When I was in the period of my life in which hip-hop was pretty much all I listened to or thought about, I thought E-40 was ridiculous. Or maybe even more than that—I think I actively didn't like the dude or his music, which I heard fairly often because I was listening to hip-hop radio, and periodically going to school, in California. E-40 rapped too fast and seemed kind of weirdly, proud of himself and his goofy mass-production of new slang. And why, unlike, all the other artists I held dear at the time, did he insist on not rapping about 1) the importance of rapping, and 2) doing so independently, and 3) doing it better than you for reasons enumerated in points 1) and 2)? That was what I disliked about him then, because I had chosen some sort of weird side in an imaginary dispute and was defending my own desolate little outpost against... well, no one. I was young and sure of some silly convictions and deep undercover in the suburbs. It's funny that I was able to see anyone or anything as ridiculous or overdetermined or overstated, in retrospect.
Anyway, all of what used to put me off about E-40 is now what makes him endearing and hilarious to me. It's not like I missed out on any life-changing art during my period of E-40 abstention—dude puts a triple-LP out every six months, and I would've had to drop out of school to really keep up with his output and give it the attention he felt it deserved—and I don't exactly seek his stuff out now. But when Dave Bry links to an E-40 video at The Awl, as he did this morning, I will watch that and chuckle when E-40 says things like "I'm a laced individual." I'll continue to chuckle when thinking about that phrase, and how one might use that phrase in one's own life.
And when Dave Bry links to the San Francisco Giants promotional videos that E-40 cut with an adorable moppet type named Ursula, I will put those on this website, mini site-vacation be damned, because if someone is going to go to the trouble of filming E-40 repping for Melky Cabrera—"the only Giant with more hits than E-40," he raps in this sadly smoothed-out and de-slanged promo for various All-Star-eligible Giants—it seems the least I can do. No, Pablo Sandoval shouldn't be starting ahead of David Wright, but if the Mets aren't going to go to the trouble of counter-hiring Nas (or Cormega or Screwball, if they're on a budget) for a bunch of web videos, I think it's stupid to blame Sandoval or Giants fans or the silly and eminently game-able MLB fan-voting process for the outcome.
So don't make the mistakes I made. Treasure this American original doofus. That's from one laced individual to the next.