E-40 f/ Keak da Sneak “Tell Me When to Go” (2006)

Produced by: Lil Jon

E-40: “When I first signed with Lil Jon I said, ‘Man, I’ma be me. I want you to give me some new flavors but I also want to cater to my area, my region. I'm gonna want some uptempos, some midtempos, and some soft shit. We gone mix it up.’ He was like, ‘Okay.’ So first song we did [that day] was ‘Muscle Cars.’ I already knew I wanted to do a song called ‘Muscle Cars.’ So I said, ‘Jon, make me an uptempo slap. I wanna call it ‘Muscle Cars.’’ So he made the beat and killed. I said, ‘Lemme call Keak da Sneak cause I want him on this track.’

“So I called Dame Fame—a good friend of Keak da Sneak—and I say, ‘Fame, what's your email cause I want to send you this track called ‘Muscle Cars’ that I want Keak to get on.’ He was like, ‘Okay, but me and Keak in Atlanta.’ I said, ‘Y’all niggas in Atlanta? WHAT! Man if y'all don't get your ass to this studio and come lay this verse to this shit!’ [Laughs.] Keak wasn't never in Atlanta like that but I was. I would be out there all the time. But just the fact that that particular day he was there, I was like, ‘Whoa! What are the chances of this?’

“They came over there. We had a good time too. We got right. We got perkin’ and whatnot, we got that herbal essence in us, that good broccoli, and what-have-you. The beat was made. Keak da Sneak came in there did the hook, did his verse, I did mine. Turf Talk was in the Bay, so we sent it to him.

“In the meantime and in-between time, that same day that we did ‘Muscle Cars’—me, Keak da Sneak, Lil Jon, and Dame Fame, were all still in the studio. Lil Jon was still on the MPC and that boy just came with that ‘dun dun-tsk, dun dun dun-dun tsk.’ Just came out of nowhere with the beat. Like, ‘Ooh, what the fuck is that!?’

“Then the boy Dame Fame and Keak da Sneak was like [whispering], ‘Tell me when to go. Tell me when to go.’ And I said, ‘Spit that shit to me, boy!’ Like [raises voice], ‘Tell me when to go! Tell me when to go!’ And I was like, ‘That's hard.’ It was like magic. Next thing you know, the boy Lil Jon got the Run DMC sample from ‘Dumb Girl.’ Then I spit a verse, Keak did his verse. Then Jon said that at the end of the song there needs to be a chant. That we needed to talk about all that shit that we do out there in the Bay and make it a chant. That's what I did. And the shit became a smash.”

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