It is virtually impossible to spend any amount of time in the Bay Area without hearing a hit by E-40. Born Earl Stevens, the rapper who adopted the stage name E-40 has had a tremendous impact upon the hip-hop scene in northern California and all over the world. E-40 is a prolific artist, and has released twenty albums himself, as well as collaborating with many other big-name hitmakers. From his beginnings in the rap group The Click during the mid-eighties, E-40 steadily built an empire upon his signature sound. After becoming a successful Bay Area rapper, he began to expand his sound in 1995 with a solo album. Although this album, In A Major Way, included featured artists such as Tupac Shakur, it still didn't lead to immediate recognition outside of the Bay Area. However, it did bring E-40 more respect within the hip-hop community, which was largely very supportive of his work. As time went by, E-40 went on to work with other artists who had more mainstream popularity, eventually boosting his own profile to make E-40 a household name. Some of those significant big-name collaborators include Lil Jon, T-Pain, and Akon. Lil Jon's single "Snap Yo Fingers" was particularly popular, landing in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to his musical accomplishments, E-40 has also become an entrepreneur and investor along the way. From restaurants to computer companies, he has expanded from his roots in the music industry. However, he shows no sign of slowing down as a rapper. Within the past few years, E-40 has released multiple albums and even connected with more artists for collaborations. High-profile rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Twista, and 2 Chainz have worked on his newer albums. With a unique sound, an extremely loyal fanbase, and a host of other talented musicians around him, E-40 will continue to crank out hits for a long time.