Rapper turned alcohol salesman? It’s been done time and again, but few have become successful with said endeavors.
However, an unexpected rap legend has turned his hit-making and independent knowledge of the business world in to a successful beer salesman.
The name we speak of is Bay Area rap legend E-40, birth name Earl Stevens. According to SFGate.com, E-40 has turned the way he earned his rap moniker in to a way to make a living beyond the studio.
In fact, he’s turning his E-40 moniker in to literal 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor. Yes, he’s releasing E40, a honey-kissed malt liquor available in 24-ounce cans and 40-ounce bottles this week.
Sure it may seem cliched, but Stevens is a legit part of the alcohol beverage world these days. It isn’t some gimmick trying to sell more records or dupe fans in to buying an inferior product.
Instead, the long-time rapper has turned in to an alcohol mogul almost overnight.
After a near three-decade career of releasing hit records, Stevens took time for a side project of releasing wine back in 2013. Just like most of his rap career, Stevens is going the independent route and that makes things different here.
He wasn’t buying up an already-made product or putting his name behind someone else’s creation. Instead, this is all of his own making.
It all started with wine sales online and took off nearly overnight, with orders coming in by the pallet within a few weeks according to him:
“They started off with a few cases,” says Stevens. “And then next thing you know, they were like, ‘Hey Earl, one day we’re going to pick up a pallet, 56 cases, just you watch!’”
That “one day” happened in the next two weeks. The success kept snowballing, recalls Stevens: “And then after a pallet, they were like, ‘Hey Earl, one day we’re going to pick up a whole truckload of the stuff, man!’”
Two weeks later, they picked up a truckload, roughly 20 to 21 pallets.
From that point, Stevens also took to mastering his own version of the New Orleans-famous Hurriance. The result was a product known as the Sluricane, a pre-mixed version of the popular drink and a take off part of his famous style of rapping.
However, Stevens didn’t just jump blindly in to making and selling adult beverages. The former rap mogul has been a long play in the alcohol game according to the SFGate.com report:
Stevens has actually been dabbling with selling drinks for the better part of a decade, first with the now-defunct 40 Water, a brightly hued take on Vitamin Water, and later as an endorser and shareholder of Landy Cognac. As a teenager, he worked briefly as a cook at Commandant’s Residence Restaurant in Benicia, which shuttered in 1979.
Clearly he has learned from those experiences and his experiences in the rap game, a part of his career he hasn’t given up on even as this venture takes over more of his time.
Plans are already in the works for more, including an IPA beer and an added flavor of Sluricane.
Safe to say, E-40 isn’t going away in any form in the rap or alcohol games.
[photo: SF Gate]