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Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift

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Album Review

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). While Overtime is the more familiar release and will easily please returning fans, Graveyard is more thematically sound and, overall, the better album. Nocturnal synth lines and menacing beats characterize the production on this dark effort, which helps support its zombie hyphy vision with guest shots from horror-rap favorite Tech N9ne, and husky-voiced juggernauts like Bun B. and Slim Thug. Cold as it is, Tone Bone’s simple yet effective production makes “My Sh*t Bang” a fitting title for the track, and if you want to know how the walking dead swing in the Bay Area, dig producer Drop-E’s outstanding standup bass production on “43,” which must be the address to hell’s coolest jazz club. Keeping in step while offering relief, the radio-worthy “Club on Lock” still feels extremely nocturnal, booming with that deep, dark bass and featuring after-hours rhymes about popping bottles and chasing the ladies. Elsewhere, the Bay Area thump is crossed with the clunk of Frankenstein’s walk, and even when the rapper speaks on the usual topics — drugs, money, girls, and “That Candy Paint” — everything comes off as dark as midnight. Graveyard Shift is so focused it’s hard to recommend as a first purchase, but anyone intrigued by the idea of E-40 as crypt keeper is going to fall hard for this one.

Biography

Born: November 15, 1967 in Vallejo, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Synonymous with Bay Area rap, E-40 garnered a regional following, and eventually a national one, with his flamboyant raps, while his entrepreneurial spirit did much to cultivate a flourishing rap scene in communities such as Oakland and his native Vallejo. E-40 spent years releasing music independently and was among the first Bay Area rappers to sign to a major label. Throughout the '90s and into the following decade, he released a series of widely distributed albums on Jive, and though only 1995's...
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Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift, E-40
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