Breakin News

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The most impressive things about E-40 are the way he combines quick and slang-filled rhymes that bridge alternative and hardcore rap and the fact that his albums bounce between excellent and very good. Breakin News is the latter, taking a little longer to get to the high points than his best. There are plenty of great tracks here and E-40 is as adept as ever at joining whacked-out phrases and killer choruses that stand with the best in contemporary R&B. Heck with the mainstream pop world though. His raps are aimed at the hood, whose residents will still need his long-promised slang dictionary (to be released in conjunction with Murder Dog magazine) to understand it all. "Quarterbackin'" stands up to his best, and an especially slick run of rhymes makes "One Night Stand" memorable. Rick Rock's production contains plenty of fine moments, and a nod or two to old-school electro gives the album that extra stylish touch. Marvel at his delivery first and catch up with what he's saying later. There are quite a few out-and-out belly laughs, and the keen observations are numerous. It's no Charlie Hustle, but like everything he does, it's worthy of attention.

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