I don’t expect the rest of the Rap world to hold E-40 in the same regard as I do. It’s a case I’ve taken to trial for years, with similar results each time; motherfuckers ain’t trying to hear it. People are comfortable handing him the crown of the Bay, but it ends there. It’s not a situation of props or respect, that’s already been paid. But for whatever reason, 40 is never credited as a great MC; one of the best to ever never do it. One of the best still doing it years after surpassing fellow legends who started the race at the same time and are now watching from the sidelines.
Maybe he needs a Primo track for folks to really look at him as a “real” MC. Maybe it’s a song with Jay to be considered a legitimate contender for lyrical heavy weight. Maybe it’s record sales, or a number one single. At the rate things are going now maybe it’s a blog or a YouTube channel. I don’t know what it will take, but I know what it hasn’t been.
It’s not the longevity. Releasing 14 albums to be exact, nearly two decades after financing the jump-start of his own career. It’s not innovation in rhyme style or delivery, sound or slang. Surely it has nothing to do with being balanced and multi-dimensional, combining street intellect with the ability to tell a story from more than one perspective. Being a boss and never fronting on the microphone or taking the position lightly, apparently it’s only good for nods of approval.
And we won’t even get into the business aspect of things…
A T-Pain hook and a Konvict seeded single aren’t a good argument for supremacy, but a “Got Rich Twice” and an “Earl” are. 40’s latest, The Ball Street Journal, drops today and while I’m not going to lie and say it’s a masterpiece, I will testify that its strokes of individual genius dull the attempts to sell the product. Just listen and say dude isn’t spittin’. Do the same to the last album, and the one before that, and so on and tell me how the next rapper and the one before him is better. At this point, I need to be proven why I’m the one who needs convincing.
The Ball Street Journal features appearance by Akon, Bun B, Gucci Mane, Snoop Dogg & The Game as well as production from Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem, Lil’ Jon & Drumma Boy. Album is in stores now.
Previously Posted – E-40 – “Poor Man’s Hydraulics” Video