Playing Around 

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E-40 with special guest Money B of the Digital Underground
City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa Ave.
Fri., Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
$25, 385-6590

Oakland rap never fully overcame the pimping, potty-mouthed gangster schtick of its baddest boy, Too $hort, who brought us unforgettable lines like: "We don't need to kiss, we don't &(*&%/ I'll *$%&#@ $%^) you can *&^)(*." Ahh, the late '80s -- those were the days. While $hort Dog's shadow was long, no doubt, there was another: E-40, heir to the East Bay player's club throne in the early '90s. But the underground loved E more than he loved it, maybe. Thing was, he moved units with or without the big labels (though he eventually signed to Jive) -- often from the trunk of his car. Let's face it -- the world just wasn't ready for his giddy-up linguistic gymnastics on tracks like "Captain Save a Hoe" and "Sprinkle Me." But what with autisti-spit emcees like Eminem having already paved a new hip-hop interstate, E-40 can now roll low in a '64 I-told-you-so. Touring behind his new hunk o' crunk, Grit and Grind, he joins Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent in the infamous line of hustlas to take the City Auditorium stage.

-- Noel Black


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