Local Wire

E-40 @ The Venue Scottsdale

Carlos Santana isn't exactly the hardest brother on the block. Those Rob Thomas and Michelle Branch collaborations didn't do much for his street cred. Luckily, his personal brand of champagne, Santana DVX Sparkling Wine (it's just so smooth), is one of the few factors keeping the Mexican guitar-god legit. That and rapper E-40. The 43-year-old veteran first made his mark in The Click and has gone on to enjoy a successful solo career. But in 2009, Saturday Night Live jokester Andy Samberg latched onto E-40, making him the official faux voice of Santana in a hip-hop ode to musician branding, "Santana DVX." It would be easy to say that E-40 is always a bridesmaid, never a bride, considering just how many high-profile collaborations he's been part of, but he has a prolific solo career to back up any hype. In 2010 and earlier this year, E-40 took an in-depth look at the failing economy on the four-disc Revenue Retrievin' series. He currently is working on his third disc this year, The History Channel, with rapper Too Short. It seems the rapper has enough cred to loan, but Santana should expect to pay it back with interest.

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Christina Caldwell