Breakdown FM ; An Interview w/ E-40; The Ambassador of the Bay

Channel: Breakdown FM w/ Davey D

Statistics: 1009 plays since January 13, 2006

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E-40 the Ambassador of the Bay The Nizzle that Got it to Sizzle by Davey D

We sat down the other day with one of Hip Hop’s most colorful characters E-40. He’s not the cat who you will see spitting verses on MTV or BET everyday. You won’t hear him being rocked during Funkmaster Flex’s mix on Hot 97 in New York. You probably won’t see him gracing the cover of The Source or XXL anytime soon. But those omissions do not mean E-40 does not have a strong presence or is irrelevant to today’s rap scene.

For those who don’t know, E-Feezy aka The Ambassador of the Bay is about to release his 12th album and has signed a nice deal with long time friend Lil Jon and his label. He’s a bonafide pioneer and architect in the independent rap game. What he has done has laid down the ground work for a whole lot of cats who like to call themselves hustlers and top figure ballers.

40 aka Charlie Hustle personifies what it means to be a Hip Hop entrepreneur as he has just embarked on opening the first of ten Fat Burger franchises here in the Bay Area along with NFL player Chester McClocklin. If that’s not enough, last year E-40 opened up the very successful Ambassador’s Lounge night club and he has abunch of more projects on the way. Dude is definitely on a roll as he has lived up to the sound advice he freely disseminated in the song ‘Rapper’s Ball’-“Don’t buy an 85 thousand dollar car before you buy a house’. In other words E-40 doesn’t rock chains he rocks houses, buildings and businesses. He’s a Land Baron and Business Tycoon to the fullest.

E-40’s presence is most strongly felt in the arena of lingo and Hip Hop dialect. For those who doubt listen closely and you will not be able to deny it…E-40 is indeed the King of Slang, as he picks up on the tradition of word manipulation that has always been a part of African American culture from the time we arrived on these shores.

E-40 is today’s shining example that picks up where pioneering word architects like Cab Calloway left off when he dropped his ‘Hepsters Dictionary’ back in the 40s. Like Cab 40 is has helped sprinkle and popularize way too many words and phrases to name, used throughout Hip Hop. They range from gems like “playa hater’ to Fo’sheezy to ‘Its All Good’ to ‘It’s All Gravy’. We also can’t forget the ‘popping collars’ gesture. All these and many more have their roots in the Bay Area. So next time you hear guys like Snoop running around getting props for their slangualistics remember it was born and bred in the ‘Yah’ with E-40 leading the charge.

Listed below is a run down of what E-40 was talking about in our recent interview..

E-40 Interview pt1

Here 40 talks about being a Bay Area Hip Hop pioneer in the burgeoning independent rap game. He talks about how he parlayed his Hip Hop business skillz into other businesses including opening the first of ten Fat Burger franchises. He talks about his love for Pharrel who is has also invested in the burger franchise and is set to bring fat Burgers to his native Virginia.

E-40 talks about opening his night club the Ambassador’s Lounge and explains that only a handful of other rappers-Jay-Z, Benzino and Swizzbeats have opened night clubs.

E-40 concludes by talking about how important it is for rappers to diversify their money and make wise investments.

E-40 Interview pt 2

E-40 talks about the 11 albums he has put out and how he has managed to be consistent and stay relevant.E-40 talks about why artists like himself and the Bay Area in general has not gotten the type of national recognition that coincides with the amount of talent and innovation it has brought to the game…E-40 describes the Bay as a place filled with trendsetters and that people have been tardy in catching up. He talks about how artists all over the country have been influenced by the Bay and cites Young Jeezy as an example. He notes that Young Jeezy uses the term ‘drought season’ which was the title of a song E-40 did back in ’92.

E-40 talks about his hometown Vallejo which is 40 miles north of San Francisco and has been home to groups like Sly and the Family Stone, Con Funk Shun, N2Deep and of course the late Mac Dre. He describes Vallejo as a city with is up and game and extremely hungry to the point that folks are willing to push the envelope. That may explain the city’s musical legacy.

E-40 Interview pt 3

E-40 talks about his musical influences and explains that he played in a band and attended Grambling University. He talks about how the Mob style funk music he does was patterned after the big college bands. He also talks about the influence and groundbreaking efforts of Too Short.

E-40 also focuses on the important role Bay Area producers like Ant Bank, Studio Tone, Khayree and others played in developing the Bay’s signature funk sound. He explained that most Bay producers are accomplished musicians who preferred t either re-play or create their own sounds rather then pay some record label all sorts of money in sample clearances.

E-40 talks about his own young son getting into the producing game under the name ‘Droopy’. He talks about how his son has gotten pretty good at playing keyboards and now brings that expertise to his production technique.

40 also talks about how he stays grounded by being a family man. He’s been with his wife since 1984 and says it’s important to separate the E-40 persona from Earl Stevens the family man.

E-40 talks about his friendship and new business relationship with Lil Jon. He notes that a lot of people do not realize that there is a deep connection to the Bay Area and the South and that Bay cats have always found love in that region. He also points out that Lil Jon started off being signed to Too Short’s label and in fact him and Lil Jon hooked up when he was shooting a video for one of his songs…He talks about the type of plans he and Lil Jon have in the works for E-40’s 12th album ‘My Ghetto Report Card’.

He also talks about how he flipped the script with his former record label Jive Records and came out ahead on the business end.

E-40 Interview pt 4

E-40 continues talking about the creative direction he and Lil Jon are headed with his new project. He also talks about Hip Hop slang and the words he has brought to the Hip Hop lexicon. He breaks down the meaning of terms like ‘quarterbacking’, ‘flea-flicking’, ‘El Roy’, and ‘gasoline’.

E-40 also talks about the art of emceeing and his ability to flow. He talks about his ability to do ‘backpack raps on the tuck’ and how he has cut songs with acts like Motion man and Talib Kweli. He also explains the origins of his stop-start flow and what it’s about. E-40 also explains how he feels about battling and freestyling and the importance of having good penmanship in addition to flowing off the dome.

He talks about how he admirers artists like Eminem and how he would one day like to do a song with Kangol from UTFO because it was he who inspired E-40’s trademark rhyme style.

E-40 Interview pt 5

E-40 talks about the Bay Area rap scene and what its going to take for the Bay artists to all come together. He explains the Hyphy movement and talks about Thizzing. He also talks about his radio show which airs every Sunday on KMEL called ‘E-Feezy’ radio.

E-40 talks about the constant misperception journalist have about the West Coast Hip Hop scene and how far too many limit themselves to Dr dre, Snoop and LA while overlooking places like Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, The Bay Area and even the huge Latin rap scene. He says a lot of journalist are lazy and do a major disservice by not doing proper research.

He also talks about the inspiration behind his hit song ‘Rappers Ball’ which was done with Too Short. He talks about all the aspects of that song which went on to influence a lot of folks outside the Bay Area including the use of certain slang terms as well as the phrase ‘Don’t buy an 85 thousand dollar car before you buy a house’.

E-40 Interview pt 6

E-40 concludes this interview by updating us on the happening with his real life family ‘the Click’. He talks about his brother D-Shot and Mugsy. He talks about how his sister Suga T is now doing Gospel Hip Hop. He talks about his cousins B-Legit and Turf Talk who is currently blazing up Northern Cali.


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