E-40 is a hero in the Bay Area for several reasons. As one of the first rappers from Oakland, 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.
E-40 recorded some solo material along the way. However, in 1993 The Click had a commercial breakthrough with their comical song ‘Captain Save a Hoe’. With his unique style and humour, E-40 developed a heavy regional following in the Bay Area, eventually spreading nationwide.
However, while he was receiving love on the West Coast, the East Coast wasn’t feeling his music and in an appearance on Rude Jude and Lord Sears’ The All Out Show, Stevens revealed there was an artist that he “gave a pass” to although he could have taken more serious action.
Revealing on the artist, Steven unveiled that in 1994 The Notorious B.I.G. gave an interview in which he had to rate various rappers out of ten and was extremely disrespectful concerning the Bay Area artists. Detailing the column, the Sacramento emcee recalled, “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.
E-40 explained to Rude Jude and Lord Sears how they met up at a party following the fiasco, and the Brooklyn lyricist completely changed his narrative, disclosing, “At the end of the day, [he] talked highly about a motherfucker. I think that they had got him hella perkin’ out there. They was saying that some Canadian magazine was telling him to get hella perkin’. But, the truth serum come out when you drinking, you smell me?”
In an interview with The Breakfast Club, E-40 unveiled that some of his entourage had booked Biggie for a show in Sacramento that was planned to be a setup. He revealed, “If I would’ve give them the green light, they would’ve did something.” However, that never happened, although conspiracies surrounding E-40 arose when the Brooklyn artist was murdered in 1997.
You can hear the story in the video below.