Vallejo emcee E-40 is an iconic West Coast artist and was one of the first acts from North California to break into the mainstream. His 1995 solo album In a Major Way presented an edgy rapper with a distinct flow who quickly garnered attention nationwide.
After his dominance of the mainstream in the 1990s, E-40 (real name Earl Stevens) faded into the background. However, alongside Too $hort, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, he has now burst back onto the scene as part of the supergroup Mount Westmore.
That said, during an appearance on the People’s Party with Talib Kweli, the lyricist spoke about the early days of his career and even detailed the moment he met Tupac Shakur for the first time.
Speaking with the podcast’s co-host, Jasmin Leigh, Stevens reminisced about meeting Shakur in the Bay Area after he had released his iconic 1991 album 2pacalypse Now. Recalling the positivity of his music, he knew he was on the road to stardom.
Speaking about the contents of 2Pacalypse Now, Stevens shared, “He was uplifting to females and the urban community as well. No other rapper spoke as highly of females as he did. ‘Keep your Head Up,’ ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby,’ ‘Dear Mama’ and he had party bangers, and he spoke about the trenches period. The octagon.”
Sharing the relentless artistic drive and passion Tupac had, E-40 described the late rapper’s work ethic and ambition, adding, “Just being a part of All Eyez on Me was amazing.”
Unveiling how they first met, Stevens explained, Richie Rich, we together one day at an event and he said, ’40 I forgot to tell you Tupac want me to give you his number!’ and I was like ‘Tupac!!’ So I called ‘Pac, and he hit me back ’40 what’s up?!’ Next thing you know we hook up, we was at Jack The Rapper [Convention], then he came to my ‘Practice Lookin’ Hard’ video!”
Stevens explained how there were too many gatherings to mention but explained how he was honoured that Shakur had reached out to him even when he was at the height of fame.
Watch Mount Westmore reflect on the late Shakur in the video below.