Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
2/14/2006 8:22:35 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include E-40. Hip Hop, Rap, Events and Bay Area.
Vallejo rapper E-40 and his extended "family" gathered at Beverly Hills Park on Monday to barbecue, shoot an MTV special and catch up with old neighborhood cronies and fellow Bay Area rap musicians.
The small park just blocks from E-40's childhood home was packed with neighborhood friends and acquaintances, mingling and barbecuing while E-40 was being interviewed by correspondent Sway Calloway for the MTV News special "My Block."
The parking lot was overflowing with flashy vehicles. Two custom cars with gleaming, plus-sized chrome wheels sat on the park's lawn blaring base-heavy rap music.
The lively crowd danced, ate chicken, ribs and hamburgers, and chatted with E-40 and other prominent Bay Area rap artists including Celly Cell, Turf Talk, Federation and E-40's brother B-Legit.
E-40, who's real name is Earl Stevens, called the impromptu picnic a "family reunion," of individuals who grew up in Vallejo's Hillside neighborhood.
"I ain't seen a lot of these people in a long time, and it's good to be back in the hood I grew up in." E-40 said.
The barbecue ended as quickly as it began when Vallejo police ordered the gathering to disperse, citing traffic problems and concerned neighbors.
Jose Gonsales, 20, grew up in the "Hillside" neighborhood, and said events like these show that E-40's fame hasn't made him forget the people that supported him during his humble beginnings.
"This is what it's all about, it shows he is a real (person)," Gonsales said. "Lots of rappers don't take the time out to get back to the neighborhood they came up in, so he's showing us love, and we're showing it right back."
Robbie Cruz, a promotional manager for E-40's 3030/Sick Wid It Records, said E-40 will never forget to pay "homage" to his humble beginnings.
"This neighborhood has given him a lot of support, and he holds loyal to Vallejo."
The MTV special is scheduled to premiere in March, Cruz said.
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