Releasing multiple albums on the same day is nothing new for E-40. He dropped two installments of his Revenue Retrievin’ series, Day Shift and Night Shift, on March 30, 2010, and concluded the franchise with a pair of releases, Overtime Shift and Graveyard Shift, on March 29, 2011. But this time around, the Bay Area legend decided to up the ante, by dropping three albums yesterday (March 26). In a sit down with XXLMag.com, Fonzarelli spoke about The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, parts 1, 2, and 3, and his upcoming collaborative album with Too $hort.—Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)
XXLMag: So let’s get to it. Why three albums?
E-40: Let’s just make it interesting. Let’s do what everybody else ain’t doing. Nowadays music gets old quick. Even though it’s good, it’s gets old because fans have shorter attention spans now. So I figured let’s just get to it. I’ve seen all the different seasons of rap and I’ve been through all the eras of hip-hop and whatever was in at the time. I adjusted my style to fit with that, while still being me at the same time. E-40 is just E-40. I’m rare like a steak, man, and it’s hard to find a rapper that’s gonna go against the grain nowadays.
Do you think that’s why you’ve maintained such longevity in this game?
Look, either you like me or you don’t. And I’m cool with it if you don’t because eventually you’re gonna say, “You know I didn’t like that dude, but now that I see what he was sayin’, and I’ve been through what he was sayin’, I dig dude.” At the end of the day at least respect me because I’ve been in this for many moons, and it’s not luck. I was born for this. This is what I do. And my subject matter…For instance, I rap, “In the ghetto we creative, we do all kinds of things/When we catch a cold we drink the juice from the collard greens.” You smell me? What rapper is gonna say that? It’s funny the way I said it, but it’s still real shit.
Speaking of, should fans be expecting to learn a whole new set of E-40 vocabulary on The Block Brochure?
Of course. Year after year. A lot of times people hear my old slang from like the movies and those are from 14 years ago. I don’t still talk like that—that’s 14 years ago. See those movies are just now being played because of On Demand and Netflix and all that. They playin’ the movies and sitcoms I was in years ago more than ever now. But yeah, it’ll be a fresh batch of everything. Everything’s brand new.
And you have a project in the works with Too $hort on the horizon?
Yes sir. Me and Too $hort been through all the eras, we’re pretty much the same age and we’ve seen it all. With that in mind we know we got lot of people to satisfy as far as the ear candy, you know what I mean? So we sat down and said let’s do a 2 part album called The History Channel. Function Music is one album with nothing but the new era club bangers. The other album is called Mob Music, which is a form of music that Dangerous Music and Sickwidit Records created. So we’re giving them that too. The Mob Music album is for all the old school fans and Function Music is for right now, and the fan base that we’ve accumulated in the last 10 years. So we’re just covering all the bases.
What do you think of the new music that’s coming out of the Bay?
It’s sounding good, man. All we gotta do is stick together. What I like about this new generation is that they’re not on that, “Oh, the OG’s need to get out of our way.” They’re not on that. They’re working with us. They get that OGs need youngsters and youngsters need OGs. Even if me and Too $hort just quit, they still gotta make their own way just like I had to do. I came up under nobody. My process was a slow struggle, a slow process.
Let’s say someone could only get one of your albums this Monday? Which would you recommend?
I’d say pick up any of them. They all BLAP. They all gonna make the rivets pop out the Bentley.