Recording information: Ncredible Studios; The Cutting Room; The Orange Room.
Party pimpin' royalty comes together on History: Function Music, a collaborative album from E-40 and Too Short that is also related to a sister album (History: Mob Music) and a set that compiles the two (History: Mob Music and Function Music). This one seems the more E-40-centric of the bunch, with the Bay Area slang king kicking things off with an explanation of the local health system ("When I entered the world and took my first breath of air/The doctor gave me a blunt and a 40 oz. of a beer"), then giving up an unexpected look into his head ("I use to practice looking hard, now I practice being solid") before getting back to the business of booty and bounce. With the swaggering sex machine Too Short as co-pilot, longtime fans can guess that "Workin' the Trunk" is about butts in the club, and that "Smoke That Shit" and "Let's Have a Party" are both banging tracks with plenty of inhale and exhale noises on the cut. If you guessed "Dump Truck" features the line "Back it up like a...," resisting the backup alert sound effect ("beep... beep... beep...") and the infectious hook it's twisted into is an uphill battle. Guest shots come from big names like Ice Cube ("West Coast Shit"), Tyga ("Slide Through"), and Wiz Khalifa ("Say I"), while the production comes from the likes of Traxamillion and Rick Rock, along with DecadeZ, who has hands in five futuristic thug tracks, sounding as if Kraftwerk just discovered bounce music. Even if the layout of tracks is a bit sloppy with some redundant cuts placed too close, these veterans of sex and party rap can still beat expectations when it comes to hooks, jokes, and flow, so check it if your weekend needs more booty worship and/or big bass bombs. ~ David Jeffries