Bay Area rap legend, E-40

12th March 2021

He goes by many names: Forty Fonzarelli, Charlie Hustle, 40-Water or maybe you know him as the Ambassador of the Bay Area. When it comes to Bay Area hip-hop, E-40 quite possibly the greatest of all time. His distinctiveness has kept him relevant for three decades now, from mob music in the 1990’s to hyphy slaps in the aughts to new music today. A couple months ago E-40 put out a brand new record with another Bay Area veteran: Too $hort – it’s called Ain’t Gone Do It. We’re taking the time to revisit our conversation with E-40 from 2019. When he joined us we pulled up some deep cuts from R&B singer Saint Charles, who 40 knows as his Uncle Chuckie. Plus, he talked about his college days at Grambling State University.

Episode notes

Photo: Soletron via Flickr Creative Commons

E-40 on the Bay Area, and his legendary hip-hop career

He goes by many names: Forty Fonzarelli, Charlie Hustle, 40-Water or maybe you know him as the Ambassador of the Bay Area. When it comes to Bay Area hip-hop, E-40 quite possibly the greatest of all time.

E-40 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.

His distinctiveness has kept him relevant for three decades now, from mob music in the 1990’s to hyphy slaps in the aughts to new music today.

The themes are simple: hustling, street life, a bit of wisdom and a lot of money making. But even now, in his early 50’s he tries to stay humble about his success.

A couple months ago E-40 put out a brand new record with another Bay Area veteran: Too $hort – it’s called Ain’t Gone Do It. We’re taking the time to revisit our conversation with E-40 from 2019.

When he joined us we pulled up some deep cuts from R&B singer Saint Charles, who 40 knows as his Uncle Chuckie. He explains why Chuckie was a huge inspiration for him. E will also take us to the root of his passion for music. Plus, he talked about his college days at Grambling State University.

This interview originally aired in 2019.

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  • E-40

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