Sometimes, there are artists that mean so much to a given city, area, or region, that they almost represent it single-handedly. Well, when it comes to the Bay Area, one of those iconic figures is none other the E-40. Regarded by many as the Bay Area’s “Ambassador” (although he claims Vallejo as his home), E-40 has done much more than simply help give voice to the part of California that I call home (Oakland to exact), but he has also had a major impact on hip hop.
So often on this blog and throughout any hip hop discussion/debate, creativity tens to be brought up. This is one thing that nobody can accuse E-40 of having. From his unique rapping style to slang used in lyrics (he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the terms he’s helped make popular within the culture), 40 has never allowed himself to become dull or predictable. Even at age 45 and nearly 20 years since the release of his first solo album, having survived everything from the 90s era to the Hyphy movement, you can still walk into a club today and hear a recent song by the 40 Water. His ability to stay in-tune with the youth and culture, in a market that only grabs the mainstream’s attention every few years, is just one of the many attributes 40 possesses.
Not only has he been important in terms of what he has put on wax, but E-40 has also been one of the artists that has been extremely successful as an independent artist. While his label, Sic Wid It Records, has had major label support, 40 often reminds listeners about the success he had selling tapes out the trunk of his car and that independent mentality has stuck with him throughout his entire career. This hustling spirit is evident in much of 40’s music. Not only can you hear him give game about operating an independent label, but he also expresses his success as a business man: opening his own businesses, franchising, financial planning, etc. The entrepreneurship that hip hop is known for is certainly something that E-40 is familiar with and, many might say, has mastered.
Though he may not always get the credit that he is due, the
contribution of one of the Bay Area’s haven’t stopped, yet. He has worked with
everybody from Tupac to Lil Jon, to Kendrick Lamar and by the looks of things,
he doesn’t plan on slowing down. Already more than 15 albums in (including
collabs, I didn’t even feel like counting all of them) – some of the more
recent ones being double and even triple disc releases – and with more music
scheduled to be released soon, E-40 has proven that he is deserving of being in
hip-hop’s hall of “game”. So, to E-40, we say…Respect Due.
What are your thoughts on E-40? What’s your favorite song or album? Have you seen him perform live (dope show)? Leave all of your thoughts/comments below. Send any e-mails to email@example.com
You may not always hear his name when people talk about the legends or the greats of hip hop, but for those on the West Coast (myself included), he is still one of the most significant figures to hold down both the board and a mic. Quik is the name.
DJ Quik got his start in the 1980s by selling the mixtapes he created. He originally started when he received a turntable in the 9th grade and would later gain recognition from both fans and record labels alike. He was also able to start booking shows due to the success of his tapes and garner a following. The attention he received from the record labels would later turn into a record deal with Profile Records. His debut album, Quik Is The Name, released in January 1991, would end up being his most popular and influential album.
While several singles were released for the album, including the title track and “Compton’s Most Wanted”, it was the “Tonite”, the tale of a Friday morning leading into a party that night, that helped propel Quik’s career to the next level. The classic, funky West Coast sound featured throughout the album that caught the ears of many rappers and put Quik in high demand as a producer. Along with releasing more solo projects, Quik would go on, over the course of his career, to work with such greats as Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, Xzibit, Jay-Z, and many more. He continues to produce and perform shows across the country.
During the 90s, Quik would release three more albums: Way 2 Fonky, Safe & Sound, Rhythm-al-ism (1998) – all of which went gold – and then four more since 2000. While his later albums have not had nearly the success of his early projects, the impact and sound of Quik continue to be felt to this day. Tonite still has the same replay value as it did when it came out and his contribution to the gangsta rap era is matched by very few. So, to DJ Quik, we say…Respect Due.
What are your thoughts on DJ Quik? What’s your favorite album? Favorite song? How significant do you think his role was to the West Coast? Leave all your thoughts and comments below. Send any e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Thoughts and prayers to DJ Quik and his family for
their recent tragedy.