James Bernard
August 12, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If you thought the gangsta rap genre was finally about to peter out, well, you’d be right. But, with his fourth album, We Come Strapped, MC Eiht proves that gang-related rhymes with plenty of guns and titles like ”Compton Cyco” don’t have to be stale. That is, if they are accompanied by the laid-back, deliberate beats and haunting strings that are Eiht’s specialty. At times, Strapped sacrifices thump for atmosphere, but he’s playing for people chilling in their rides rather than those dancing at the clubs. A-

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