I didn’t think it was possible, but I managed to subject myself to the torment of listening to all twenty six of E40’s current solo studio albums.
Now to be fair, it’s not that his music is bad. It’s just that you don’t necessarily need that many albums to be successful, or relevant. There are people who are just as iconic, or even more iconic, as a result of releasing far less.
E40 is that guy who has to drop something every year, or two just to remind people he still exists. Now you’re probably wondering how one could continue to pump out that much music. It’s easy to notice about five albums in which even at that point is more E40 than one needs in their life. E40 can put out as much music as he does because he developed a formula in his music that he stuck to. E40’s producers give him sparse, yet catchy beats that he can rap on in his own self developed style of GAB; a really funky flow that allows him to really articulate his words, and go on and on about practically nothing.
Musically, E40 started up with your typical west coast G-Funk fare, but in 2006 with “My Ghetto Report Card,”,he switches to a more mainstream musical style which would evolve into his current musical style of sparse catchy beats. E40s lyrics also follow a certain structure. You’ve got several songs about hustling, and being on the block; you’ve then got some songs about drug use, and cooking up drugs; you’ve then got songs that glorify sex, and promiscuity followed by a song or two that reflects on his upbringing. Finally comes a song that talks about the consequences of the very things he spent the entire album glorifying, thus making him seem more woke than he actually is.
I’m aware there are PLENTY of rappers that do this exact thing, but E40 is famous for sustaining that across over twenty-five albums. People have essentially bought the same album over 25 times. E40 started doing this thing in 2010 where he’d release two albums at once. He’d start this with Revenue Retrevin: Day Shift/Night Shift. He’d follow this up with Overtime Shift/Graveyard Shift.
He’d take it over the top with the The Block Brochure where he released vol 1-3 in 2012, and vol 3-6 in 2013. This is the point I feel that he forced it. I felt as if I was listening to the same damn album six times. At that point you can’t even call it The Block Brochure anymore. If felt like I was listening to an audio book about absolutely nothing. Listening to nothing would’ve been a better use of my time.
E40 isn’t a terrible artist, but he’s not great either. I probably could’ve probably listened to far more productive things in the car rides, and gym workouts I devoted to this binge. I could’ve listened to some good talk radio, a quality audiobook, several podcasts, or just better hip hop. I’m not astounded at all by E40’s music, what I am astounded by is the fact he got people to buy the same album over twenty-five times. The sad thing is that he won’t stop making music. With that, I’m going to end with a line from Eminem’s Kamikaze that sums up my problems with all of this.
“So you sold 10 million albums, eh? (What?)
Only problem is, you put out 10 million albums, eh? (Haha)”
-Eminem, The Greatest
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.