E-40 reveals the secret to staying relevant in hip-hop
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E-40 reveals the secret to staying relevant in hip-hop

Vallejo emcee E-40 has been in hip-hop since the early 1990s and is widely considered a Bay Area veteran. Since his 1993 anthem ‘Captain Save a Hoe,’ the lyricist (real name Earl Stevens) has built a name for himself and is an international artist.

As such, in an interview with Hard Knock TV, the musician gave some tips to upcoming MCs about how, like him, you can remain relevant and have an income three decades after your jump-off.  

During his conversation with the media outlet, Stevens explained that one of the integral elements of longevity is staying hungry and humble, disclosing, “All the MC fly-by-nights gotta understand that if you do catch a hot song and you blossom, you must remain hungry and humble.”

He continued, “Key words, words to live by. You must remain hungry and humble, so you stay hungry, you gotta stay on the gas pedal. You gotta stay all gas, no brake pads. And you gotta stay humble. You can’t get bigheaded, start burning bridges, start high-siding on people that helped you get to where you at.”

Insisting that he has always made sure to keep himself working quickly and efficiently, Stevens added, “That’s how I’ve always paced myself, and I love everybody who helped me. I remember everything. I’m just grateful because I’m before rap.”

The West Coast emcee openly claimed that the California DIY work ethic of selling vinyl and CDs out of the trunk was a blueprint for other regions of the US and stated that cities like LA and the Bay Area provided a blueprint for the South. However, he reassured people he was not bitter about it.

Elaborating on the blueprint, Stevens explained, “You know, some of the people who take a page out of our book – I’m a keep it 1,000 – never really spoke on it, but real cats out there know that the Bay specializes in independent music, doing it themselves, selling tapes out of the trunk of their cars. But I don’t hold no grudges against nobody.”

Stevens concluded by telling up-and-coming musicians to invest in other ventures. The Vallejo lyricist has invested in many businesses himself, including a restaurant and an energy drink line. You can hear E-40 speaking about longevity in hip-hop below.