E-40 - Revenue Retrievin: Day Shift & Night Shift

Posted April 6, 2010
Tags: E-40,

In his more than twenty years in the game the man they call E-40 has undoubtedly seen it all,...

Revenue Retrievin: Day Shift & Night Shift Album Review

In his more than twenty years in the game the man they call E-40 has undoubtedly seen it all, but the last few years have been a roller coaster for E-Fonzarelli. After decades of local legend status he exploded onto the national stage with his stellar 2006 album My Ghetto Report Card, leading to his watered down last effort Ball St. Journal, and now he’s come full circle on his new album Revenue Retrievin, an album that doesn’t give the slightest glimmer of a f**k about pleasing the mainstream. It’s good to have you back 40 Water.

E-40’s obviously not a man of small appetites, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Revenue Retrieving is a double album (cleverly titled Day Shift and Night Shift, respectively). With a concept like that you’d think the two albums would be sonically contrasting – Day would be lighter, more radio friendly and Night would be darker, more street – but if there’s a significant difference between the two, I can’t figure it out. In fact, coming in at a gluttonous 38 total tracks, 40’s editing criteria appears to be “if it knocks, it goes on the album,” which ultimately means that if you’re not Bayish to the core, I honestly can’t see you listening to more than two hours of straight 40. And if you are, then congratulations, Christmas came early this year.

Since 40 apparently wasn’t interested in organizing the album, it looks like it’s up to me to pick up the slack. Here’s how it should’ve gone…

Day Shift (my version)

While no track on Revenue Retrievin approaches the obvious bid for national radio play that Ball St. efforts like Give Her the Keys and Wake It Up did, that doesn’t mean the album doesn’t have some sunnier moments - and by “sunnier” I mostly mean “about vaginas.” The album’s lightest cut by far is the Bobby Valentino-assisted Stilettos and Jeans, a smoothly romantic cut that 40 ultimately feels awkward on. I hate to be clichéd, but 40 and pop-r&b go together like waffles and mayonnaise (great if you’re drunk, otherwise, stay away.) Much better is the stripper friendly Show Me What U Workin’ Wit, a booming cut produced by E-40’s actual son Droop-E, which redefines how low it’s physically possible to drop a bass line, an environment 40 and Too $hort are more than comfortable operating in, and the unapologetically obscene F**k You Right (do I really have to say more?). Even though it’s not about females, I’d have to throw the Gucci Mane collab Whip It Up in this category, mostly because with Mr. Mane involved it has a solid shot at radio. While a handful of other tracks walk the line between night and day, honestly, that’s about it for non-bangers. Apparently 40 doesn’t really like to work in the daylight.

Night Shift (my version)

The vast majority of Revenue Retrievin is full of cooking, slinging, trappin and shooting, dark material that’s as criminally oriented as we’ve heard from the man in years. Just take the album’s lead single The Server, an absolutely devastating cut from the king of slap beats Rick Rock that 40 fills with his unmistakable blend of linguistic acrobatics and invented slang; even he doesn’t know what “flea flickin’ and fiddle faddlin” means. On the same tip is the f**k the police anthem The Weedman, the high caliber Duck and the course the knocking Power Up; all tracks designed to be heard from a block away. That’s not to say that every track on the album is so openly aggressively - The Art of Storytellin is not only the album’s best cut, it’s proof that 40 has some serious narrative rhymes skills – or that every track works well – Lightweight Jammin and Dem Boyz would have been better left behind – but they all come harder than Tiger Woods in a strip club, and that’s impressive coming from a man who could be forgiven for laying back and resting on his laurels.

Listen, if you’re a vegetarian you probably don’t want to spend your day at a barbecue contest, and if you’re not an E-40 fan you’re frankly going to want to stay away from Revenue Retrievin, no matter the shift, considering both contain almost insane amounts of the one substance you don’t want to consume. But if you love you some steak turf talk, grab a fork and dig in. There’s enough here to keep you full for weeks.

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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Posted April 6, 2010
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