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Album Review

A decade after Compton's Most Wanted released their 1990 landmark debut, It's a Compton Thang, the group reunited for a solid, albeit by-the-numbers, comeback album, Represent. Much had changed over the course of that decade, namely the popular rise and fall of West Coast gangsta rap. Group leader MC Eiht had never left the game during that time, recording a series of solo albums, so he's still in prime condition here. As for the other members of CMW, though, you have to wonder. Producer DJ Slip had stayed relatively busy during the decade, producing MC Eiht at times, but the other members had dropped out of the game. And perhaps most importantly, the Unknown DJ, the legendary electro producer who had borne the group initially, is notably absent here. Even so, Represent certainly sounds like a CMW album, just as thuggish and threatening as Music to Driveby, the group's most recent release, from eight years earlier. Yet that's precisely what's a little disappointing about Represent — ten years later, CMW are content doing essentially what they were doing before. Longtime fans will undoubtedly welcome this, but anyone who felt indifferent to CMW in the first place will likely feel similarly here. It's nonetheless always a pleasure to pick apart DJ Slip's productions and call out the samples, perhaps the most famous one here being the chilled-out synth ambience from Rick James' "Hollywood" serving as the backdrop to "Then U Gone," one of Represent's standout moments. As they say, sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same, and as far as CMW is concerned here, that indeed seems to be the case.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Compton, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Though N.W.A got most of the recognition, Compton's Most Wanted also did much to popularize and proliferate early-'90s West Coast gangsta rap. Led by future solo artist MC Eiht and legendary West Coast electro producer the Unknown DJ, this Compton, CA, group (also known as CMW) reveled in themes involving primarily guns, women, gangs, and drugs, setting the precedent for what would eventually become cliché. More importantly, the group possessed a knack for writing laid-back gangsta ballads characterized...
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Represent, CMW - Compton's Most Wanted
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