-- By doubleay
Vallejo’s E-40 is a man of many titles. 40 Fonzarelli, 40 Water, and "the tycoon known as Charlie Hustle" are only a few of his dozen or so monikers, but the truest of his titles undoubtedly has to be "The Ambassador of the Bay."
The prolific MC is a forefather of West Coast hip-hop, and his extensive discography and boundless accolades have essentially deemed him the epitome of Bay Area rap. 40 brought Bay Area’s unique sound and style to the rest of the world and if any artist wanted to get a piece of the Bay Area scene, they’d have to go through 40 Belafonte to get it. While many other hip-hop legends have comfortably taken their seat among the ranks of rap’s hall of fame, E-40 has never slowed down nor declined in relevance. Many rap veterans may feel threatened by break-through up-and-comers, but in 40’s case it is quite the opposite. In fact, one of the most admirable things about E-40 is the interest he takes in young artists. While continually progressing his own career, 40 has always put on and supported rising talent new to the industry. E-40’s incomparable stature and experience, met with his kindhearted tendency to promote up-and-comers, truly warrants the title "Ambassador of the Bay."
After 27 solo albums, E-40 is back with a new double LP that totally embodies The Ambassador’s ability to cater to his people, both young and old. The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 & Book 2 are each 22 tracks in total, featuring a star-studded track list of stand out OG’s to young bucks. The project has over 40 features, including everything from legends both native and foreign to the Bay Area to fresh up-and-comers with little to no fame or coverage. Few albums have ever had a unique and substantial list of collaborators successfully cater to a wide audience such as this. In an effort to bring some clarity to the depth of this all-ages showcase of a project, I took it upon myself to highlight the most notable features on the double LP.