Did E-40 really give Biggie Smalls a “pass”?
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Did E-40 really give Biggie Smalls a "pass"?

E-40 is a hero in the Bay Area for several reasons. As one of the first rappers from Vallejo, E-40 (real name Earl Tywone Stevens Sr) began his rap career with his crew, The Click. Members included B-Legit, D-Shot and Suga-T and showcased unique style.

As a member of The Click, Stevens encouraged them to record music and try to make a career out of their obvious talent, resulting in the crew releasing their 1990 EP Let’s Side. Picking up a fair amount of traction in East Oakland and Vallejo, in 1992, the group signed with Sick Wid It Records to release their second album, Down And Dirty.

During the 1990s, Stevens was a household name on the West Coast; some East Coast MCs weren’t feeling him or his collective. More specifically, Biggie Smalls and in 1994, the two had a very dangerous misunderstanding.

In 2007, Biggie Smalls released a DVD about his career entitled Notorious B.I.G: Bigger than Life. The DVD featured interviews with a wide variety of people who knew the artist closely, one of whom was his manager, Larry Burns.

During his interview, Burns explained how Biggie (real name Christopher Wallace) had some issues while performing in the North California city of Sacramento due to an interview he gave, and Stevens corroborated this in an interview on Rude Jude and Lord Sears’ The All Out Show.

Explaining the issue, Stevens explained, “Biggie, back in the days, had said something in a magazine in Canada. He was talking about Spice 1. From a scale of 1-10, he would say, ‘Spice 1 [is] a 2. E-40 [is] a 0. I hate that dude.’

He continued, “I was like, ‘What? Bruh, you ain’t ever even met me. Why you hate me?’ It ain’t nothin’. It’s nothing spectacular. The way it went down, he came down to Sacramento, and just put it this way, I gave him a pass. We talked, and after that, some things went down. I gave him a pass.” He then admitted that some of his crew were on standby to take action, but he called them off as Biggie was already getting heat from LA.”

That said, Larry Burns himself partially confirmed that Biggie was lucky to get out of Sacramento alive after his comments and believes E-40 played a big part in that. You can hear Stevens speaking about the feud in the video below.