Thursday, May 6, 2010

E-40 Covers Ozone (West) Magazine

I wrote this months Ozone (West) Cover story on the legendary E-40 and its one of the prouder moments of my career. Yep, right up there with the Goodie Mob cover I did for Creative Loafing last year.

Growing up in Atlanta, people nowadays find it hard to believe that we f*cked with E-40 HEAVY down here. Hell, we always messed with the Bay here. We bumped all the old 40 tapes...

hell we used to ride to that D-Shot Boss Ballin too. We loved the Bay down here; Mac Mall, Dru Down, 3XKrazy, Luniz, RBL Posse, everything.

40 was always one of my favorite rappers, but I always found myself defending his music to people who just didn't get it. As I mentioned in the story, 40 is probably one of the more polarizing figures in Hip Hop when you sit back and think about it. He has no fair-weather fans. You either love him or hate him. If you have one E-40 have 4 more. If you have none, you don't plan on buying any soon.

To be in the game as long as he has, 40 still doesn't get his props if you ask me. Like he said in the story, it may be because he was and still is ahead of his time. Nobody sounds like him and nobody can. The most they can do is jack his slang and personality *cough* Jazze Pha...Snoop Dogg *cough*.

I feel happy to say that I'm actually cool with this guy too. I met him a few years back through the homie Deshawn. At the time 40 was spending alot of time in Atlanta because he was signed to Lil Jon's BME label at the time. Everytime we went to holler at him, he always had a bottle of Rossi on deck, just like he said in his rhymes. He was always cool and inviting, and he'd even ask me what I thought about a song he was recording or try to test my knowledge to see if I knew where a certain scratch or reference came from.

The biggest highlight of knowing dude is a story I've probably told you if I know you personally. One night when Jon, 40 and Al Kapone were working on a track at Stankonia, 40 invited Deshawn and I to fall through. Jon was in the corner tinkering with a beat and 40 was doodling in his rhyme book and Kapone was playing with melodies. After while they started bouncing around ideas and names for a hook. Jon suggested getting Nate Dogg, but by this time Nate was kinda worn out. Then Akon name came up, but he was on damn near every song on the radio at the time and it might feel like overkill.

I just blurted out T-Pain name on some word association shit since he was signed to Akon. Plus I had just saw him not to long ago because I wrote his bio. Everybody seemed to like the idea of giving the new guy a shot. 40 asked if I had his number, I was like "yeah." I hit his manager Bu up to see what was up and they said they'd fall through.

I had to go to work the next morning and it was already late, so me and Deshawn dipped by the time T-Pain got there. By that next morning 40 was texting us saying that T-Pain came through with "one of those ones." Later that week he played the song over the phone. I ain't gonna lie, I ain't really like the song that much, haha. It might have been because I could hardly hear it, but yeah, I was just like..."oh ok, cool."

Months later...

40 wanted to talk about this night and the results in the Ozone story and name dropped me in multiple quotes. I left that stuff out, the story is about 40, not me. I ain't get a check from this (damn...haha...DAMN), but 40 shouted me out heavy on 106 & Park, makes sure everybody that asks about the song knows I had something to do with it, he answers the phone when ever I call or hits me right back when I need something and drinks and food have been on him ever I can't complain.

But yeah, I'm rambling now. Just wanted to share that to show another example of 40 setting a trend, because after that, everybody and their mama started getting T-Pain on their hooks.

Go ahead and check out the story. I titled it "Thank Me Later," borrowing from Drake's rather conceited album title. 40 has contributed alot of flavor and style to Hip Hop that he doesn't get credit for. He's helped build alot of careers and bridges in rap music as well. By the way, this is only the second time 40 has ever graced the cover of a nationally-recognized, mainstream (I guess)rap magazine (no shots Rap Pages). The first was 2 years was Ozone as well.

I also penned a piece called "Happily Ever After" about the lives and trials of married rappers. The piece features 40, Bun B and Paul Wall. I wanted to do this story to show at least a little bit of positivity in the scandalous times we're living in.

READ: E-40 "Thank Me Later"
READ: Happily Ever After: The Life of a Married Rapper

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