With 20 albums and 3 EP’s to his name (and that’s just taking into account the last decade), E-40 is as active as a rap star can be.
The proud Vallejo, CA native has helped define what limitations rappers endure in their older age and those limitations are none. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, E-40 has also kicked off yet another decade in Hip Hop with productivity, having released the first half of his Curb Commentator Channel EP series and hopped on tracks with Jeezy, Maez301, Merkules as well as gracing Chris Brown and Young Thug’s Slime & B album alongside his longtime collaborator and upcoming Verzuz opponent Too $hort.
As the stage sets for the upcoming Apple Music event on Saturday (December 18), HipHopDX checked in with the Bay Area Ambassador to get some insight on the keys to his success and longevity as he eases into yet another decade of putting down decorative slang.
“What I do is I try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated,” 40 elaborated. “I try not to burn bridges, and I rock with those who rock with me. I know I’ve set trends in this rap game, dated back to ’88. Some people recognize, and some people don’t. Those who do, they know what I’ve done in Hip Hop they know what I mean to Hip Hop, and they know that my gas is high-octane. It’s all gas, no brake pads. And I’m me, and those who don’t … that really can’t get my style, it’s just not for them, because it’s above their head. It’s over their head. It’s over their head. Like I say it’s over their head, like The Balloon Boy.
While some of 40 Water’s fans may not get the 2009 viral hoax reference, they can get guarantee they he was on the scene putting in work. A few months after said incident, he set a precedence in the culture with his Revenue Retrievin’ album series; releasing four full-length albums in a matter of two years.
In 2020, many would say that’s a standard release ratio for a rapper looking to stay relevant. Being part of the current conversation is a career attribute even a staunch cultural figure such as E-40 doesn’t take for granted, as he speaks highly of “Undrunk,” his Slime & B collaboration.
“Too $hort’s the big homie,” he explained. “Just to be on the album with them two tycoons, man. You feel me? We’re tycoons, too, but you know they the young tycoons. You know? So that’s me and him. We’re going to make another album, as well, another classic, but like I say, it was beautiful to have me and $hort because that’s my big bro, man. He the Godfather. I’m the ambassador. You feel me? And then … Come on. Chris Brown and Young Thug? Come on, man. I mean, it’s a slap.
“I rock with Thug and Chris Brown both. Me and Chris, we done did so many records together, and it’s always been mutual respect.”
On Friday (December 18), both 40 and Too $hort joined forces for the dual album Ain’t Gone Do It / Terms and Conditions which once again flexed the power of the respect with features from Freddie Gibbs, Larry June and Drakeo The Ruler. And like always, 40 suggests his slang is a couple of light-years ahead of the calendar.
“It’s too much for them so they think I’m just saying anything, when I’m really saying some of the slickest shit ever — and it’s real,” he said with a laugh. “And the words ain’t just made up. These are real words and whatnot.
Speaking on his massive discography, he continued, “I stay in the studio. I do music every day. It’s easy for me. I’m going to be honest with you, with the grace of God, long as I got my life, health, and strength, and I’m in my right mind, I feel like I’m so creative, that I probably can rap until … Ask me when I’m going to retire, I say when I expire! The grip don’t quit. It’s going to be all gas, no brake pads. I’m going to keep my foot on they Adam’s apple. Okay? Hello!”
Look for E-40 to bring that same lively energy to the Verzuz arena on Saturday, December 19, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. ET on Verzuz’s Instagram Live and/or Apple Music.
Stream Ain’t Gone Do It / Terms and Conditions below.