MC Eiht
MC Eiht.png
MC Eiht in 1993

Birth name

Aaron B. Tyler

Also known as

Tony Smallz


May 22, 1971 (1971-05-22) (age 49)
Compton, California, U.S.


Hip hop


Rapper, record producer, actor

Years active



Orpheus (1990-1993)
Jive (1993-1994)
Epic (1994-1999)
Priority (1999-2000)
Hoo Bangin' (1999-2000)
Half-Ounce (2001)
D3 Entertainment (2002)
CNR (2002)
Lookin Up Entertainment (2003)
Real Talk Entertainment (2004-2006)
Native (2005-2007)
West Inc. (2005-2006)
Paid in Full Entertainment (2006)

Associated acts

Brotha Lynch Hung, Compton's Most Wanted, DJ Premier, Mack 10, N.O.T.R., Spice 1, WC

Aaron B. Tyler (born May 22, 1971), better known by his stage name MC Eiht, is an American rapper and actor from Compton, California. He chose his stage name for its links to "hood culture", including Olde English 800 (8 Ball) and .38 caliber firearms, and was partly inspired by the numeral in KRS-One's stage name. Tyler was the de facto leader of the former West Coast hip hop group Compton's Most Wanted, which also included fellow Compton-based artists Boom Bam, Tha Chill, DJ Mike T, DJ Slip, and Ant Capone. He is also known for his role as A-Wax in the 1993 film Menace II Society.

Music career[edit | edit source]

Tyler was born in Compton, California and grew to fame on the West Coast as one of two MCs in the four-man crew, Compton's Most Wanted. After enjoying increasing success with the group, which peaked with 1992's Music to Driveby, Tyler took a role in the hit movie Menace II Society as well as a high-profile spot on the soundtrack. The song, "Streiht Up Menace", which chronicles the unfortunate downturn of the film's protagonist within the pathological conditions of American inner-city life, is considered by many critics to be Tyler's magnum opus. The movie spurred him into a solo career, although his next two albums We Come Strapped and Death Threatz would be accredited as MC Eiht featuring Compton's Most Wanted. These albums were considered his best and took place during the most tense years of the 'beef' between Tyler and DJ Quik. Tyler's childhood friends Boom Bam and Tha Chill of N.O.T.R. were heavily involved with both albums and the Quik beef. There are several explicit remarks towards Quik made on these albums by E, Bam and Chill. Tyler was associated with the W 159th St Tragniew Park Compton Crips.

Tyler states that he did not wish to star in comedy films in order to maintain his public image. He later appeared in the low-budget movies ReasonsThicker than Water and Who Made the Potato Salad? as well as providing the voice for Lance 'Ryder' Wilson in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. His music has also been included in the Grand Theft Auto series, both alone and with Compton's Most Wanted.

He put out Last Man Standing, the first album credited only to MC Eiht, then broke from the label for Big Beat/Atlantic. Eiht never ended up putting out an album on the label, instead eventually signing to and releasing the album Section 8 on Priority in 1999. Eiht would hop between record labels and one-off releases in the next years, moving between independent labels Half-Ounce, D3 Entertainment, and Lookin' Up Entertainment from 2001 to 2003. He would put out records with Spice 1 and Brotha Lynch Hung in 2004 and 2006 on Real Talk Ent., releasing another solo album between them on West Inc./Native Records. His inability to settle at a label contributed to his joining the Warzone, a trio put together by Snoop Dogg and consisting of Goldie Loc, Kam and MC Eiht himself. In 2006, Eiht and the group appeared on the single "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)" on Snoop Dogg's album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. In 2010, Eiht appears on the remix to Dam Funk's "Hood Pass Intact". MC Eiht also appeared with Young Maylay in Blaq Poet's street single, Ain't Nuttin' Changed (Remix).

In 2010, MC Eiht collaborated with Bruno Mars on a remix of "Streiht Up Menace" on Bruno Mars' album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. In June 2011, MC Eiht released his single "Fine By Me" accompanied by a music video directed by Director Hugo V. under his new label Year Round/Blue Stamp Records. Year Round Records is owned by New York-based hip hop artist DJ Premier.

In October 2012, MC Eiht was featured on the song "m.A.A.d city", by Kendrick Lamar from his major-label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city. Eiht released the Keep It Hood EP, through BLUESTAMP Music Group on January 4, 2013. The album features cuts from DJ Premier and production from Brenk Sinatra. In the summer of 2014 MC Eiht released a single with the Outlawz, Tupac Shakur's old group, titled "Shut Em Down" which makes references to old Outlawz members Tupac and Yaki Kadafi. The song is a part of Eiht's 2017 album Which Way Iz West, his first studio album in eight years.

Feud with DJ Quik[edit | edit source]

MC Eiht and his group CMW got involved in a long tumultuous rivalry with fellow Compton DJ/rapper DJ Quik that lasted for several years. The feud traces back to a track from the 1991 album, Straight Checkn 'Em, called "Def Wish" which included a lyric that was assumed by others to be a diss aimed at DJ Quik. Although, according to MC Eiht from an interview on VladTV, Eiht reveals that he didn’t know who DJ Quik was when he penned the record and that DJ Quik stemmed primarily from “people’s misunderstandings."

“Honestly to me, this Quik shit got started over just people’s misunderstandings of shit. He was a Blood. I was a Crip. Okay, that was natural. That was gonna start some natural beef. But at that time, niggas that got into the rap game weren’t really—I was a Crip. I didn’t tell you that on my records…On Straight Checkn ‘Em, I had a song called ‘Death Wish.’ Okay? Never knew who Quik was…I don’t know how it got back to him. I had a song called ‘Death Wish.’ In the song, it had a verse that said ‘Biting me quick, would mean you get my dick sucked quick.’ People took that to say I was dissing Quik. I never knew him. It was just a phrase to me.”

--- MC Eiht on a VladTV interview (2016)

Quik didn't respond to CMW's disses on his 1991 debut album Quik Is the Name, but he responded to Eiht on the title track to his sophomore effort Way 2 Fonky in 1992. CMW responded months later with a music video for their song "Def Wish II" which featured a DJ Quik lookalike that was being chased and murdered by CMW. Quik did not respond to it as he was facing label problems and other music projects. However, on the soundtrack to the 1994 short film Murder Was the Case, Quik ruthlessly verbally attacks Eiht with the song "Dollaz + Sense", calling him a movie script killer (in reference to Eiht's appearance in the critically acclaimed 1993 film Menace II Society), a coward, and more. Quik furthered the flames by performing the song at the 1995 Source Awards in New York City while singling out Eiht in the crowd.

The feud stayed quiet until April 1996, where Eiht responded to Quik on his second solo album Death Threatz. The feud between Quik and Eiht slowly died down in 1997 following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., but the feud didn't actually end until the summer of 1999, where DJ Quik and MC Eiht appeared on the BET Tonight talk show and squashed their beef. Since then, Quik and Eiht collaborated on various songs. Even though the rivalry was not on the level of the Nas-Jay Z rivalry or the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry since it was not covered by the media, it has been hailed by most hip hop fans and critics that it stands out as one of the longest active hip hop rivalries of all time (from 1992 to 1999).

Discography[edit | edit source]

Studio albums[edit | edit source]

Collaborative albums[edit | edit source]

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Film[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
Menace II Society A-Wax
1996 Reasons Himself
1999 Thicker than Water Lil' Ant
2001 100 Kilos Pooh
2004 The Introduction Ryder DVD released as the introduction to the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas synopsis. Voice only
2006 Who Made the Potatoe Salad? T-Bone
2008 Bigg Snoop Dogg Presents: The Adventures of Tha Blue Carpet Treatment Himself Voice only
2013 Streetwise x MC Eiht Himself Short film

Television[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Legends of Chamberlain Heights Himself 1 episode

Video games[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Lance "Ryder" Wilson }
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