E-40

The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, Pts. 4-6

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After launching the series in March of 2012 with The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, Pts. 1-3, E-40 continues to blow up his discography with The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, Pts. 4-6, available in a three-album box set or three individual parts. Hardcore fans should just go for the full set since none of these parts towers over the others, although Pt. 6 is the weakest of the three by a bit, featuring highlights with B-Legit ("Mob Sh*t"), Rick Ross and French Montana ("Champagne"), Gucci Mane and Trinidad James ("Pablo"), plus the great solo E-40 cut "Rep Yo District," which overflows with both hooks and hometown pride. The rest of the disc comes off as fun yet forgettable filler, but, working backwards, the dark and nasty Pt. 5 pulls the listener in with three solid examples of E-40 slinging slang and schooling fools on his lonesome. Blingy hedonist 2 Chainz then pumps the disc up with "Countdown," while later there's Gucci Mane being wonderfully strange ("Project Building"), Z-Ro with Big K.R.I.T. pleasing the gangsters with a trunk-rumbling cut ("In Dat Cup"), and both B-Legit ("A Breath of Fresh Air") and Too $hort ("When You Gone Let Me") convincing E-40 that throwback is the way to go. Still, it's Danny Brown and ScHoolboy Q who win Pt. 5's prize with the twitchy and thoroughly modern monster dubbed "All of My N*ggaz." Pt. 4 is low on star power with Juicy J ("Chitty Bang"), T.I. ("Episode"), and Webbie ("By Any Means") being the big names, but check Cousin Fik and Choose Up Cheese on "Tree in the Load" and the NhT Boyz on the infectious "Thirsty." Too big and redundant for the casual fan, but E-40 regulars have been used to this kind of deluge since they experienced the Revenue Retrievin': Day Shift/Night Shift onslaught of 2010, so if you buy your Bay Area beats by the pound, this one is so fat it beeps when it backs up.

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