Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift

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E-40’s Revenue Retrievin' series turned into a quadrilogy with the simultaneous release of his 13th album (Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift) and his 14th (Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift). No doubt, Graveyard is the more thematically sound and, overall, the more satisfying release, but Overtime serves to round up all of the Bay Area bangers the rapper couldn’t relate to the dark Graveyard, so expect scattershot heat and an overflowing, sort-it-out-yourself track list. That said, the woozy “Drugs” comes with a wicked, insanely catchy chorus (“Every hood I’m in I get love from the plug/And I probably sold your family member drugs”), and if you want to understand the charm of the often brutish E-40, dig the way the threatening gangster track “Hillside” puts daytime television references (“I ain’t Wayne Brady, but let’s make a deal/Like Drew Carey, man the price is right”) next to the absurd idea of “country ass city boys” bringing hunting rifles to a hood fight. Displaying range his detractors always fail to notice, the rapper goes from a WB sitcom style with the domestic strife of “Me & My Bitch” to true social commentary with “Born in the Struggle,” a track that works in a historical lesson concerning African-Americans' relationship to pork. Interesting stuff, and overstuffed too, but if the zombie hyphy style of the Graveyard Shift gives you chills, the more familiar Overtime Shift is your E-40 release for 2011.

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