You also hooked up with The Click for “Click About It.” That’s the last song on Overtime Shift and you took it back to your original roots with your old clique. How was it being with the old family crew again?
It was beautiful. We all got up in there and vibed. It was crazy how we did it, we went and got Bosko. Bosko did the bridge, which is a producer we’ve been working with for many years—over thirteen, fourteen years… matter of fact, sixteen years since ’95—and he’s also the person that did our first EP. We used to be called M.V.P., and this was 1987 when we recorded this but we put it out in 1988. The song was called “M.V.P. (Most Valuable Players),” so we changed our name after that cause it was an EP. We said “Let’s call ourselves The Click ‘cause we’re one big clique, we’re one family.” The dude that produced that, his name is James Early. We always stayed in contact with James Early out of all these years. During that whole time he used to work with Hammer. He made some of Hammer’s biggest hits—him and Felton Pilate from Con Funk Shun. They’re all from Vallejo and that’s where I’m from so it just so happened that James Early was in the studio when we made “Click About It.” He played the guitar on it, Bosko was on the bridge and we had a youngster by the name of Decades—a newer member to The Click camp. He got an old soul, he a youngster with an old soul from LA. Then we had Harm from Richmond. He’s the one that sung on a variety of our songs in the past, my solo and The Click’s. Everybody that was there was old school, people from the old school that all wanted to get together. It was just like a big family thang and we came with “Click About It,” put the new school twist to it and stayed within our jurisdiction.
If there is anything you’ve been noted for, it’s surely your great storytelling. Between these two discs, what songs do you think shows your story telling at the best?
I got a song called “I Love My Mama,” that’s telling a story. I got a song called “Tired of Sellin Yola.”
It’s just talking about how I hopped in the game—it’s not necessarily me—I’m the narrator. So I hopped in the game and the next thing you know, my dude gave me a sack and instead of flamboastin’—and what I mean by flamboastin’ is I just started showing off. Instead of stuntin’ with my money, I stayed stacking it and I stayed under the radar while the dude that gave me the sack, provided me with the sack, my plug, he stayed flamboastin’ and he tricked all of his money with broads. He got into a love triangle with some broads, they got it, shot em’ and killed him. He was mad at me because I was under the radar but I was having money and I went and brought me a Carlos Jr. and a Green Burrito. Those two franchises are connected to each other. I’m just painting the picture, you feel me? I talk about what happened to the dude with the plug, the dude with the sack. At the end of the day, he got dumped in front of a club. I say “Well where were his dudes at when he was out there?” They say “He was out there hardheaded and loose.” The other dude was out there [36:26] and phone pimpin’, telling the homeboys what kind of car he’s going to be in when he’s leaving, this that and the other. It’s a cold story. It’s not about no particular person, it’s just about my imagination and how shit really be going down around these clubs and around the country, in the hood and everywhere. That’s all it is. At the end of the day, I’m tired of selling yola, I don’t want to do this. The rule of the game is to get in and get out, and that’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re going to elect yourself to enter the game of yola.
That was a script right there. Have you ever thought about taking those type of ideas to the big screen?
Without a doubt. In all the interviews I’ve been doing, that’s one of the main things I be telling people. They wanna know what I’m going to do after rap, it’s going to be what I’m going to do while I’m rapping ‘cause I’m definitely into movies. My brother D-Shot he put out Oscars years ago, I played a big part of that. He has directed movies and videos, so we’re on a case now you know, he has his production team. D-Shot is one of the original members of The Click, that’s my brother so we’re on the case. Movies and cartoon voiceovers, all that good stuff. There are more inventions and a few more ideas, but I don’t wanna reveal yet.
That is all good. I want to sway away from the album and ask this one particular question. Lil B from The Pack. From The Bay. What are your thoughts on him?
You know what, I take my hat off to Lil B because he’s in hustle mode, he’s doing his own thing, he’s a one man army, and he respects all his OGs. It’s not just because he’s from my soil, it’s because the dude is really doing his thing. He’s in everybody’s mouth. Every time I do an interview they mention Lil B because I’m from The Bay and everything. I go to bat for it him and I wish the best from the young man. That man is only 21-years-old man. He’s really made a big impact and he’s doing his thing. I take my hat off to the young man and I wish him the best.
So you obviously support him. Will we see any videos, performance footage or anything with E-40 doing the Cookin’ dance?
Nah (laughs). Well you know I’m OG so I know I can probably do it if I wanted to. That’s probably one of the most easiest dances I can do. We definitely have some music in the making. I’m definitely going to make sure that we do a song or two.
Being from the west coast, I know losing Nate Dogg hit hard, especially if you have memories with him. What’s your most valuable moment with him?
Oh yeah, I remember Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Daz, Snoop, they all came down to The Bay area, came to my house and we all went down to our good friend, producer Studio Tone’s house. We basically stayed around the corner from each other. We kicked it all night. They pretty much spent the night. We was in the studio all night and we came up with a song called “We Came To Rock Ya Body,” and Nate Dogg killed that hook, he did his thang. All we did was kick it ‘cause we’re folks. Us and Tha Dogg Pound go back to the early ‘90s you see what I’m saying? Matter of fact, we have picture of Droop-E and Snoop Dogg in like ’93, ’94 when Droop-E was a little baby. I don’t know how old was. He’s 23 now. Anyway, to make a long story short, anything that Nate Dogg touched… anybody can do a hook, but when Nate Dogg does a hook, he makes the song spectacular. Over all he’s true talent, a true writer. A lot of people can sing but can’t write, some people can write but can’t sing, Nate Dogg did them both. He was able to write and sing, and put game behind it and paint a picture. There’s a difference the way Nate used to get down. He would paint a picture and put real street game behind it where the streets can feel it. There would be game involved you know what I’m saying? We lost a true legend. I know that he’s just another angle looking over his family, watching over his good loved ones.
If anybody would ever try to be the next Nate Dogg, what type of shoes would they have to fill?
Well first of all, they would have to be reincarnated or go way back or something. It would have to be an older guy. It’s too late if they didn’t start younger. See let me tell you something about E-40. Let me tell you about Too Short. Let me tell you about Jay-Z. We’re older dudes that know too much. We’re from the ‘80s era you smell me? Nate Dogg goes way back. You have to be laced in chrome. That’s going to be hard to do, for someone to try and become another Nate Dogg. Because like I said, he knows how to sing and he knew how to spit game in his hooks and the way he got down where you can paint a picture with it. It just wasn’t that easy. He had a chemistry and he was from a certain era. So I don’t know, I just think it will be tough. I mean, T-Pain is the same way, but you have to have an old soul. I have to give it up to T-Pain. T-Pain is another dude that can put game in it. It’s either he been around it or he’s just a true talent. He’s one, but he has his own thing. People think that T-Pain can’t sing, but T-Pain can sing. T-Pain can sing, he just chooses to use the auto-tune. And you have to understand that he was a rapper first. So when you’re a rapper, you really gotta know how to put those lyrics in it. Nate Dogg knew how to rap too. The first time I ever heard him rap was on my song. We did a song at my house called “Sinister Mob,” that was on my Loyalty & Betrayal album. That boy was on there rapping! I said “Boy you on there gasin’ like that?!?” He said “You know I know how to, I just don’t ever do it.” I said “As long as you’re on my s**t, gas that thang!” Ya feel me?
What’s next? Besides the next installment to the Revenue Retrievin’ series, I hear you have a project with Too Short coming out.
Me and Too Short are currently in the studio working on the The History Channel. We spoke on it years ago, but now is the perfect time because now we’re both independent, both got distribution deals through EMI. Every time we make a song together, it becomes magic, it becomes one of those ones. We got that. I’m also working on my family group, which is The Click. B-Legit, D-Shot and Suga-T, we’re working on a group project called The Recognition. And then my son Droop-E, he’s coming out with his album. Truf Talk is coming out with his album…
*Note from the interviewer, Shabazz: E-40 mentioned that he was in a hotel room, which made sense because the call would break up. Though The Bay legend was on a roll with his upcoming jewels, the call dropped right where the interview stops. However, keep a close radar on E-40 for these next projects and other news via twitter, and of course, support Revenue Retrievin’: Overtime Shift and Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift through your local record store or via iTunes.