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Larry June & Cardo Provide a Soundtrack for “The Night Shift” (Album Review)

The 10th full-length LP from Vallejo emcee Larry June. Steadily grinding his ass off since dropping out of high school by dropping his last 9 studio efforts as well as 14 EPs & 7 mixtapes with the highlights of his ever-growing discography including the Lex Luger-produced Trap Larry, the Cardo-produced Cruise USA & it’s sequel Into the Late Night, the Harry Fraud-produced Keep Going & more recently the mobb music-influenced Jay Worthycollab effort 2 P’z in a Pod & more recently The Alchemist-produced The Great Escape this past spring. So when it was announced that Cardo was producing The Night Shift, I went into it knowing this was gonna be on the same level as The Great Escape.

“Clocked In” is an incredibly smooth opener to the album with the bass hitting hard & pockets on full whereas “Chops on the Blade” slickly talks about trappin’ like a motherfucker. “Ocean Cuisine” featuring 2 Chainz lavishly finds the 2 looking to make it last today just before “Love of Money” embraces a jazzier, soulful trap sound paying homage to the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony single “Foe tha Love of $” from the sample to the subject matter also.

Meanwhile, “Sweet Lady” is more of a slow jam describing a different kind of love for Larry leading into the synth-heavy “Pop Out” featuring ScHoolboy Q sees both of them coming together to drop braggadocio. “The Great Escape” featuring The Alchemist brings Larry with the man who produced his best album on the mic so they boast about being the ones over a pillowy beat, but then “Glasshouse Knockin’” draws inspiration from mobb music instrumentally talking that traphouse shit once again.

“Without You” featuring Blxst was a decent choice of a single & I can see why since it’s leaning more towards the pop rap style as they tell their significant others that they’re the ones while “GRGP” featuring Peezy & Too $hort brings the trio together for a breezy anthem getting on their pimp shit. “Stickin’ & Movin’” has a bit of a funkier flare musically admitting that it’s feeling like 2019 all over again for him while Jordan Ward’s hook on the delicately produced “Won’t Wait” has to be one of my favorites throughout the LP as Larry talks about being good on his own.

To start the final leg of the album, “Let Me Know” gives off a cloudier vibe acknowledging shit’s changed yet she ain’t ever met any other guy like him while “Made a Way” featuring Payroll Giovanni brings back the synths so they can talk about being as fly as they are. The song “Road Runnin’” gives me a futuristic feeling to the instrumental looking to get the money while “Big Fish” featuring Alemán atmospherically talks about putting rap first over the game these days. “The Good Kind” is a wavy closer getting in bag mode.

These guys have never missed in the 4-5 years of teaming up with one another & The Night Shift lived up to the expectations I had going into it continuing to churn out some of his best material to date. Cardo’s production is more rooted in mobb music & g-funk as opposed to the jazzier, drumless loops Uncle Al whipped up on that previous LP matched with equally solid performances from The Freeminded leader & nearly all the guest MCs/singers. Great job once again, Larry!

Score: 9/10



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