Trekking Through E-40's Newest Triple Album



Sometime between 50 Cent’s glorious mixtape run near the turn of the millenium and the invention of Datpiff in 2008, rappers learned that the editing of their tracklist was no longer confined to the 12 inches of wax nor the ~74 minutes that a compact disc could hold. Nobody has understood this more than Lil B, but it was E-40, a true Bay Area legend and legitimately one of the greatest rappers of all time, who stayed monetizing the music.

In 2010, E-40 was four years removed from his most commercially successful album and nearly 20 years removed from his debut with The Click in 1991. He dropped the underwhelming Ball Street Journal in 2008 and by then seemed to be running out of songs to do with Lil Jon and T-Pain. So naturally, he called up Rick Rock, a bunch of Bay rappers and a few other artists who have to smoke weed grown outside of Northern California to put out the first double album of his career, Revenue Retrievin': Day Shift and Night Shift. It would not be the last. The following year he did two more installments, appropriately titled Overtime Shift and Graveyard Shift. Then in 2012, he put out three, count ‘em three, albums on the same day under the title The Block Brochure. And here we are in 2014, having lived about a month with three more, count ‘em six, Block Brochures (Heavy on the Grind Entertainment).

Being that this is three more hours of E-40 music, the best way to encompass it all is to put on my Nike boots and make my way through 45 tracks. And rather than collect my thoughts afterwards, I’m going to go track by track like the triple O.G. Frankie Tha Lucky Dog. But instead of ranking each song 1.0-5.0, I’ll be using the more scientific formula of Lightweight SlapsSlaps, and Hella Slaps.

Sidebar: Cousin Fik has uncredited hooks on like half these songs.

Welcome to the Soil 4

1. “Bamboo”
Can’t figure out if “all up in your ear, rocking like bamboo” refers to an ear pick or bamboo earrings. Hella Slaps

2. “Bendin Corners (Skee Skert)”
Do they not have Valero gas stations outside of the hood? Hella Slaps

3. “Chitty Bang” (feat. Juicy J & Ty $)
Chorus sounds kind of like “Toot It and Boot It.” Slaps

4. “Yellow Gold” (feat. Droop-E & Work Dirty)
40 Water says “doodoo stains in my underwear” and references Karl Lagerfeld. Lightweight Slaps

5. “Shit Like That” (feat. Young Dro & Spodee)
Does Spodee’s brother play for the Denver Broncos? Slaps

6. “Ball Out” (feat. NHT Boyz)
Chip$ Black goes innnnnn. En H Teeeeeeee BOOOOOOOOOOOYYYZZZZZZ Hella Slaps

7. “Episode” (feat. T.I. & Chris Brown)
T.I. may or may not be fucking a girl with a Schutzstaffel tattoo on her butt. Lightweight Slaps

8. “Got That Line”
In addition to a “Just Say No to Drugs” bumper sticker and an American flag on his car, 40 wears nerd glasses to not get pulled over by the police. Slaps

9. “Thirsty” (feat. King Harris)
40 refuses to sell dope on the Sabbath. King Harris likes girl drinks. Lightweight Slaps

10. “Tree in the Load” (feat. Cousin Fik & Choose Up Cheese)
I can’t even front, Choose Up Cheese stole the show with his Limp Bizkit reference. Just kidding, best song on the album. Hella Slaps

11. “Candlelight”
Vividly violent, 40 describes a funeral and his days as a nine-year-old lookout. Slaps

12. “Stompdown (Skit)”
“Got to know how to check traps and trap checks” N/A

13. ” By Any Means” (feat. Webbie & J. Stalin)
Webbie will apparently fly to the Bay to murder someone for 40, which is very sweet. J. Stalin never waited on the Tooth Fairy. Hella Slaps

14. “Money on My Mind” (feat. Bosko)
Using the same Zapp sample as “Do U Wanna Roll (Doolittle Theme)” is a very quick route to my heart. If E-40 has liquor, condoms and broccoli, he expects the three girls he’s about to hit to rent the room at a Doubletree hotel. Hella Slaps

15. “Home Again” (feat. Mike Marshall)
This is what all of Jay-Z’s songs with Mr. Hudson should sound like. Mike Meezy was the lead singer of Timex Social Club and sang the chorus to “I Got 5 on It” for all you square ass square butts. Slaps

Welcome to the Soil 5

1. I’m Pushin’
Toward the end E-40 raps like Big Syke, and that’s just fantastic. Hella Slaps

2. Plush
The word “plush” is better than the overused “lavish.” I do enjoy “want the bread no crust” and Lil Jon hiccups. Slaps

3. Mister T
“Bleeding the block like a bloody tampon” is a good discouragement from hustling. 40 just says a bunch of words that start with “T” at the end.Lightweight Slaps

4. Countdown (feat. 2 Chainz)
40 mocks Migos for wearing Versace hella late, 2 Chainz confesses to being an only child and the beat has a keyboard squeak that sounds like a smoke alarm with low battery. Slaps

5. I Be on My Shit
The song where E-40 sings the most. Lightweight Slaps

6. Play Too Much (feat. Young Bari & Roach Gigz)
Two of the best young rappers in the Bay join 40 for my favorite song on the album, despite a lackluster chorus. Hella Slaps

7. All Y’all (feat. Iamsu! & Kool John)
Two more of the better Bay rappers spit with 40 but all I really remember is Su’s verse and 40 referencing Perry Mason. Slaps

8. Project Building (feat. Gucci Mane & Young Scooter)
The mood downshifts after 40’s opening verse, but I’m pretty sure that’s the best Gucci guest verse I’ve heard in a minute. Slaps

9. In Dat Cup (feat. Z-Ro & Big K.R.I.T.)
I can’t tell if 40’s manic flow over a Southern beat is off-putting or not. Somehow this is the first song he’s done with Z-Ro. It better not be the last. Slaps

10. Homeless Criminals (Skit)
Sort of sounds like a children’s chorus of crackheads. Enjoyable. N/A

11. All My Niggaz (feat. Danny Brown & Schoolboy Q)
40 and Danny Brown straight gas like Arco unleaded. I’ve yet to be convinced Schoolboy Q is a great rapper. Hella Slaps

12. A Breath of Fresh Air (feat. B-Legit & Mike Marshall)
Old school mob shit. The Vallejo legends trade grown man bars. Mike Marshall and Charlie Wilson should do literally every hook in music. Slaps

13. When You Gone Let Me (feat. Too $hort)
Apparently The Thirst can still plague you well into your 40’s. Lightweight Slaps

14. Do What I Gotta Do (feat. Work Dirty & Laroo T.H.H.)
Desperate, stubborn raps about underserved hoods. Lightweight Slaps

15. Off the Block (feat. Stressmatic & J. Banks)
40 explains the difficulty of getting off the block while intimately detailing the block. J. Banks hits like the fifth octave of Mariah Carey’s falsetto. Lightweight Slaps

Welcome to the Soil 6

1. Champagne (feat. Rick Ross & French Montana)
Ross, 40 and for the most part French all sound good on their verses and the beat isn’t bad, but somehow it doesn’t really work. Maybe it’s because the chorus sounds like a Ke$ha song. Lightweight Slaps

2. Mob Shit (feat. B-Legit)
B-Legit’s feature sounds better than his other one. The bassline sounds like when my stomach rumbles and I fart at the same time. Slaps

3. Penetrate (feat. Iamsu!, Sage the Gemeni & Eric Statz)
This kind of sounds like a Clyde Carson song. It’s still weird to me that Sage the Gemeni is more famous than Iamsu! (even though Su is featured and produced Sage’s biggest hit). Still Slaps

4. Turn Up or Burn Up (feat. Skeme & Problem)
Two L.A. rappers sound this good on a Bay song because Southern California hasn’t had a signature sound since before The Game’s first album. (Don’t say T.D.E.) Slaps

5. Pablo (feat. Gucci Mane & Trinidad James)
This made me remember how good <link>”The Recipe” is.”I dress better than I read,” Trinidad James is underrated, but not that much. Slaps

6. Tonight (feat. Young Jeezy & Cousin Fik)
L.A. producer C Ballin does a good DJ Mustard impression. I can’t be THAT mad at Jeezy for not making anymore trap music if the ratchet sounds this good. Hella Slaps

7. Put It in the Air (feat. Mac Mall & San Quinn)
More Bay legends kick back to light Backwoods filled with top shelf tree and watch Adult Swim. San Quinn is “smoking cookie on Haight street,” which might sound funny without the help of Rap Genius. Hella Slaps

8. Mac Russ (skit)
“Motherfuckers losin’ they lives behind a bitch” actually sounds pretty dear to me. N/A

9. Art of Story Tellin Pt. II
40 continues the OutKast homage (bite?) he started on his Day Shift of Revenue Retrievin’. I love waking up to funk Slaps

10. Up All Night (feat. Clyde Carson)
Actual Clyde Carson song, wherein 40 holds his drank and jank while smoking a Trippy Stick on a plane. Slaps

11. In a Bucket
I’d have a hard time proving it, but there seems to be very few drive-by rap songs these days. Then again, rappers don’t drive buckets like they used to. (Or at least don’t mention it on record) Slaps

12. Rep Yo District
Somehow he never mentions the word “Vallejo.” Sounds like a Taylor Gang Juicy J song. Lightweight Slaps

13. Throwed Like This
Seriously considering dropping my child on his head if he will rap like 40 Water. Slaps

14. What Kind of World
Possibly the best beat of all three albums. This could use a Cousin Fik feature though. Hella Slaps

15. Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Both me and 40 seem to be kind of tuckered out. Lightweight Slaps

Tags: Bay Area Rap Block Brochure E-40 Review Trekkin

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