E-40 Goes Dumb ’Til He’s Old and We’re Numb

E-40
Revenue Retrievin’
SICK WID IT

Notorious for a madlib lyric format and synthed-out jive beat, Bay Area native E-40 doesn’t stray far from the winning formula on the 38-track double disc Revenue Retrievin’. The album is made up of mild-mannered Clark Kent (Day Shift) and his Mr. Hyde counterpart (Night Shift) — combining for a five-hour mixed bag that, by omitting the artist’s own hubris, could have been culled to a three-hour hit machine.

Day Shift imbues the drudgery of the daily grind with the glamour of the big pimp. Its high notes are are wall-shaking neo-classics that throw back to 2006’s “Tell Me When to Go”; “Whip It Up” features a silky-smooth Gucci Mane crooning about an “early morning hustler tryin’ to make a living,” and “Bitch” stars the oily Too Short as a soft-spoken counterpoint to 40’s punchy baritone.

The campy “shake them dreads” mindset that E-40 popularized on My Ghetto Report Card still thrives here, but sheer double-disc quantity reveals the 42-year-old’s inability to discern the badass from the ugly.

Uniform Day ditties like “Duck” and “The Weedman” drag on like a tenured professor. On the other hand, Night Shift suffers from an entirely different ailment: All tracks are semi-tolerable, but none packed with enough juice to warrant a hit’s worth of enthusiasm.

Still, Night openers “Over the Stove” and “Nice Guys” kick off Retrievin’ part deux right, the latter wuth a charmingly vigorous proclamation that nice guys — you guessed it — finish last.

Regardless of 40’s lazy lyrical missteps and meandering midway tracks, Retrievin’ boasts a quick-paced, oft-electro backbeat and a host of witticisms as loveable as a foul-mouthed Dora the Explorer. This here might as well be vintage E-40, so keep shakin’ ’em like you been doin’ it all along.

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