In an interview with Nate Burleson on CBS Mornings, E-40 reflected on his career and was asked how he feels about where the genre is at these days. "I don't like where it's at," he said around the 3-minute point of the interview, as seen above. "Because I feel like it's not enough creativity. A lot of people sound the same, bro. A lot of people sound the same and they talking about a lot of copycat... A lot of them is saying the same thing over and over and over instead of mixing it up."
He suggested that one of the things he's not seeing enough of in hip-hop right now is positivity. "I'm not trying to act like I'm hella positive, but I am because I always talk about—the things that sound like it ain't positive, I'm a storyteller, it's really positive because I talk about the repercussions and consequences that can happen if you do this," he continued. "If you sliding, you spinning, you're doing whatever... I'm a storyteller that's what I've been doing ever since I was a little young mustache in the rap game."
The Bay Area legend isn't alone in how he feels about hip-hop right now. Last month, Lil Yachty caught some heat after he said the genre was "in a terrible place" right now. “The state of hip-hop right now is a lot of imitation. It’s a lot of quick, low-quality music being put out," he said. "It’s a lot less risk-taking, it’s a lot less originality…People are too safe now. Everyone is so safe. I rather take the risk than take the L." He later defended his comments and accused record labels of pulling back on supporting hip-hop.
Rapper Xzibit also recently expressed frustration with where hip-hop is at. “There’s no emotional investment in the music, like when we were putting music out,” Xzibit said in an appearance on The Adam Carolla Show. "You had the CD cover, the album cover, cassette. You get to open it, you get to see who produced it, you get to read the lyrics. You’re not guessing. A lot of the things that made us have 10, 15, 20, 30-year-long careers doesn’t exist anymore."
He added that he believes "hip-hop doesn’t have the staying power that it used to have," but he's hopeful that it won't always be the case. "I think there’s a real path right now for somebody to come out with some real content and have that staying power, and show that it’s possible," he said.
In contrast, J. Cole offered his thoughts on Kevin Hart's Peacock talk show Hart to Hart earlier this year, describing its current state as "fire" and praising the wide variety of styles on display. He also suggested that "the most exciting" rap, at least "commercially," is coming from women.