The 1989-1999 time span cited in the subtitle of When We Wuz Bangin'
is a little misleading. Compton's Most Wanted
did in fact span a decade, forming in 1989 and debuting a year later, but the group spend most of the ensuing decade inactive, releasing only three albums during a three-year span (1990-1992). Throughout most of the '90s, group leader MC Eiht
trudged on with his up-and-down solo career and took producer DJ Slip
along for part of the ride. The remaining members of CMW
meanwhile remained mostly confined to old-school obscurity. As short-lived as the talented group had been, though, they did release a wealth of blueprint West Coast gangsta rap during their three-album span, each album -- It's a Compton Thang
(1990), Music to Driveby
(1991), and Straight Checkn 'Em
(1992) -- offering a few standout singles. Many of those singles are compiled here ("One Time Gaffled 'Em Up," "Late Night Hype," "Growin' Up in the Hood") as are several of Eiht
's bigger solo hits ("All for the Money," "Streiht Up Menace," "Days of '89") and even some rare recordings (DJ Premier
's remix of "Def Wish II"). The inclusion of Eiht
's solo work is key, since he did have a few great gangsta ballads, but you could argue that those songs had little to do with Compton's Most Wanted
and occupy precious disc space that could have instead featured gang-bangin' songs like "Hood Took Me Under" or "Straight Checkn' Em."