Album Review: E-40 – Revenue Retrievin’: Overtime Shift

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E-40’s Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift was more or less disappointing due to its song’s contrived formulas and lackluster production.  Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly for Bay Area diehards, Revenue Retrievin’: Overtime Shift turned out to be everything that Graveyard Shift wasn’t.  That’s not to say this  is by far the album of all albums in E-40’s fourteen album catalogue, but it’s far more eclectic as it’s shift from hood bangers like “Mr. Flamboyant 2k11” to hyphy anthems like “Beastin.”

Overtime Shift sounds a lot craftier and polished than its counterpart.  For starters, the production on the album is far superior to Graveyard Shift.  And though there are an equal amount of songs on both albums, there are certainly more trunk knockers and earthier grooves to bob your head to on Overtime Shift.  On “Punk’em Out,” the production sounds eerily close to fellow west coast beatsmith Madlib.  In addition, E-40 provides braggadocios lyricism and spits deadly but humorous lines like “where I’m at their dirty/ we will throw you out of your car in front of your mama/ (What about the body) bodies litter the street/ he didn’t get buried for weeks/ no insurance bro/ so they pass the hat around for the funeral.”  In “Hill Side,” E-40 throws up his hood and delivers a rapid fire flow.  “Beastin” has E-40 at his rawest as he spits over a hypnotic instrumental.  Though he throws caution to the wind for haters exhuming trash out their lungs, he still reserves his humorous side with lyrics like, “I’m not an alcoholic/ I’m just a serious social drinker.”

Overnight Shift isn’t only filled with gangster bravado, however.  Though few, E-40 reserved his vulnerabilities in songs like “Lookin Back” and “I Love My Mamma.”  In “Lookin’ Back,” Devin The Dude and 40 exchange heartfelt and nostalgic tales of their come up.  Likewise, “I Love My Mamma” is also nostalgic and heartfelt in nature, as well as 40’s rendition of 2pac’s classic ode “Dear Mama.”  And though there are as many odes to mamas as there are rags to riches stories, the result is still timeless.  The same can’t can’t be said about “Me and My B*tch” which pales in comparison to Biggie’s classic. And while I’m mentioning 40’s not so great songs, I might as well throw in other songs that didn’t make the cut.  “My Money Straight,” for example, has a classic west coast vibe, but fails due to “I’m doing this to put my little homies on” methodology.  Certainly there’s nothing wrong with putting your homies on, but if they’re dropping weak bars like “we keep the toys year round like Toys-R-Us” and “I’m ballin’ like the Phoenix Suns,” a bigger favor would be to lock them in a hyperbolic chamber.  In terms of production, “I Am” featuring Laroo T.H.H. and Droop-E is the most simplistic, and lyrically, the pop friendly “Stay Gone” is by far the most watered down track on the album.  Lyrics like “I stay gone like the past” and “I’m trying to make my money greener/ greener than my grass” is probably about as humiliating as it gets for any E-40 loyalist to stomach.

Again, Overtime Shift still suffers from quantity over quality like its counterpart Graveyard Shift.  Overall,  Overnight Shift is a much better listen than Graveyard Shift and sure to please his minion of West Coast .  Yes, there are some blunders on this album, too, that you will most likely skip over, but none disturbing enough to make the album unlikeable.  When it comes to differentiating between the two volumes of 40 Water’s Revenue Retrievin’ series, I would ultimately advise spending your bottom dollar on this disc rather than Graveyard Shift, as it might to prevent your heart from working overtime in disappointment.



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