Born Aaron Tyler in Los Angeles, Eiht began his career as part of CMW while still a teenager. After the song "Rhymes Too Funky" became a local hit, the group signed to Orpheus, who released three albums by the group: It's a Compton Thang (1990), Straight Checkn 'Em (1991), and Music to Driveby (1992). These albums offered several singles for the group, but none measured up to Eiht's solo debut, "Streiht Up Menace," in 1993. The Slip-produced ballad came from the Menace II Society soundtrack, a popular film Eiht had acted in. Following the success of this single, Eiht signed to Sony's Epic Street division and entered the studio with Slip to record his full-length solo debut, We Come Strapped. Billed as "MC Eiht Featuring CMW," the album didn't really feature anyone from CMW except the rapper and producer. Nonetheless, the album debuted atop Billboard's R&B album chart despite lacking an omnipresent lead single and reached the Top Five of the pop album chart. The album also garnered headlines for featuring not one, but two parental advisory stickers (Sony claimed no responsibility for the lyrical content).
None of Eiht's successive albums were as successful as We Come Strapped, though some were arguably better. Following his initial success in 1994, the rapper returned in 1996 with Death Threatz and 1997 with Last Man Standing. Both albums featured production by Slip and were arguably better albums than Eiht's chart-topping debut, yet Epic remained unimpressed and parted ways with the Compton gangsta rapper. It didn't take long for Eiht to return, though. He signed to Mack 10's Priority-distributed Hoo Bangin' label and recorded Section 8 (1999), his most diverse album to date, if not his best. In successive years, Eiht recorded albums on an annual basis: "N" My Neighborhood (2000), Tha8t'z Gangsta (2001), and Underground Hero (2002), all but Tha8t'z Gangsta for Hoo Bangin'. None of these albums topped the charts, but Eiht continued to move his career forward. For instance, he appeared alongside Ice Cube and Mack 10 in the 1999 film Thicker Than Water and even reunited with Compton's Most Wanted in 2000 for Represent.