Pioneering Bay Area rapper who gave rise to the West Coast sound and made Oakland a hub of rap culture. He had his biggest commercial success in 2006 with his single "Tell Me When to Go". His birth name is Earl Stevens.
His flamboyant lyrics and a willingness to experiment with musical techniques like overdubbing made him an influence throughout the U.S.
He revived his fame in 2006 with the single Tell Me When to Go, which was produced by Lil Jon.
He was a member of the Bay Area hip-hop ground The Click, before making his solo debut in 1993.
He was born in Vallejo, California. His son Earl Jr. also became a rapper under the name Droop-E.