You could have told us we had to listen to E-40's new album on a walkman in a broom closet next to Kevin Liles's office at WB and we still would have showed - Forty Water's just a favorite of ours. But last night's presentation of My Ghetto Report Card was led by a certain Lil Jonathan Smith. Which meant we were headed down to the legendary Electric Lady Studios for all the Carlo Rossi and Crunk Juice we could humanly imbibe, while a corduroy-suited Lil Jon regally worked the room on 40's behalf, bestowing handfuls of weed to his subjects and announcing stripper arrivals for the listening party.
The spectacle wasn't trying to cover up for anything - as you'd expect, Report Card knocks with a vengeance. Rick Rock cuts up Digable Planets samples (for serious!) on the album opener, 40's son Droop-E shows off some of his hardest production to date, and single "Tell Me When To Go" - which has been making NYC's own DJ Enuff scream out "GHOSTRIDE THE WHIP!" every afternoon - sounded just as epic as it always does.
We can't give you much more in the way of song-by-song rundowns - there wasn't a tracklist and besides, it was more fun to make Nelson Muntz "HAW HAW!" noises at our notebook-scribbling pals from other magazines while they tried to keep up (and simultaneously pretend not to be distracted by any breast-jiggling). But we can shout out the Juelz and UGK-featuring "White Girl" as a highlight: over an intensely cheesy, Billy Squier-esque rock drumbreak, the guys wax poetic about their own favorite "white girl", and everyone rips their verses something fierce.
The Bay was in the building throughout, and we were psyched to link back up with Turf Talk and Mugzi from 30/30 Records and Shade45's DJ E-Rock. We were even more psyched to see Sway and all the MTV folks talking up their all-Bay edition of My Block that premieres on MTV2 this Sunday. It looks like the slaps of Northern Cali are going to carry over to the rest of the world this year, and Lil Jon is trying to make sure E-40 leads the charge. But even with a good album, an incredible single, and an unbeatable listening party, there's still some competition. MC Hammer was on Hot 97 this morning proclaiming himself the voice of "the hyphy movement". Please Hammer don't hurt em!