E-40

The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, Pt. 1

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Much in the same way he released his 11th and 12th albums in 2010, and his 13th and 14th albums in 2011, E-40's 15th, 16th, and 17th albums were all released on the same day. That may look prolific, but The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 1, 2, or 3 -- or the three-CD set that boxes them all -- is proof that almost every E-40 mixtape you've seen is a bootleg and that in 2011, "getting paid" is at the top of the rapper's list. Otherwise, the Bay Area's slang king would actually acknowledge this epic undertaking somewhere toward the beginning of volume one, but the first Block Brochure kicks off with the good and small "Fast Lane," a standard-issue trunk rumbler that has "mixtape" written all over it. Worthy bangers like the Juicy J and 2 Chainz feature "They Point," the "yes I can" "Can You Feel It!" with B-Legit, and the draped-up and dripped-out anthem "What's My Name" make this the volume to pick over all the others, plus you get the wicked cheap thrills of "Let's F*ck," featuring the freak of any week, Gangsta Boo. Add the reggae-hop winner "In the Ghetto" and a strong second line of tracks, and you've got good set track by track, but compared to his Revenue Retrievin' onslaught, which was sorted into thematic sets (Day, Night, etc.), these unwieldy Block Brochures come off as a hyphy data dump, leaving all executive production up to the listener.

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