WACK studio gangsta bullshit…and what made it worse, is Eiht was/is not a good rapper You wanna talk about dopeness from the west, how about Quik, tha Liks, the LA Zuu and KAM?

Comment by mista ecks 10.15.07 @

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