Alchemist and Oh No once lectured me against the inhalation of Romulan, but I won’t hold it against E-40. Once you have invented more verbs than Vladimir Nabokov, you get the greenlight to burn half-bunk strains of bud. What’s amazing about Fonzarelli and Todd Shaw is that these two continue to show no signs of age. Their new double-album is subtitled, Function Music, a reference that will probably be lost on those down since “Blow Job Betty” (like Kristen Bell. Really.)

You can theorize all day while Bay rappers age like the undead (save for N2 Deep — “Valeeeejooooo”), while many of their East Coast counterparts bitch and moan about how the game’s changed. At worst, they make pathetic bids for relevance involving Instagramming and Ratchets. We see you LL and Fat Joe, but we are ignoring you in the hopes that you’ll stop.

You can’t say that that either has really overhauled their style, more that the rest of hip hop finally caught up. It’s similar to how Spaceghost, Lex Luger and Wiz grew up on Triple Six, so Juicy J seems as fresh now as the day he first started sipping Bombay. After all, Kendrick listened to “Big Ballin with the Homies” at his school and Danny Brown’s gone on the record to say 40 is his all-time favorite. So nearly 20 years after he started pushing tapes, 40’s Tasmanian with a Thesaurus flow has become an animated ideal. His influence was incalculable on hyphy, which helped spawn jerkin, and finally got perfected by the illegitimate child known as ratchet. And you didn’t need me to tell you that Short invented the laid-back sex styles that Y.G and Tyga ran with.

Then there’s Tyga. I said a while back that he is this generation’s Mase and he has done nothing to convince me otherwise. This is a compliment. He might look like the Smang-Rap SnagglePuss, but he has a melodic ability and rarely mars songs. He’s like background music for club tracks, never gets in the way, always stays on beat, gets girls to dance. And his Well Done 3 mixtape was surprisingly well done. He’s never going to be anywhere close to the other two guys on this song, but he’s aware of his limitations and that makes him effective. Look for him to make fun of Loon in ten years on a big producer’s lackluster compilation record. Or at least Gudda Gudda.


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