A few weeks back—when we spoke to E-40 about his 25 Most Essentials Songs—40 revealed that despite being roughly the same age as Too $hort, he feels like he grew up on $hort Dawg. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, just like 40 Water, Too $hort is a legend and one of the most influential Bay Area rappers ever. Over the years, the two West Coast pioneers have collaborated together on numerous tracks (like "From the Ground Up"), but despite their best attempts, they've never made an album together. Fortunately this year they plan to change all that with their upcoming collaborative effort, The History Channel. We got on the horn with $hort to talk about how the album came together, why their label Jive Records wouldn't let them do this album years ago, and the deal he made with the current Complex coverboy Wiz Khalifa.

On The History Channel album with E-40

“We’re about halfway through recording the album, maybe a little bit further than that. If we don’t get it out on the market by the end of this year, it’ll be out by the top of next year. But we’re definitely going to drop some singles and videos this year. It’s a project that we wanted to do ten years ago. We both were Jive Records artists at the time, but Jive just did not want any parts of that album and we couldn’t figure out why.

"[This was around the time] Redman and Method Man [did Blackout]. Jive just did not want that album to come out. I almost did an album with Lil Jon back when he was on TVT and Jive turned that down too. I don’t know what they had against collabos. I have no idea, but I look back on it and a lot of Jive artists have really never collaborated with each other. [Laughs.] It must be something they do over there. We would have made so much money together ten years ago. But we both waited it out. We waited until we both got out of Jive and we talked about it one day and said, ‘You know what? Now is a good damn time to do that album.’

"We’re only doing 12 tracks, maybe. We’ll put some older songs that we did on there and make it a complete project. We’ll shoot a bunch of videos and drop it. But I just talked to 40 today and he was like, ‘Where we at with it?’ So the first songs we did, we got in the studio and did them all together. Now we’ve got the whole nucleus of the album. And we know which beats [we want] because we’ve picked all the tracks. And now we’re like, ‘You do your part in your studio, I’ll do mine in my studio, and you can send me an email.’

"All I can tell you is, all of the good product you got from E-40 with all the good product you got from Too $hort—it’s almost impossible for us to make a terrible album together. We’re both opinionated, so I damn sure am not co-signing a song that I think is wack. Whether I’m on it or not, I’m like, 'It’s wack! I don’t like it.' [Laughs.]

"[For producers we got] Solomon and his sons. It’s mostly guys that we know who are West Coast producers. We’re trying to give the homies a good look. I guarantee you the beats are the shit. Definitely some features. We haven’t done the all-star lineup yet, but it’s definitely going to be some features. Wiz Khalifa is going to be on the album. That was the deal we made: I was going to do some work for him and he was going to do some work with us. That’s how we do it. It’s called the trade-off man."