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. Unlike previous volumes, the third Block Brochure opens with a track that feels as massive as the project infers, as "Jealous" stomps majestically and purposefully over those who want to see the motormouth fall ("You want me to pass the baton?/Come and take it from me!"). Two tracks later, it's the West Coast dream team with Snoop Dogg, Daz, Kurupt, and Kokane joining the hyphy slang king and channeling Rick James for the slow and funky "What You Smokin' On." Elsewhere, there are those hilarious, street punch lines and plenty of Bay Area beats that bubble and pop, plus interesting collaborations with comedian Katt Williams and the Hieroglyphics crew. Capping it off is the giant, bright soul that fuels "Sidewalk Memorial," and while that's a worthy exit for a project so impossibly huge, everything between the bookends is thrown about. The material is still strong, but when compared to the 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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries