Throughout the '90s and into the next decade, E-40 led a generation of Cali Bay Area rappers and attracted a large cult following of listeners that spread from the West Coast to the South. Forty's uncanny rhyme delivery set him apart from the mainstream, as he coined a plethora of slang terms and experimented with overdubbed vocals. Moreover, his longevity and sincerity earned him many alliances, first among his Bay Area colleagues, then with Jive Records and numerous Dirty South camps, among them No Limit and Cash Money Records. Forty never did completely crossover to mainstream success, remaining mainly a regional sensation, yet influenced many over the years with his unique style and stayed true to his principles throughout.
Born Earl Stevens and later host to numerous nicknames -- "Charlie Hustle," "Forty Fonzarelli," "40-Watter," and more -- 40 grew up in the Cali Bay Area and aspired to follow in the footsteps of Too Short. Like that Oakland legend, 40 built a street ... Read full biography