When E-40 raps, “The beat keeps knocking down my rear view mirror,” true fans know exactly what their idol is talking about. The production on Revenue Retrievin': Overnight Shift will be heard annihilating speakers for months to come. Tracks like “Beastin” or “Rear View Mirror” make your car shake and head nod. It’s the production that we have all come to expect from the Sick Wid It Records founder: heavy bass, hard hitting drums, accompanied with an emcee whose energy makes Four Loko’s look like depressant.
A companion album to Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift, Overtime Shift has its strengths, but also greater weaknesses than its partner album. The work falls short of the lyrical bar that its counterpart created, but the album more so is hurt by questionable hooks. It’s impossible to even discuss the merit of a track like “Drugs” without first discussing its awful hook. Despite “Me and My Bitch’s” legendary title, it doesn’t live up to its notoriously big expectations and ends up feeling more Lonely Island than music delivered by The Ambassador of the Bay. With that said, when an artist delivers 40 tracks of material on any given day, there is almost always a variety of quality and the Revenue Retrievin' series exemplifies this point.
Songs like “Beastin” showcases 40 going in. Even as he attacks the beat, he gives listeners laugh out loud moments like, “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just a serious social drinker.” On “My Money Straight” E-40 captures the west coast mobbing scene in a manner that would make onetime label-mate Spice 1 proud while “Hillside” see’s the emcees classic double time flow spit to perfection. Yes, tracks like “Guns” and “Drugs” are tracks that fail from track title to delivery and even the sincerity of a track like “I Love My Mama” can’t overcome the topics forefathers, but E-40’s greatest gift is his ability to take the cliché, flip it and make it his own.
E-40 remains one of the most innovative emcees on the planet. Between introducing a culture to a whole dictionary of slang that has been jacked to the movements/genres he’s inspired or been the forefront of, the man stays pushing the boundaries. On Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift, the listeners can here the two plus decades of trends and innovations that Mr. Captain Save-A-Hoe started or participated in. At times it’s a refreshing reminder of why you can’t spell the west without E, but then others were just hoping that 40 moves on and gives us something else to swagger jack.