Songiversary: E-40’s “Function” Turns 5!

The story behind the indelible hyphy banger.

On Feb. 17, 2012, legendary Vallejo rapper E-40 unleashed the single “Function” unto the world, and today, the certified gold track turns 5.

The “new school” hyphy banger was the third single released from E-40’s 16th studio album The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 2, and features verses from then-unknown rappers YG, Iamsu!, and Problem. In fact, Compton rapper Problem, of “Like Whaaat” fame, is responsible for penning the hook for the burbling, bassy song.

“It was a 3:30 in the morning thing,” Problem says about the night he created the hook. “I was just in the studio playing around, and I sent it to [E-40], and at 3:45, E-40 texted back saying, ‘Don’t play this for nobody else.’ ”


The track, which has more than 12 million plays on Spotify, ended up becoming one of E-40’s highest-charting hits, but it also helped launch the careers of the three emcees that he tapped to be on it.

“You’ve got three relatively bubbling artists … and he makes that his single and takes us across the world with him. It helped us all individually spawn our careers. It was amazing,” Problem says. “So it was like low-key genius, but scary at the same time. It was all of our first times on TV because of that record.”

The song also has one of 40 Waters’ greatest lens (though let’s be honest, he has a lot of them): “I spray myself with sucka repellent, my nigga, not perfume.”


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