E-40, millionaire, First rapper millionaire, hip hop, artist, 1994

E-40 Recalls Being Rap’s First Millionaire, ‘I Taught the People That Taught You’

Before there was Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and Diddy, there was E-40, a Bay area-based emcee noted as the first rapper to receive a multi-million dollar deal.

On Saturday, July 29, the “Tell Me When to Go” rapper reposted a clip from the “No Vultures” podcast where Cellski and host Lord Rab recalled seeing E-40 secure a $3.5 million deal in the early 90s.

“E-40 just signed for $3.5million, my n-gga,” Cellski said.

Lord Rab recalled the deal being announced back in 1994 in the now-defunct magazine “Rap Pages.”

“E-40 was the first person on the front of the magazine with the multi-million dollar deal,” Lord Rab declared.

“$3million sounds normal as fuck now — no rapper was gettin’ money like that.”


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E-40 proudly shared the clip while patting himself on the back for being the “The 1st artist/CEO with a multi million dollar distribution deal.”

“I taught the people that taught you! #samesince88 based on a true story via @lordrab @cellski415,” he wrote.

In 2012, E-40 spoke with NPR about the record deal he signed in 1994 with his group members of The Click, B-Legit, D-Shot, and Suga-T.

“When we signed with Jive Records in 1994, a lot of people were like, ‘Man, they got a $3million deal! Woo, they got $3million!’ he said at the time. “You don’t get $3million up front just like that. No. As a matter of fact, it was worth way more than that over the years.”

He continued. “But I already had money. I owned a couple houses. Stayed on the golf course, had Lexuses and Rovers. I was already having it. So I didn’t want they advancement like that. I like to see the backend. And that’s what I seen.”

Earlier this month, E-40 took his credit for reigniting the West Coast scene of rap in the early 2000s when he re-emerged with hits like “Tell Me When To Go,” and “U And Dat,” among others.

“I put new life into the West Coast in 2006. And that’s no ifs, ands or buts,” he told the New York Times.

“Can’t nobody say I didn’t, with the help of Lil Jon. And it’s never stopped since then.”

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