Vibe - 9/98, p.286
"...E-40 casts a lyric spell with a nonstop flow of vividly engaging rags-to-riches tales..."
The Source - 9/98, p.2444 Mics (out of 5)
- "When it comes to creativity, originality and personality in today's hip-hop music, there are few rappers who can hang with E-40....40 Water sticks to his original recipe--elastic flows that stretch rhymes out of shape against beats funkier than a can of sardines..."
Rap Pages - 10/98, p.1194 (out of 5)
- "...E-40 returns to the Hip-Hop lecture hall with a collection of songs that mentor those in the struggle....40, again, proves that he is a trailblazer and not a follower..."
Personnel: E-40, B-Legit, A-1, D-Shot, Suga T, LeVitti, The Mossie, WC, Mack 10, Busta Rhymes, Silk E, C-Bo, Too Short, K-Ci, JoJo, Master P (vocals); Bosko (various instruments); Sam Bostic (guitar, keyboards, drum programming); Carl Burnett, Flat Top (guitar); Keith Eaddie (bass); Mike Mosley (keyboards, drum programming); D.J. TNT (scratches); Otis, Shug, Alechia Campbell, Kaveo (background vocals).
Producers include: Rick Rock, Big Tyme, Bosko, Ant Banks, Studio Ton.
Engineers include: D-Wiz, Bosko Kante, Ant Banks, Studio Ton, Joel Pierre.
Personnel includes: E-40, B-Legit, Jayo Felony, A-1, D-Shot, Suga T., LeVitti, The Mossie, WC, Mack 10, Busta Rhymes, Silk E, C-Bo, Too Short, K-Ci & JoJo, Master P (vocals); Bosko (various instruments); Sam Bostic (guitar, keyboards, drum programming); Carl Burnett, Flat Top (guitar); Mike Mosley (keyboards, drums programming); Keith Eaddle (bass); D.J. TNT (scratches); Otis & Shug, Kaveo, Alechia Campbell (background vocals)
Producers: E-40, Rick Rock, Big Tyme, Bosko, Ant Banks.
Engineers include: D-Wiz, Bosko Kante, Ant Banks.
Personnel: E-40 (vocals); Busta Rhymes (vocals, background vocals); D-Shot, Too $hort, Jayo Felony, JoJo , K-Ci & JoJo, Levitti, Mack 10, Master P, WC (vocals); Sam Bostic (guitar, keyboard programming, drum programming); Carl Burnett (guitar); Michael Mosley (keyboard programming, drum programming); Kaveo, Otis (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: D-Wiz; Lance Pierre; Ant Banks; Carlos Warlick.
Recording information: Chicken & Beats Studio; Cosmic; Digital Studios; Michael Denton Studios; Orange Room; Plant Studios.
E-40's ELEMENT OF SURPRISE is like a cold splash of water in the face, startling the listener with a head-on dose of street reality. The most startling aspect of the album is E-40's unique rapping style; with his mile-a-minute rhymes, he makes Onyx sound like a bunch of slackers. His lyrics go by at such a breakneck pace that, while one is able to glean the general intent of the lyrics, his voice becomes another instrument, taking a place in the mix that's more physical than cerebral. He's pretty prolific, too, as evidenced by the 24 cuts spread out over ELEMENTS OF SURPRISE's two discs. Too Short, Master P and others make guest appearances on these funk-inflected tracks, but this is E-40's show all the way.