When it comes to Bay Area hip-hop, E-40 is one of the greatest of all time. He goes by many names including Forty Fonzarelli, Charlie Hustle, 40-Water or maybe you know him as the Ambassador of the Bay Area.
He was born and raised in the small town of Vallejo, and he has brought the culture of the Bay Area to the world. His distinctive style is overflowing with language, bars stuffed to the gills with words both real and imagined. He’s hip-hop’s king of slang and a stylist without peer.
He’s spent his career at the forefront of independent music, building a rap empire that changed the way music was recorded and sold, in hip-hop and beyond. He is both an artist and a movement.
When he joined Bullseye in 2019, he’d just released a new record called Practice Makes Paper. Lately, he’s joined Too $hort, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube to form the West Coast supergroup Mount Westmore. They recently released their album SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT.
When E-40 joined us on the show, he talked about what it was like growing up in the Bay Area and took us to the root of his passion for music. Plus, he talked about his college days at Grambling State University and participating in the school’s talent show.
A version of this interview first aired in July of 2019.
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About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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