E-40, ‘Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift’ (Heavy on the Grind Ent./EMI)
With his 13th and 14th albums, this Bay Area legend and self-proclaimed FILF is maybe the first rapper to hit his creative zenith in middle age. His game-spitting motormouth and vivid tales of selling yola and stacking chalupa are more evocative than ever. The beats certainly help, with producer son Droop-E knocking out a knotty, spine-cracking post-hyphy bounce (a.k.a. “that dumbass slap”). While the haunted-house atmos-pherics and excruciating details of Graveyard Shift make it the more cohesive of the two — a sort of concept album about recession-era grinding — the most trunk-destroyin’, dumbass-slappin’ tracks shine in Overtime.