by Adrian Spinelli

Five Minutes With E-40

Last Friday, E-40, the Bay Area’s benevolent king of hip-hop, didn’t just drop one album, he dropped two. The D-Boy Diary Book 1 and The D-Boy Diary Book 2 are the 26th and 27th solo releases for the Vallejo rapper/producer/favorite Uncle, and the 44 tracks in total don’t stray from the hyphy braggadocio for which Earl “E-40” Stevens is notorious.

“I played my position and delivered a bangin’ ass album that slaps,” E-40 says. And while he’s the definitive star of the two albums, their features list reads like a who’s who of Bay Area hip-hop young and old, from classics like The Click’s B-Legit, Mistah F.A.B., Stresmatic and Lil B to the cream of the young crop like Kamaiyah, Nef The Pharaoh, Ezale, and G-Eazy. 40 even opens up the borders to show the inclusivity of a decidedly Bay Area record by employing cameos from national “hot-shit” artists Jay Rock, D.R.A.M., Casey Veggies and Kid Ink.

“I like to give people their credit... even if it’s just on a hook” 40 says. “Keep the people money motivated. What I want for myself I want for others, there’s enough money out there for everybody. And if you plan on being in another game…the streets, just know there’s a brighter side and less chances of going to jail.”

The man has indeed always gone out of his way to involve aspiring artists in his hustle and it builds a community; a hip-hop community that in the Bay is perhaps stronger now than it’s been in 10 years. And 40 is sage in describing his methods and in offering advice:

“We’re seeing so much talent coming out of the Bay Area,” he says. “Be patient, take your time…work hard and not just local. You gotta get it, 'cause nothing was handed to me. We work real hard mentally and physically. This music thing can wear and tear on your brain too and you constantly gotta be creative. I try to do what everybody else don’t.”

40's latest single, “Savage” features B-Legit and producer Jazze Pha and it delivers on his promises. Everything Earl says about his music and about what he’s gonna do, he delivers. He has the same voice on the phone that he does when he’s tweeting or delivering on a track and it’s this commitment to putting his money where his mouth is that’s made him an indispensable figure in the Bay Area and beyond.

“People always gonna hear something slick out of an E-40 song,” he says.

Last, regarding his growing empire of fine consumable libations (Earl Stevens Selections wines, E-40 Craft Malt Liquor, Sluricane) E-40 ended our call with another update and a promise: My wine and my beer and Sluricane/hurricane premier cocktail drinks are doing fine and we’re coming with different on the lookout. I got a vodka coming out early 2017 and a tequila and a whiskey too.

[licks chops]

The D-Boy Diary (Books 1 and 2) are available on iTunes and Spotify.

This Week’s Best Live Music Picks

Every family has a tradition and in mine, it’s going to a show on Thanksgiving weekend. While Bay Area venues aren’t close to operating at max capacity with the holiday weekend on the horizon, here’s five events to get involved in when you’re ready to put down that turkey leg, quit fighting over Black Friday TV deals, or just need to make it to the long weekend to begin with.

Nef The Pharaoh at The New Parish
Monday, November 21st - Doors 8/Show 9
$10/$15/$20 door

How this show isn’t sold out yet is beyond me. Nef has been one of the most successful young rappers in the Bay this year and he’s playing a show in his own backyard tonight in Oakland. The E-40 protege is releasing albums at the same tireless rate as his mentor, with three releases in the last 12 months including collabs with YG, Ty Dolla $ign and this silk (below) with Snoop Dogg from his most recent Fresh Outta Space 3 mixtape:

Spin The Night Thanksgiving Special: Stand Up For Standing Rock at Pop’s Bar (+ Secret Special Guest)

Wednesday, November 23rd 9pm til whenever Dude

Pop’s Bar is a treasure of San Francisco. One of those bars that’s culled from every segment of the Mission and has had the same local inclusiveness today that it did decades ago. And today, the slightly risen DJ booth is a staple for the Mission bar. Spin The Night showcases local DJ’s and artists dropping records that inspire movement, drinking and good vibes. This event is a benefit for the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Access Donation Fund and they’ll be taking donations at the door. Also, a little Dirtybird told me that there’s a VERY special guest jumping on the decks for an intimate set that you’ll probably never get to experience again. Hard-pressed to think of a better way to officially kick-off your Thanksgiving weekend.

Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic - A Tribute To David Bowie at Regency Ballroom
Friday, November 25th, Doors 8/Show 9
$42.50-$59.50 ($50 door)

2016 has been a shit year for lost legends, with David Bowie’s death perhaps hitting the hardest for many of us. In what’s sure to be an emotional evening, Brazilian singer Seu Jorge will be performing songs (the whole collection?) from maybe the most famous Bowie-inspired album, Life Aquatic Studio Sessions: Portuguese Bowie covers that were an integral part of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Here’s hoping the stage set-up is as elaborate as Anderson’s production designs for Life Aquatic.

Caleborate featuring Samaria (w/ Perfect Your Craft), Rayana Jay, Siri & Cash Campain at Social Hall SF

Friday, November 25th Doors 8pm
$12/$15 Door

From where I’m standing, Caleborate is the single most promising rapper to come out of the Bay in the past two years. He’ll be touring his newest album, 1993, a release filled with tongue-in-cheek rhymes about making it as an artist in the Bay and never letting life’s struggles take the shit-eating grin off of your face. Dude is a must-see. Not to be slept on, is opener Rayana Jay, who’s Sorry About Last Night EP is one of the year’s best local R&B/Soul releases.

Seth Troxler at Mezzanine
Saturday, November 26th 9pm-4am

The Detroit Deep House/Techno star brings one of the most engaging electronic sets in the business to the Bay on Saturday night. Seth Troxler doesn’t just unleash drops, he builds them with a careful attention to detail, bringing emotions up almost to eleven, then sinking your breath to the bottom of your belly, before surrendering musical explosions onto the dancefloor. He’s a madman in the best sense of the word and if you want to a pure dance party this weekend, this is hands down your best bet. (Feel free to use the mix below to get through the next two hours of your day)