This isn’t an old school vs new school debate, but as one of hip hop (and West Coast) longest tenured emcees, it’s hard not to mention just how long MC Eiht has been making the dopest music for hip hop heads. Having already dropped an Album of the Year contender with ‘Official‘ in March this year, the Compton stalwart backs it up with ‘Lessons‘ which cements his legacy as one of the best artists in hip hop history regardless of coast.
We’ve already been treated to the West Coast meets East Coast banger ‘Honcho‘ which features DJ Premier and Griselda’s own Conway the Machine and that was a killer track, but to know this is just one of many gems on the album is a guilty pleasure. MC Eiht is a hip hop heavyweight, and the ‘rap titan’ makes the kind of albums and music I love – varied, heavy on the beats, quality lyrical content, hard and funky AND each track is an investment of 3 – 4 minutes, with the entire offering being 20 tracks and 75 minutes of pure listening pleasure. His FIFTEENTH full length studio album is a BANGER.
In a press release ahead of the album dropping, Eiht states:
“Lessons represents my journey, the things I’ve learned, experienced and been taught over the course of my journey from street influences to music influences and combining those different elements. Lessons is an audio-biography of my two-decade run in Hip-Hop, it’s authentic and West Coast.”
And it’s hard to argue. The ability to deliver engaging content twenty years and running speaks volumes to that authenticity, not just ‘the realness’ many claim.
‘Lessons‘ brings a varied soundscape with quality features from all coasts, but it remains true to the West Coast roots that have made MC Eiht the person and artist he is. Hearing him share a track with the likes of Talib Kweli ‘Past Mistakes‘, Havoc & Kurupt ‘Neighborhood Looks‘, B-Real ‘Get Money Man‘ is pure dope for a true hip hop fiend. Overall, this album is unapologetically ‘Blue Stamp Official’ and it’s a brilliantly complete release from an icon in the hip hop landscape.
Bangers: On The Real Tho, Neighborhood Looks, Honcho, Past Mistakes, Ambition.
Score: 9 / 10. Quite simply, this is a dope AF album and only builds on MC Eiht’s legacy but also on his sensational year in 2020. He now has two albums (one double joint) and 47 tracks of flaming hot hip hop. There isn’t a skippable track on the album (on either actually) and this one, like ‘Official” won’t stray too far from constant rotation.