If you're a '90s or West Coast Hip-Hop fan, then you defintely know about Compton's Most Wanted (CMW). Widely known for their songs, “Growing Up In The Hood,” “Duck Sick,” and “The Hood Took Me Under” among many others, CMW became a cornerstone for gangster rap during its hey-day. Although MC Eiht was the main face of the group, Tha Chill was his right-hand man on many of those classics, providing his complimentary voice and flavor.
The group itself hasn't been heard from in years, but it seems like a CMW album is inevitable as MC Eiht and Tha Chill have been recording together for their own solo projects as well as their West Coast super group 1st Generation (which also includes Kurupt, King T, Jayo Felony, Gangsta, and Sir Jinx). Tha Chill invited AllHipHop.com to his studio to listen to some new music and give us a nice, little update on all of the stuff he's been working on. Download his new album Big Homie Muzik Volume 2 for free right here.
AllHipHop.com: It's been a while since you've released an album. Tell us about the new project that you released this month.
Tha Chill: It's called Big Homie Muzik Volume 2. It's got MC Eiht, Kurupt, King T, Weazel Loc, and Spice 1. It's a West Coast slapper. Then I've got the Chillafornia album dropping in February, and then the 1st Generation album is going to drop after that.
It's that time for the O.G.s to shine one more time. No disrespect to the young ones. There's a lot of cats doing their thing, and there's good music on the West. My album, Chillafornia, has that good gangsta sh*t on there. Most of the members of 1st Generation on it. I did some cuts with Eiht for the fans of Compton's Most Wanted. Daz and Kurupt of The Dogg Pound are on it, as well as Kokane. I stayed in my lane for the album. I didn't want to do one with all of the new cats - that would look like I'm trying to tap in to their fanbases if I did that.
AllHipHop.com: What's going on with the 1st Generation group? You guys released a song earlier in the year, and we haven't heard anything else after that.
Tha Chill: We dropped “Killin' Me Softly,” shot a few videos, and did a few shows together. We all have other obligations as well, though. The album is pretty much done - I'm just mixing it. I'm keeping my ear to the streets to see if people are going to enjoy it. We're some old school cats, and we still have fanbases, but we're trying to figure out the best way to give it to them. This won't be a record that comes out and just gets overshadowed by everything else coming out.
AllHipHop.com: So the 1st Generation album is coming out for sure? It's not going to be one of those projects that gets announced and then we never hear from it again?
Tha Chill: 1st Generation is coming out in 2012 – guaranteed. I will say by the summer of 2012. Kurupt might say January. Eiht might say April. Jayo might say tomorrow [laughter]. We all have our opinions on when it's going to drop, but with me having the masters, I'm predicting by the summertime of 2012.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned that you recorded some songs with MC Eiht for your album, but what about a full Compton's Most Wanted reunion album?
Tha Chill: We talk about it all of the time. I think what's more important is that Eiht and Chill from Compton's Most Wanted are still crackin'. In the future, yes, we will do another album.
AllHipHop.com: You two have had your ups and downs over the years. What finally patched things up between you two?
Tha Chill: It's a brotherhood that we have like EPMD, RUN-DMC, The Dogg Pound – all of these great duos. Kings clash at the top. Eiht is my brother. I know his mom and kids and vice versa. Our beef wasn't going to last. That wasn't even a beef. We were just mad at each other for a second. I produced some tracks for Eiht's Which Way Is West album that he's putting out with DJ Premier.
AllHipHop.com: What about the other Compton's Most Wanted members like DJ Slip? Do you still talk to them?
Tha Chill: The group consisted of myself, Eiht, Mike T, DJ Slip, Ant Capone, and Unknown. I talk to DJ Slip as much as I can. That dude is so talented. Slip was real technical with Unknown and then he started producing the records himself. Overall I guess he got bored producing and money started getting short, so he went out and got a mega job. That man is building underwater robots way out in the Gulf and other places overseas. Slip is on that technical high-grade sh*t right now [laughter].
AllHipHop.com: If he's doing it big like that, we're never going to see or hear from him in the music world again.
Tha Chill: I talk to him on Facebook and Twitter. He's still got a spot out here, and whenever he's around, I'll go see him, and we'll barbeque and talk about good old times. He's proud that I'm still producing, because he's the one that taught me my craft.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned earlier about not really working with younger artists because you don't want to feel like you're just going after their young fanbase. Clarify that.
Tha Chill: I've produced a few cuts, and I've performed with some of the younger artists. These kids were ecstatic over the young artists. They loved my music and respected me as the O.G. from Compton's Most Wanted, but the music that they really like is on a much different level. I respect them for it but it's not my lane. Now there's Pop, Techno, Drumming Bass, Dub-Step – all under the Hip-Hop umbrella. I'm not from that lane. Artists today are on some other sh*t. If it's funky, it's funky. But if it's crap, it's crap.
AllHipHop.com: Thanks for the update on what you've been up to. Is there anything that we missed?
Tha Chill: Me and Duane “Da Rock” Ramos just produced an album for Kurupt called Liven 4 2aday. I did about 80 percent of it. I got some sh*t on Xzibit's new album coming out. I did some stuff for Lil Eazy and also for my man Kokane who's out in Seattle now. I'm just doing music. If they like it, they like it. If they don't like it, then I don't give a sh*t – I like it.