When Too $hort released his first album "Don't Stop Rappin" in 1983, Kanye West was five years old, Lil' Wayne was still in diapers and Kendrick Lamar hadn't even been born yet.
The rap legend and the similarly venerable E-40 are the founding fathers of the San Francisco Bay Area hip hop scene.
Knowingly or not, much of the present hip hop world, both nationally and in the Bay Area, has at least a bit of their thumbprint on it. For example, if you've heard a slang term in a hip hop song over the past two decades, there's a good chance that E-40 invented it--"fo shizzle," ya' feel me," etc.
Both rappers are well aware of their legacies, so it makes sense that when "History: Function & Mob Music," their long-anticipated joint double album dropped this week, reflection on said legacy would be front and center.
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"All these years makin' all these songs/You haven't heard 'em, what planet you been on," raps Too $hort on the album's opening track. "The old ladies and the little kids love Forty and Shorty, so real with this."
"Our sh*t been pounding all your life/Most ya'll nigga we raised ya'll right," he adds.
They even get fellow hip hop lifer Ice Cube to drop a verse on a song called (what else?) "West Coast Sh*t."
Not that the album is entirely devoted to nostalgic retrospection. "Slide Through" is replete with sexual boasts, while "Smoke That Sh*t" starts with an entrant to lure unsatisfied ladies away from their men with offers of really, really good weed.
In songs like "Singles," an ode to tipping strippers, the duo brings a mature eye to immature topics by diving into the both the banking habits of exotic dancers and how patronizing your local strip club "supports the community."
The project's 34 songs are divided into two discs, with the first "Mob Music" side comprised of most uptempo party tracks and the second "Function Music" side boasting a noticeably more laid-back vibe.
"This project was a long time coming," E-40 told BET in a recent interview. "We covered all bases for the loyal fans and the new ones, too."
Spotify users can check out the album here:
Check out some videos by the duo below: