E-40 “In A Major Way” – DJ Puicy Juice Takes A Look Back To 20 Years Ago
E-40 – from The Click to “In A Major Way”
E-40 “In A Major Way” – DJ Puicy Juice Takes A Look Back To 20 Years Ago. Earl Stevens better known as E-40, is considered one of the fathers of the Bay Area rap scene. Along with Spice 1, Too $hort, and producer Ant Banks, E-40 helped to garner attention for the budding hip hop scene growing out of Oakland and Vallejo. Beginning in the early 90’s, E-40 teamed up with his cousin B-Legit, his brother D-Dot, and his sister Suga-T to form the group The Click. The group released an EP and a full length album on E-40‘s record label Sick Wid It Records, slowly building cred within local scene. E-40 soon recorded a full length LP, Federal, in 1993 that was met with real success, having procured a larger regional distribution deal through Solar Music Group. With other local artists now signing major record deals, E-40 eventually caught the eye of Jive Records and signed a deal with the company in 1994. “In A Major Way” was the first album under this record deal and was released on March 14, 1995.
“In A Major Way” is a West Coast Classic
“In A Major Way” was a wildly successful album for E-40, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and #13 on the Billboard Top 200. For this album to make it as high as it did spoke volumes to the fan base that E-40 had amassed. E-40 worked only with Bay Area rappers and his notoriety really did not stretch to far out of California at the time. The strong sales of “In A Major Way” only reflected the quality and effort that E-40 placed into creating the album. The record had everything you could want for a Bay Area rap fan at the time, funky laid back beats that were perfect in their simplicity with E-40‘s unorthodox flow placed over them.
E-40 has a flow and delivery all his own that can take some getting used to. At the time, and still to this day, there is no one that you can really compare him to. That being said, as you get accustomed to the flow, you realize that E-40 can really hold his own lyrically and comes with some introspective stuff. The best example of that is “It’s All Bad” where he raps to his son about the realities of life, and he does not sugar coat anything. “Nobody’s to be trusted in this day and age/To much jealousy and envy on the wrong page/And fuck the popo because that 39% tax I pay/Don’t get me nothin but a choke hold and some pepper spray”. His son Droop-E spits a verse on the track as well and sounds alright for a 6 year old. Once you’ve become use to the flow, his lyrics work incredibly well with the delivery, sometimes spelling out or exaggerating his words to complete a line. It only enhances E-40‘s sarcasm and wit. On the track “Sprinkle Me” he spits “I be more hipper than a hippopotamus/Get off in your head like a neurologist/Pushin more weight than Atlas/Got a partner by the name of 2Pacalypse/The seven-oh-seven my roots go hella far back to Flor Terrace/I pull a forty out of my ballcap/and den I flush it down my esopha-garus/The group that I’m with The Click/Suga, D-Shot, Legit/Family orientated”. That’s E-40 on this album, acknowledging where he came from, where he was at, and how good he was.
There were three videos and two official singles released for the album. “Sprinkle Me” featuring Suga-T and “1 Luv” featuring Levitti were well met by fans and a video for “Dusted ‘N’ Disgusted” featuring Spice 1, Mac Mall, and Celly Cell. The album version of the track featured 2Pac but at the time of the video shoot was incarcerated. In the video Ritchie Rich can be seen wearing a “Free 2Pac” shirt. I was impressed with “In A Major Way”, having never listened to E-40 before this review. At first I did not like his flow and really did not think he was lyrically that good, but I was wrong. E-40 is that good and he’s been doing it for a long time, for those that were fans from the beginning, “In A Major Way” most likely is still in rotation on iTunes. I know that I have it in mine!
DJ Puicy Juice 3/13/2015