Music Review: E-40 “The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil Part 1, 2, & 3”

Music Review: E-40 “The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil Part 1, 2, and 3”
By: Josue “Josh” Alvarez Mapp (a.k.a. DJ Mappquest)

E-40 is synonymous with bay area music and the movement commonly known as Hyphy.  I am not going to sit here and try and tell you that I have been listening to E-40 since his first album “Federal” came out in 1993.  I wasn’t even listening to anything not jazz or oldies until 2000.  I jumped on the hyphy movement around 2004, one year after E-40’s 8th album “Breakin’ News.”  In my opinion, E-40, next to Mac Dre, is one of the most important and iconic artists of Northern California.  He is like what Snoop Dogg is to Southern California.

One of E-40’s greatest contributions was “My Ghetto Report Card” that came out in 2006.  The bay area was just a few steps shy of being relevant on the national scene.  “The Ball Street Journal” that came out in 2008 was nearly as solid and influential.  But after that, the bay, or should I say the yay, lost its grip on the national scene.  Much since then as well, hyphy has also died down, though its spirit, and the unique style bay area artists provide is still here to this day.

Released on March 26th, E-40 brought a three part block CD/album called “The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil,” which comes in three parts.  There is no unique theme to each CD – just good ole bay area rap.  I myself was excited since the last two years had solid double albums.  In 2010, “Revenue Retrievin'” came out as a double album with “Day Shift” and “Night Shift.  Not nearly as solid as “My Ghetto Report Card” or “The Ball Street Journal,” but they were relatively close.  In 2011, “Revenue Retrievin'” came out again with another double album: “Overtime Shift” and “Graveyard Shift.”  A few tracks solid from there, but more lacking in sustenance compared to the double album of 2010.

And now E-40 brings out not two, but three albums worth of music.  I was excited since I am an E-40 fan, and a fan of bay area music.  Keep in mind, these three CDs came only one year after a double album.  E-40 offers 60 new songs one year after releasing 44 songs.  That is impressive considering most artists barely release a CD every year, or in even longer intervals.

I would love to write a great review of these three albums, however, I cannot.  At best, these tracks are “aight.”  Some of them “slap” like “Over Here,” “Get Ya Weight Up,” “What You Smokin’ On,” “Function,” “Beatin’ the Trunk Loose,” “Blame it on the DJ,” and “They Point.”  However, out of 60 songs, only at best one-quarter of all the songs are truly good to listen to over and over again.  The rest are okay.  For those, like me, who like bay area music, go ahead and invest in these CDs as they will add to your collection, and continue to round out this regions music.  However, for those who are not deeply entrenched in the style of music, go buy the individual songs that suits you.  I cannot honestly recommend the whole album for anyone’s collection  if it isn’t a strong majority in rap.

I am not saying E-40 is bad.  He is great and most of his albums are great, if not at least good.  This however, is over the top.  Sometimes quantity is good, but at the same time, quality is better.  I will take “My Ghetto Report Card”-esque albums all the time versus double or triple albums and sub-standard quality.

For the doubters, don’t knock it til you try it.  Give “The Block Brochure” a try.  Listen to a few songs from each part to make sure there isn’t anything you’re missing.

Check out more music and thoughts from DJ Mappquest every Wednesday at 5 PM at KSSU dot com – spinning music of every genre from rock to rap on Genre Roulette.



  1. Anonymous says:

    all i know is that it took revenue retrievein a while to grow on me, The block brochure has more good songs than you mentioned, just listen a few times and you’ll understand… Haven’t been this excited since Wu Tang Forever

    • I know there are more than I mentioned. I am just mention a few to give people a sample of it all. I have listened to all three albums three times over to try and grow to it, but it isn’t happening with this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think atleast 40 out of the 60 are smashing, he tells great stories. Not just dumb me down lyrics. Has that California ride with me music, not just the Bay. I’m So Cal I go back to late 80’s early 90’s with 40water.

  3. Anonymous says:

    yeah this album definitely goes all the way…..this is what detox was supposed to be like……

  4. This was a good and informative review.Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: