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E-40 – My Ghetto Report Card

posted on Apr 11, 2007

E-40 – Yay Area
E-40 ft. The Federation – Go Hard or Go Home

My Ghetto Report Card
Warner Brothers/ Sick Wid It/ BME – 2006

Ignored by the mainstream since the West Coast’s glory days, E-40 has been an unclassifiable anomaly in rap music for most of the last decade. While his unique style and unquestionable work ethic have earned him a cult following and respectable independent sales, most listeners outside of his native North-California have struggled with his torrential run-on flow and funk inspired Mob music. Thanks to the emergence of a new Bay Area sound and an association with crunk co-signer Lil Jon however, the self-proclaimed Charlie Hustle has not only re-invented himself for the 21st century but has crafted a new local blueprint announcing his region’s creative and commercial resurrection in the face of a stagnant national rap scene.

My Ghetto Report Card’s success lies both in its innovation and its familiarity as E-40 and his principle producers Rick Rock and Lil Jon slyly use the album to introduce the world to “the Hyphy movement” all while referencing classic Hip-hop. The introductory “Yay Area” for example flips a Digable Planets loop, instantly perking backpacker ears before building into a furiously modern electronic stomp for the Go-Boys. The hit single “Tell me when to Go” meanwhile directly references Run DMC’s “Dumb Girl” with both its clever sampling and its sparse Larry Smith inspired drum programming. Rather than self-conscious nostalgia, these tracks capture the immediacy and freshness of early Hip-hop, defining Hyphy as California’s answer to 80’s rap rather than the west coast crunk it’s unfairly been pigeonholed as. While the high-energy aesthetic may put off listeners preferring laid back head-nodders to trunk-rattling slappers, anyone missing the intensity and anything-goes originality of rap’s first golden age will instantly connect with this new incarnation of California rhyme. Additionally, the move towards lively minimalism from slow and syrupy funk has rejuvenated E-40 himself as his spitfire vocals bounce off the percussion with a long absent ferocity. Previously accused of cramming too many syllables per bar, 40’s cadence is perfectly suited for this new setting and his bravado-based lyrics will have more than one convert reaching for the rewind button to catch his hustling based punch lines.

The album has its flaws, faltering in the back end due to useless skits and a few too many southern crossover attempts, but this filler is easily ignorable and is inconsequential in the age of skip buttons, CD burners and I-Pods. Showcasing an all-star cast from the under appreciated Bay Area including show-stealers Keak Da Sneak, Turf Talk and the Federation; My Ghetto Report Card makes a case not only for E-40, but for Hyphy as a whole, presenting the movement as fun, diverse and not nearly as “dumb” as it would claim. Those looking for deep thoughts and complexity would do well to look elsewhere, but with so many early classics eschewing those traits in favor of party rocking rhymes, it would be hypocritical to lambaste E-40 for bringing this style back to rap’s forefront. While it remains to be seen if Northern-California can make inroads with the mainstream, E-40’s major-label comeback stands as a highpoint from the resurrected Bay and serves as a great introduction to the emerging Hyphy movement. Look out pimp!

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Comments for "E-40 – My Ghetto Report Card"

  1. In the year 2016, a new rap sub genre known as Toilet Music will emerge out of rural South Dakota. Based primarily off of production utilizing flatulence and content revolving around taking a shit, this movement will take MTV, BET, Clear Channel and the pop charts by storm. The main protagonists will be production super team Mario and Luigi, whose revolutionary sound on crossover smash hits such as “Make that water splash up on yo ass (Don’t that make ya mad?)”, “Pebble Shits” and “What does that chunk want?” will define an entire generation of hip hop fans. There will be novelty dances such as “The Wipe” and “Squat it out”, there will be hot Native American video hos performing these on top of Mt. Rushmore and of course there will be bloggers demanding their elitist critical contemporaries sit up and pay attention to this criminally slept on field because its obscure and different and theyll hop on anything that falls under the banner of regionalism. (And to be fair Nas will drop an angry reactionary response called “Flushing the Toilet” or something and Ill insist its an instant classic.)

    Abe Beame    Apr 11, 01:25 PM   
  2. Abe, I’m a man whose Hip Hop intake is 80% NYC boom-bap so believe me when I tell you that I’m as hard on regional rap subgenres as anybody.

    But I’ll have a feature length piece of recent Bay Area rap in a few weeks. I promise you if you approach it with an open mind you’ll find something to like. Maybe not everything, but something.

    Sach    Apr 11, 02:40 PM   
  3. ya’ll some fuck in slave massa lookin cotton pickin bitches in love wit this week ass state of hip hop and get mad at a nigga like FORTY FANZARELI 4 doing a movement in memory for a nigga (MAC DRE) that was killed a few years ago i bet yall niggas neva been to da bay maine yall would know that how it go addddi but anyway let this nig keep doin his thang mane he been knowin how to start makin niggas rock they head since the real early 90’s he know how to do the damn thang main… he keepin the bay alive by doing something new besides niggas fallin in line like slaves wit that weak ass snappin bullshit and fuck it he hotter than 90% of these “niggers” in the rap game rite now yeeeeeeeeee

    mac driggity    Apr 15, 01:41 AM   
  4. fuck this bullshit, u gon tell me this really lives up to classic shit like the mailman and element of surprise, this is bullshit and fuck all that bay area mane shit, fuck that you wanna listen to sum dope shit THE JACKA’s JACK ARTIST!!!!

    — PzYkO    Apr 21, 05:25 PM   
  5. While you may type like your mother got kicked in the stomach when she was pregnant with you, the Jack Artist is actually a really dope album as well.

    Despite having shit to do with the discussion at hand.

    Sach    Apr 21, 09:09 PM   
  6. This Album is tight. From a NYC cat. This is Yola-Boy music…..“Droppin’ off Yowder” E – Fonzarellie AIN’T WENT NO WHERE.

    Canasa Palerno    May 6, 04:33 AM   
  7. ryt first of all all of ya’ll need 2 STFU aiite n den go sit om ya chair n watch e 40 videos ooooooweeeee dey gd aiite BITCHESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS-much luv hoes

    sex    May 17, 04:45 PM   
  8. PEEP GAME...The Bay Area been hot. The rest of the world just didn’t know what we had. We have all kinds of talent. Basically all that shit that you see on MTV and the Radio from singers and rappers in all these states, WE GOT THAT IN THE BAY. The Bay is flooded with talent. E-40 is one of the rappers that has layed out what Bay Area is about. The “Tell Me When To Go” cut was a track to get out there. It’s a track to have the rest direct there ears towards that Bay Area. Once we get that, yall gonna hear the rest of the talent. From street hood music to pop music. We got em all. But 40 is definitely one of the backbones in the Bay. If you ain’t from the Bay…dont’ speak about it.

    bayareamovement    May 24, 06:44 PM   
  9. I grew up on the east coast, and make my home in The Bay, and it is not where I’m from, but what I say. Yes Oakland(The Bay) is full of talent, and Hunger, but it’s just the same everywhere else to. So let’s organise, and stop seperating ourselves by regions, genres, blah blah, and recognise our power as a culture to change, and evolve our lives, and anyway. I think its great that you guy’s are just catching on to E-40 but that came out last year, what you should be reviewing is Mr. F.A.B.‘s new joint The Baydestrian shit it is quality, independent, and moving units.

    djaNaZiONE    May 28, 02:00 AM   
  10. Since the comments have already digressed I gotta second the motion and say, “THE JACKA is the DOPEST MC IN THE BAY!” He 360 degree dunks and farts in the face of 99 percent of all BAY rappers!

    Joshua weitz    Jun 11, 01:43 AM   
  11. E-40 the coldest in the game I have beeen listing to him si

    rayski    Mar 11, 03:21 PM