Known for pioneering the independent rap business and paving the way for indie powerhouses such as his friends Cash Money and No Limit Records to flourish, few rappers have the longevity or influence of Vallejo, California’s E-40. Now, he is re-connecting with his cousin and one of his earliest musical collaborators, B-Legit, for a full-length album a first in their 30+ year history as partners-in-crime and in-life. They will release Connected & Respected on April 6th.
Growing up in Vallejo during the Reagan era, Earl Stevens (aka E-40) was lucky to live near Brandt Jones (aka B-Legit), his cousin. Quickly becoming best friends, Stevens and Jones used their street smarts to turn a negative situation into a positive, playing together in the junior high school marching band, rapping together, and earning enough money to get by.
In 1986, Stevens learned from his mother that Jones got into Grambling State University, the historically black college located in Louisiana, and that he would matriculate in the fall. Fearing that his life would take a dark turn without his patnah, Stevens rushed a last-minute application, got accepted, and joined his cousin at school. It was at Grambling where the cousins started to pursue a musical career, forming a rap duo, and turning his school’s alma mater song into a rap and winning a university-wide talent show. The duo parlayed the talent show victory into campus-wide fame, as the song became such a huge hit that they were often stopped for autographs.
Inspired by the success of the revamped alma mater song, the duo moved back to Vallejo to pursue music full-time. Keeping their ambitions in the family, Stevens and Jones recruited Earl’s brother Danell (D-Shot) and sister Tenina (Suga T) to form MVP, a new rap group. By 1992, the group refashioned itself as The Click, hustling their way into becoming one of the most popular acts in rap, selling more than 200,000 copies per release and securing a distribution deal with Jive Records for E-40’s Sick Wid It Records.
Remaining close friends and collaborators through the days of The Click and well into their solo careers, 40 and B-Legit will finally release Connected & Respected, cementing a decades-long partnership into a rich new album. Featuring a picture of the two rappers playing the drums in their junior high band class as the cover, the album is a vital collection of Bay Area heat and a celebration of the partnership that changed the trajectory of a genre. Cements E-40, “E-40 and B-Legits raps go together like peanuts butter and jelly.”
E-40 Announces Connected & Respected Joint Album With Cousin B-Legit, Shares Rowdy “Boy” Video
E-40 Mobs with Yo Gotti and Youngboy Never Broke Again in the “Straight Out The Dirt” Video
E-40 Recruits Yo Gotti and NBA YoungBoy for the Trap-Flavored “Straight Out The Dirt”
E-40 AND B-LEGIT BRING SLURICANE TO WINE COUNTRY IN “FO SHO”
A Rap Legend with Decades of Experience (Uh Huh), E-40 Cannot Be Stopped (Mmm Mmm)
E-40 Credits His “Bounce-Back Abilities” and Counts His Blessings in “Somebody” Visual
Rap Legend E-40 Drops The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2, His 26th and 27th Solo Studio Releases
E-40 Lives the Luxurious Life of a Tycoon in “Savage,” The D-Boy Diaries Double LP Out This Friday
E-40 Drops “On One” Featuring AD from Upcoming Double Album “The D-Boy Diary” Books 1 & 2
E-40 Announces Double Album The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2, Out November 18th
E-40 Recruits Kamaiyah for Hater-Destroying Street Banger
E-40 Joins Snoop Dogg and The Game on the Westside Remix of Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s “All The Way Up”
E-40’s “Choices” Becomes the Rap Legend’s Latest Single to be Certified Gold by the RIAA
E-40 Stars With Golden State Warriors Forward Draymond Green in New Commercial for Beats