Heavy On The Grind Ent.
Heavy On The Grind Ent.

Whether it was an overhaul of unreleased material just sitting around on E-40’s hard drive or he had an urge to flex when it came to the amount of songs he'd release in a single year, the Bay area legend decided to drop The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 and 2 -- a double disc release consisting of a whopping 44 songs.

E-40 is no stranger to long-winded projects. In fact, out of his 27 albums, 10 of them are continuations and installments to a series; so this really shouldn’t come as a surprise for die-hard fans. The obvious issue with releasing a project that has a run time of two and a half hours is that causal fans (especially newer millennials) might not give it a fair chance. Staring down the barrel of a 44-song tracklist is a little intimidating for any listener no matter how dope the music ends up being. Luckily, 40 has got some serious heat that will keep listeners coming back for more.

“Straight to the Point” comes in early on the song queue and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser simply because it slaps. E-40, G-Eazy and Ezale smash the DJ Mumblezz-produced beat, which is all Bay area bounce, with their slick rhymes and even slicker cadence. “I put the Bay on my shoulders a long time ago” sounds so authentic because there is literally no one on this earth who sounds similar or anyone who rides harder for the Bay area than the one and only E Feezy. It’s hard to hate on the redundant nature of projects like this because 40 is such an influential OG. Plus, the 49-year-old has bars.

On “Savage,” 40 snaps with a silky double-time flow that sounds as good as it reads: “I'm a savage about my cabbage/All my life I been mannish/Establish practice what I preach/A barbarian, I'm a beast/Know how to maneuver in these streets/How to wiggle, get to the Gouda/Straight shooter/I'm super solid from the rooter to the tooter.” But then on the very same song, there are a few cringe-worthy bars like “She want me to scoop her up like a spatula/She wanna get attached like an adapter” but somehow he makes it work. Of course, bars like this don’t get a free pass, however, when he delivers them with a unique, unmatched drawl, totally discrediting them is next to impossible.

Being the legend he is, E-40 also manages to call in more than a few features -- 36 to be exact. Most notably is Gucci Mane on “All Day,” which isn’t a first-time collaboration but still remains an alliance straight out of the hip-hop’s hall of fame. Brvndon P locks into full orchestra mode giving the duo a backdrop that lets them flex into infinity. Not only does 40 recruit his legendary counterparts like Mistah F.A.B. and Jazze Pha but he also lets the younger generation show out. K Camp, Lil B, Casey Veggies and Kent Jones, among others, bring their best to this album for the simple reason that they want to earn 40’s respect. The odds of their verses being heard by the masses are slim to none yet it’s all about getting the subtle nod of approval from a man that birthed many artists' rap careers -- especially those from the West Coast.

It’s unlikely that E-40 set out to make a project with a run-time as long as Avatar but somehow he did and the end result is polarizing. Perhaps the lauded MC doesn’t realize that attention spans today are comparable to that of a goldfish or he's just continuing to follow his own path like he's done for his entire career. His fans will certainly love the project while the length may be off-putting to newcomers. As long as he keeps coming with the double-time flows, slick “oouuuus” at the end of each verse and memorable bars, E-40’s got a place in the game.

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