The Click

A Bay Area family affair, Click is a four-member hip-hop posse from Vallejo, CA, headed up by rapper E-40 (Earl Stevens) and including his brother D-Shot, sister Suga T, and cousin B-Legit, who grew up in the same household. Though he first achieved solo success, E-40 actually began his career with the group, which was formed in 1986 as the Most Valuable Players and performed at a Grambling State University talent show. The response encouraged the group to rename itself and get down to business, and they released a single called "The King's Men." Meanwhile, E-40 -- earning his nickname of Charlie Hustle -- followed the path of many other successful entrepreneurs, selling tapes from the trunk of his car in the late '80s. (He did so, however, while also managing a family run clothing store and working a day job at an oil refinery). E-40 started his own label, Sick Wid It Records, that put out a couple of Click cassettes and the group's official debut, Down & Dirty. In 1993, the perseverance paid off as E-40 landed a guest spot on Spice 1's 187 He Wrote and got the attention of Jive Records, which signed a distribution deal with Sick Wid It. After the 1994 success of The Mail Man, E-40's first album for the label, Jive released Click's major-label debut, Game Related, the following year. But thanks to E-40's solo career, plus the solo outings of Click's three other members, it was six years before a follow-up saw the light of day. Money & Muscle, which was finally released in the summer of 2001, saw the group once again serving up heavy bottomed West Coast G-funk with occasionally lighthearted lyrics, such as "Hector da Ho Protector," a direct descendant of E-40's 1994 hit "Captain Save a Ho." ~ Dan LeRoy

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