interview E-40  (February 2006) | Interview By: Lil Jay

Dubcnn chopped it up with the Ambassador of the Bay Area, the king of slang, Mr. E-40 Belafonte, for an exclusive interview. 40 talks about the movement in the Bay Area and how it's received in other regions, setting new trends, the independent game, and about the comparisons to the South.

The time was limited but we also got the full scoop on his new album "My Ghetto Report Card" which will be in stores next month, March 14th.

Read or listen to this exclusive Dubcnn interview with a West Coast pioneer, and be sure to leave feedback on our forums or email them to liljay@dubcnn.com.


Interview was done by phone on February 3th, 2006

Questions Asked By: Lil Jay

E-40 Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio Here

Connect with E-40 on his official myspace page @ www.myspace.com/e40


Dubcnn: 40, what up with you?

E-40: Oh shit, same soup!

Dubcnn: It's an honor we can do this.

E-40: Aww thank you man. Thank you for letting me do this! Let's do it pimp!

Dubcnn: So first of all, if the old days of Bay Area ranked a 10 on a scale, what would you rate it today, in your opinion? As far as the music and the hustle behind it?

E-40: I'd rate it a recognizable 10, cause I feel like the world don't give it to us like that, but I feel like our talent and the spit and the production and just the whole movement is a 10. It's just as much as it was back then. But the impact, we just need to recover it and get that ball back and not humble.

Dubcnn: So in your opinion it's stable?

E-40: I would say that it has improved, but I would say it improved with the times.

Dubcnn: A couple years back artists started getting asked why the Bay is being overlooked and most cats said it needs unity. Can you name 2 things that have been achieved that helped the situation since then?

E-40: It's unity, but you gotta realize, one thing about the Bay, you gotta realize that this is where the word playa hater comes from, you smell me. So it's gonna always gonna be some bad apples that's gonna wanna stirr up some shit and try to fuck it up for everybody, you smell me. But the majority of the people, the majority of the rappers out here and the Bay Area citizens, people who live here, wanna see us win and we all united man.

Dubcnn: Does the fact that most people roll independent make the Bay look quiet on the outside?

E-40: You know what, nah. I think we don't have no choice but to roll independent. The majority of the rappers in the Bay that's rolling independent don't have no choice but to roll independent. But at the same time, we haven't been in the limelight to the point where all the majors is coming to pick us up. So my whole goal is to quarterback this thang and bring the light to the Bay where we can make the Bay a better place, where every rapper from every soil can get a deal. That way they can feed they families in the hood, and feed they loved ones, they folks, the young homies. And all the bustin' heads and the starvin and all that shit ain't gotta be occuring.

Dubcnn: How easy or how hard is it to have people from other regions, say New York, understand and respect the Bay movement and its trends?

E-40: It feels good to me, I still feel like I haven't accomplished everything that I need to accomplish in life, but I accomplished enough to be satisfied with, you know what I mean? And my core audience knows that there is more to me than just know slang. First of all, I sold tapes, 200, 300 thousand units without a major record deal, or without airplay. And evidently for me to be selling that amount of units, and to not having a major label deal, evidently I have to be saying something. You know, slang ain't gonna make people just buy that many units. So evidently, it was my start-stop-and-go-scoop type of delivery. And the game that I was spitting, and the game that I continued to spit, and the wordplay of me and what I've brought to the table. I'm a innovator, I started selling tapes out the trunk of the car, and a lot of people grew up on my music. And everybody got a little bit of E-40 in them, whether they know it or not!

Dubcnn: Nowadays do you even trip off of people biting trends from the Bay Area, or you just let it go?

E-40: You know, you can only do so much. You can only just put it in the hands of the game, let the rap game deal with it. I'm not mad at those who are out there taking Bay Area swagger, because I truly believe it's a lot of rappers out there that's fans, that really grew up on Bay music, but I'm just upset with a lot of these cats because for some reason, when it's time for them to shine on TV or do an interview like what I'm doing, they refuse to mention the Bay name, and they know they got they whole handle from the Bay, like everything we doing. If we was just to shut up, and not say nothing, or not even show up for about 5 years, the rap game would be boring without us, you smell me? Cause we've brought so much to the rap game, from poppin' the collars, to the slang words, to our whole swagger. We been hustlers, we been talking about triple beam scales and all that shit back when rap first started. We been talking about pimpin hoes and pimpin all that shit.

Dubcnn: Do you think that things would have changed if you would have put out your dictionary in the mid 90's?

E-40: Naw, because you know, the dictionary is always upgraded every 4 or 5 months. It's always gonna be new spit, I'm always coming with new words. I don't even think that the dictionary is gonna solve the problem, but it will get them aware of what's cooking. All I ask these rappers to do is pay homage, stop taking our swagger, stop taking our handle, and stop being a identity thief and pay homage, or say our name sometimes or something. Like them Bay boys be screaming it, say our names, pay some homage! "Fo sheezy", or whatever you wanna say.

Dubcnn: So you got your new solo album dropping next month. What can we expect on it, as far as featured artists and producers?

E-40: Ok well, the name of the album is called "My Ghetto Report Card", it's coming out on Sick-Wid-It / BME / Warner Bros Records. It's in stores March 14th, you smell me. It is me, E-40. It's vintage E-40 with a new school twist. The producers on the album are Rick Rock, Lil' Jon, Droop-E of the Pharmasuticles, which is my son, Bosko, and Studio Ton. I went and got my homeboy Studio Ton, my OG, because I feel like this is my second win, and I wanted to start fresh. And my dude produced my earlier hits like "Captain Save A Hoe" and "Hurricane". So I feel like I got an allstar line up as far as producers. And the rappers that's on here is people that I really feel, such as Too Short, Eightball, Bun B, Pimp C, I got Mike Jones, I got the whole Sick-Wid-It organization, Turf Talk, B-Legit, I got Keak Da Sneak, I got T-Pain singing one of them good ole verses on my club song. And I got Juelz Santana.

Dubcnn: The Click didn't make the album?

E-40: Yeah, B-Legit is on there. You know, for one, my brother he does movies and all that too, D-Shot, he got a solo album coming too. But for the past couple albums he's been off into movies. My sister she's off into gospel, she's doing speeches at schools and inspirational speeches, she still raps, don't get it twisted. But she's doing it in a more spiritual way, you dig? That's what's cooking. But you still can lookout for the new Click album soon.

Dubcnn: Is "My Ghetto Report Card" gonna take off where "Breakin News" ended, or did you run with a different formula this time?

E-40: It's a mixture. It's like.... this project is some of the best spit I ever did. The subject matters and the raps, just the whole thing, because what it is, is a lot of rappers they switch subjects. I'm from an era where we told a lot of stories, nowadays a lot of fans don't have a lot of patience to sit and listen to a story. So what you gotta do is you gotta be able to be creative with it. And the way you get creative with it is to put metaphors and punchlines in your songs, but at the same time tell it like it is. And that's what I do, that's how I did it on this album. So that's why I say it's vintage E-40 with a super new school twist. But also still staying within my envelope.

Dubcnn: There are always comparisons that are being made between the Bay and the South. Do you feel that the South has been influenced by the Bay, or vice versa?

E-40: I think we're all from the same music, I think we're all influenced by just music. We say that this is what the South will tell. See, the South will pay homage and they will let it be known that they grew up watching the Bay Area get down on our independent grind, our independent hustle, you know what I mean? And the South does that alive now. They will say that. But I will also tell you that the Bay and the South has always been cool. We've always been on Southern rappers music and on their albums. The "Bout It, Bout It" soundtracks, I been on like 2 or 3 Master P albums, I been on Eightball & MJG albums. We've always bought Southern rap, and they know it, and they always bought our rap. So like I said, the Bay and the South always been cool.


E-40 Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio Here




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