Sometimes in hip hop monotony can be a great thing (see Too Short) but sometimes a
gimmick can get tiresome. E-40 is confusing mixture of both. It’s refreshing to get
a new style of hip hop, with his monosyllabic flow, unbelievable cadence and
delivery, but it all seems to the shame as all his other efforts. This takes away
from his appeal. What's the remedy? None really, he's going to make music that
sells, so as long as people are impressed with his flow than he will continue to be
commercially successful while losing his "underground" status that he had long ago due to tracks such as 'Sprinkle M,' 'Dusted and Disgusted' and '1 Love.'
So now to 'Loyalty and Betrayal.' This album frankly keeps making you scan your
hip-hop files to find out where the original ideas for songs came from. On many a
song I found myself wondering where I'd heard this concept executed originally. For example, 'Nah, Nah,' featuring Nate Dogg, sounds exactly like the beat from the theme song for 'Live From LA.' Also, 'To Whom It May Concern' sounds very much like Mack 10's 'Only In California.' Then there's the concept from 'Like A Jungle', which has been beaten to death. The ghetto is like a jungle...okay we got that. What are you going to do about it though? And I guess everyone got to get on that Latin pop sensation beat tip, it hasn't escaped hip-hop, well when it comes to beats. So is the case with 'Clown Wit It,' this beats sounds like it was inspired by watching E televisions' 'Wild at Carnival.' I swear I thought Mystikal, who is featured on this track was going to start screaming 'Guantanamera.'
Although this LP is not earth shattering in creativity, there are some positive things to look at within this release. It seems as though E-40 has enlisted the production services of a few cats that like to encompass other styles. So the beats are fairly eclectic, for example: 'Ya Blind' sounds Dr. Dre-ish in the fact that it sounds like some old P-Funk record souped up a little and then there's 'Flamboastin',' which reminds me of a RZA beat in the fact that its real dark and it sounds like someone went a pounding on a Roland or Casio or something.
So overall is this album bad? Yes and no. It does its purpose, it gives his fans a new lp to salivate over, what it lacks though is the ability to grab some new heads with a "This shit is dope" death grip thats has strangled new hip hoppers these days - the guest spots are shoddy and sound forced, and the emcees don't match the track (the exception being Too Short on the track 'Doin' The Fool' - the tales of pimpin hoes has never grown old).
So E-40 my advice to you is to try something new. You're losing us fast dog and that’s on "fo'sheezay."