From The West Coast: Three Artists, Three Tracks

The 90s era brought forth some of the best music in Hip-Hop. Southern acts like Goodie Mob and Outkast made their way on the scene; East Coast spitters such as The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, and Mobb Deep introduced listeners to their way of life; and West Coast rappers like Tupac, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg filled listeners in on what it’s like to live in the Pacific Time Zone.

A big fan of the 90s era rap scene, which has been dubbed the “Golden Age of Hip-Hop” by many, there are countless tracks that I enjoy listening to from that time period. And I wanted to bring attention to three artists from that era, and highlight one particular song that I enjoy from each of them. I decided to focus on DJ Quik, MC Eiht, and Suga Free, who all hail from California. Below is a song from each of the three West Coast rhymers; the songs come from their debut albums.


DJ Quik – “Tonite”

Before DJ Quik solidified his spot among the most successful rappers and producers hailing from the West Coast, he created songs that earned him respect as a talented artist. And his debut album Quik Is The Name is a great example of his musical capabilities. One of the album’s highlights is the song “Tonite,” which finds Quik delivering three verses centered on what a typical day and night is like in his shoes.

Quik does a good job of remaking Kleer’s “Tonight,” on the track; he puts his own funky twist to it. Samples of Betty Wright’s “Tonight is the Night” and Esther Williams’ “Last Night Changed It All” can also be heard on the song. To me, “Tonite” is truly a classic rap track.

MC Eiht – “All For The Money”

MC Eiht gained a large amount of popularity from playing the role of A-Wax in the 1993 ‘hood classic Menace II Society. A year after the movie was released, Eiht dropped his debut album We Come Strapped, which managed to earn him a Gold plaque.

One of the album’s best tracks is the funky and soulful “All For The Money.”  Eiht uses the song to share stories of how he adopted a by-any-means-necessary persona to make ends meet during the early stages of his life in Compton. The song features samples from Tyrone Davis’ “In the Mood” and “Gotta Get Mine” by MC Breed and 2pac. “All For The Money” is a real chill song, but Eiht’s street-oriented lyrics provides the perfect balance.

Suga Free – “Doe Doe And A Skunk”

Suga Free is a West Coast rhymer that’s best known for his work with DJ Quik and Snoop Dogg. He’s also popular for his authentic pimp persona, which he divulges effortlessly in his music.

Suga Free’s “Dodo & A Skunk” off his debut album Street Gospel is a mellow tune, perfect for listeners to vibe to. In a smooth, conversational, but fairly-rapid delivery, Suga Free drops lines about what he enjoys to do on a night in California on the song. DJ Quik produced the relaxing track, which features a sample of “Nights of Pleasure” by British R&B band Loose Ends. This is a great song to chill or cruise to.

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