The Bay Area rap giant E-40 has been ahead of the curve for something like 25 years, which is simply staggering. He’s been a regional giant, an inventor of slang, a flow pioneer, and a chameleon, able to latch onto new sounds with a fluidity that basically nobody from his generation can equal. And he also cranks out new albums at a simply ridiculous pace.
On Friday, E-40 released another new one called The Gift Of Gab, the first of a planned trilogy that he’s calling the Definition albums. It’s another solid outing from a man who only ever makes solid outings these days. But you can learn a lot simply by looking at the tracklist. This time around, for instance, I’m pretty sure E-40 becomes the first non-Detroit star to do a song with the insurgent eccentric Sada Baby, which says a whole lot about how closely he monitors what’s happening in rap music at any given moment.
And the single “Ain’t Talking Bout Nothin” is another great example of that. On that one, E-40 shares the track with old-school LA street-rapper G Perico and young Long Beach genius Vince Staples. Those are two of the most exciting West Coast rappers to come along in years, and they both sound perfectly at home next to 40. (Staples, in particular, is really in the zone on this one.) The video is nothing too special — just three guys rapping in a dingy room, with a car — but it’s still a blast to see great rappers existing alongside one another. Check it out below, and while you’re at it, stream The Gift Of Gab.
The Gift Of Gab is out now on Sick Wid It. Other guests on the album include Ty Dolla $ign, Yhung T.O., and Dr. Cornel West.