E-40 & Too $hort: History: Mob & Function Music

Heavy on the Grind Ent.

No one in hip-hop has aged as well as Too $hort, the Bay Area trailblazer who's been recording for three decades now. Similarly, E-40 is a grizzled legend - the bespectacled grandfather of West Coast rap. The two have turned up on most of each other's records since the mid-'90s, when they scored a hit with "Rapper's Ball," though they've outdone themselves with History, a double album divided thematically into two releases: Mob Music for classic street rap over smooth, spacey G-Funk, and Function Music for club anthems full of open spaces and jackhammer bass thumps. The distinction isn't all that strict, not that it matters; the music is uniformly great and the pairing is engrossing, like watching De Niro and Pacino square off in Heat. (4 out of 5 stars)