Vallejo, CA

Earl Stevens is a national rap treasure and he’s giving back to the children in the same community he grew up.

His local news outlet CBS SF Bay Area was on hand yesterday, August 24, at Franklin Middle School in Vallejo, Calif. where an eighth-grade honor student E-40 once attended. The 48-year-old creator of hits such as “Tell Me When to Go,” “Choices (Yup)” and “Petty” surprised each and every student with a Jansport backpack filled to the brim with school supplies as well as a special inspiration note from 40 Water himself.

“I made the honor roll in the eighth grade. I was so happy!” laughed E-40 to the CBS cameras. “I’m just sitting up here reminiscing now looking at the whole facility and environment. It’s a beautiful thing.”

His message to the youth was simple and poignant: “Stay in school, stay positive, stay out of trouble and stay prayed up.”

This year marks the third consecutive year the Vallejo middle school hosted a backpack drive and upon hearing the news, E-40 stepped up and donated the $25,000 out of his own bank account to ensure the students had everything they needed for a successful school year.

I’m speechless. That’s right. How many people actually come back to the community? This is what he’s done,” Dr. Michelle Jordan-Faucett, the principal at Franklin Middle School, exclaimed. “He’s not only come back to Franklin; he’s come back to Vallejo.”

“Parents don’t have the money to buy all the supplies that they need for their children,” she continued. “And so that’s one of the burdens we take away from them. We buy them supplies.”

The kids in attendance appeared to be ecstatic that a high-profile figure would even care to offer assistance to begin with.

“It’s just like, crazy! Like, a famous person is coming,” said Isaiah Brown, a sixth grader getting his first taste of middle school in the best way possible. “When I heard, I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s a dream come true.”

“It’s pretty cool that E-40 is doing this for us,” another sixth grader, Citlalli Garah told CBS.