Currently E-40s double album Revenue Retrievin: Day Shift and Revenue Retrievin: Night Shift is flying high on the charts. The indie overlord has repped the Bay Area (The Yay) for over 20 years and continues to release music independently with major success. Furthermore, the slang lord has the gall to release this double album in a recession. Ballsy.
40 sat down with AllHipHop.com and reveals how to thrive in these tough economic times as a rapper, a father and a business man. Illegal or Legal take notes from E-40, whos still feddy pinchin after all these years.
AllHipHop.com: Whats going on 40?
E-40: Shit you know, same soup, just warmed over (laughs).
AllHipHop.com: So whats good man, where are you?
E-40: In the Yay Area, you know doing my grit with the album. Excuse me, albums out!
AllHipHop.com: Yea man you got that Revenue Retrievin out, that Day and Night. I might need to you to tell us how to get money during the day and at night since thats doing so well on the charts man.
E-40: Its pretty much the same as far as getting money during day and night. You know, whether its legal or illegal. You can work at a warehouse, or a furniture spot or a Costco, be out there at the wee hours of the night. 3 or 4 in the morning setting boxes up. Then you could be on the block at 3 or 4 in the morning out there getting money when the dope fiends out there, where it pops the most. So it could be legal or illegal. Ya smell me? (Laughs)
AllHipHop.com: You are rapper that has gone down different paths as far as business opportunities. You owned a Fat Burger, a Wing-Stop, I heard you had a few restaurants, tell me about how those businesses.
E-40: Both of those companies both of them are not mine, but I actually did buy into the franchise, I bought the building and whatever. But I ended up buying a building and now Im going through some things with that. But I had a Fat Burger for like 3 years, but with the economy the way it was, thats messed everything up. We had to shut the doors on it. Instead of people buying a Fat Burger, they went to Albertsons and got some patties and hamburger buns. Its just the ups and downs.
AllHipHop.com: Theyre making them Eddie Murphy homemade hamburgers.
E-40: Yea, Im not gonna cry over spilled milk. Big business men and people like Donald Trump have had businesses that failed. So for me right now its all about investing in me and my record label.
AllHipHop.com: So talk to me a little more about this album. I know Mistah FAB and Jacka are featured on there. But tell me more about some features and what you got for the fans.
E-40: There are so many people on there, I got to go get the CD to see whos on there. If I say one persons name I got to say them all. Im going to make sure I cover everyone. Its some shit on there for you. Its the hottest shit out, everyone says that, but I get feedback from the core audience, and I am just grateful that my fans are continuing to support me. Put it like this 97% of the Bay is on there. Mack Shawn 100, Cousin, Turf Talk, B Legit, La Rue, all of Sick Wid It Records, Droop-E.
AllHipHop.com: Now did you get any production from Droop-E?
E-40: Yea thats my son; he produced more than half the album. He produced the majority of both of these albums.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about working with your son, man. Whats that like?
E-40: Man its the best thing ever. Its the best thing a father can ask for. Droop-E started in this game with me when he was 3 years old. He did a skit with me in 1991, the album came out in 1992, the album was called Federal, and on the album the song was called Questions. He used to always ask me a lot of questions. So we did a skit with that. He was like, Daddy, where you get that money? Daddy are you a gangster?
He was always curious. So you know my thang, a closed mouth dont get fed and a lazy hustler dont get bread. You smell me? So I never had a problem with someone asking questions as a youngster because thats how I was. So we did a skit called Questions he was three years old. Then 3 years later, on my platinum album In a Major Way, he was six years old at that point, and he did a rap at 6 years old, rappin’ with his daddy on a song. He busted a hot 8 measures.
AllHipHop.com: (Laughs) yall are like Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. Its like hip-hop generations. Whos to know what he is going to do if you decide to retire? He will continue the legacy in the Bay.
E-40: Youre right man. The thing about Droop-E is that Im his boss as his daddy, and hes my boss because I am signed to his label, which is Heavy on the Grind Entertainment, which is a distribution deal through EMI. We are both executive producers of both these albums, Revenue Retrieving Day Shift and Revenue Retrieving Night shift.
AllHipHop.com: So about 20 years in the game now, 12 solo releases up until this point.
E-40: Nah, its more than that. 22 years, my first record came out in 1988. I just added two more to my repertoire as well, that Revenue Retrieving Day and the Night shift. (Laughs) And I rap with a group the Click so you might as well add 3 more of then on to the thang.
AllHipHop.com: Yea man can you tell me about the Click and if you have any reunion plans coming up?
E-40: There is a reunion in the making right now. Let me tell you a little bit about the Click right quick man. Well we came out with a record and we were called MVP, which came out in 1998. E-40, B-Legit, D-Shot, Suga-T and we were one group. So in 1989, a year later we changed our name to the Click.
We were MVP in 1988, and we were the first ones to call ourselves the Click, and we were family orientated and we came with an EP called less ties. Then we came with an album called Down and Dirty. That particular album had the streets on lock. You see, we talked about stuff that real players, and hustlers and bitches and Gs and people in the streets that people could relate to. It was like that, people could relate to the messages, and it wasnt all negative either, we had police issues, we were saying shit like that back then. You know we covered every part of the game and then we started doing solo projects, and all of our projects were successful.
Its a long story, but our story is sick man and you know a lot of people favorite record label got their blueprints from Sick Wid It Records, and thats not talking bad, thats in a good way. I am happy for record labels that have prospered and blossomed since then. But I feel like there is enough money out there for everyone. You see the thing about me is that, Im not a playa hata, Im a money motivator.
AllHipHop.com: Theres that Bay Area swag (laughs) Different than any other place in the country.
E-40: Yea well theres no place like us man. We the Mecca of game. This is the nucleus, this is the main hub man. Come on man, this is natural like an apple, for us its easy. Its like, this is how we really are, we talk like this, this is regular conversation. The shit isnt staged.
AllHipHop.com: Thats dope man, with the longevity of your solo career and then the work with the group and your family, your own label Sick Wid It. It makes it easy to come out with an album that will be embraced by the streets. Come out with a double disk and its well received and selling independently.
E-40: Man, a rappers lifespan is probably like 5 years, maybe not even that. You can have a hot single and then that single fades away and then you never resurface again. Ive seen them come and go. Thats why I always try to tell people to be humble and to just do you, and just let your nuts hang over your shoulder with your talent. I know that everyone thinks that there is only one way to get on and thats to do the stand dont go outside your jurisdiction type of songs. Its like people always want to do the standard rap and the standard songs. Thats one thing that people took a liking to me, because I was unique and I was speaking real sh**t.