With the 1999 release of his fifth solo effort, E-40 commemorated ten years in the rap music business. Undoubtedly more than a flash in the pan, E-40's staying power as one of the tried and true superstars in the rap game is validated by the workmanship in Charlie Hustle: The Blueprint of a Self-Made Millionaire, a display of guttural growls and speed-rap techniques that takes listeners along a journey through the harsh realities of surviving in inner-city ghettos. This 17-track recording artfully delivers funky backbeats, melodic hooks, and a flurry of synthesizer-enhanced rhythms to complement the unique stutter-stop patois of E-40's flowing rap lyrics. This is best evidenced on "Big Ballin' with My Homies" and "Rules and Regulations," where the masterful MC adopts various styles of cadence and vocal texture to hype the overall effect. Fellow West Coast rappers C-Bo, Yukmouth, Fat Joe, and Jayo Felony guest star on what amounts to a semi-autobiographical accounting of E-40's own ascent from the ghetto to the California suburbs. All in all, this is a furious and energetic release of truths, guts, and the triumph of the American Dream.
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AllMusic Review by Roxanne Blanford