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E-40: classic hip-hop at the vogue

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This year The Vogue is still keeping its promise to provide entertainment that everyone can enjoy. 

The historic theater located in the Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis is inviting performers of different musical genres to keep audiences excited as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Representing the world of hip-hop is rapper and entrepreneur E-40. He will appear for a single performance at 10 p.m., March 22 at The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave. 

Born Earl Stevens in Vallejo, Calif., E-40 is a veteran rapper who has successfully bridged the “old school” sounds of hip-hop’s “Golden Era” of the 1980s and early 1990s with the computer-driven digital sounds of today. 

He is most famous for his rapid, unique flow on songs such as “1-Luv,” “Sprinkle Me” and “Things’ll Never Change.” The Bay Area rapper has also come up with several slang catchphrases that became popular outside of his native Bay Area.

“I talked about subject matters that everyone wasn’t talking about,” he said in a recent interview. 

E-40 made his debut  with the group The Click who released the extended play album “Let’s Side” in 1986. It was one of the first examples of what E-40 calls “mobb music,” which later became known as the “G-Funk” sound of West Coast hip-hop, a form of rap that usually incorporates 1970s style R&B rhythms with harmonies, hypnotic grooves and melodic synthesizer arrangements.

One of the best examples of this is the irresistible bass line, rhythm guitar and keyboard work on the funky “Captain Save-A-Hoe,” E-40’s 1993 hit with The Click. It was a breakthrough for him and the group, becoming one of the most requested songs on The Video Jukebox Network.  

Throughout the rest of the decade E-40 became well-known for both his solo tracks and recordings he made with other artists, such as 1995’s “I Got Five On It” with The Luniz, and “Players Ball” with Too Short and Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey of Jodeci. 

E-40 continued to ride high on the charts as the 21st Century arrived, appearing on the No. 1 rap and R&B song “Snap Yo Fingers” with Lil’ Jon and Sean P in 2006.

Although he cut his first record over 30 years ago, E-40 continues to have a strong presence on the rap charts. He also is still relevant in the ever-changing hip-hop industry and has launched several enterprises outside of it.

This month E-40 released a new video for the song “Straight Out the Dirt” with NBA Youngboy and Yo Gotti. 

In addition, he has also become a successful entrepreneur, launching a beverage company and adding his name to a line of wines, a 40-ounce malt liquor and a Hurricane cocktail named Sluricane, inspired by a 1995 track 

Last month, he announced production of a new tequila called E. Cuarenta, which means E-40 in Spanish. 

“I have spent years and many trips to different distillers in Mexico working with master blenders to find just the right product and taste profile,” he explained. “I’m building my adult beverage empire the way I built my independent rap label. As my career.”

When asked about his ability to roll with the trends for three decades, E-40 described himself as “not a grumpy veteran” but an “old youngsta” who is motivated by true talent.  

“It’s golden when talent acknowledges talent,” he said. “Rap evolves and to still be current you have to evolve with it. Get in front or get left behind.” 

 

For tickets to see E-40 or for more information call 317-259-7029 or visit www.thevogue.com.

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