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"Day Shift" and "Night Shift" - E-40

"Day Shift" and "Night Shift" - E-40 English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Oct 18 2010

Themes: Celebrity, Time, Work

Grammar: Used to Do vs Be Used to


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For most people, a day at work doesn’t involve hanging out with Too Short, Snoop Dogg, and Björk. But as one of the most well-known rappers on the west coast, that’s exactly what E-40 got to do when he recorded his latest albums, Revenue Retrievin’: Day Shift and Revenue Retrievin’: Night Shift.

Rappers and fans alike love E-40’s creative use of language. In his nearly 20 years of recording, he has invented many slang terms that have been picked up by other artists and the general public. He has even talked about publishing a slang dictionary at some point!

We recently met up with the rapper at one of his concerts to talk about the work theme of his recent recordings. See if you can catch some of the slang he uses in this interview.

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Jason:  If you work the night shift, you work at night. If you work the day shift, you work in the daytime. Before he was a famous rapper, entertaining his fans at night, E-40 worked both the day shift and the night shift at different jobs. We talked about how this affects his music.

Jason:  Welcome to English, baby! I’m Jason, here with E-40. You released two albums earlier this year. What is the day shift and the night shift?

E-40:  First of all, revenue retrieving means chasing money. Going to get it. You know what I mean? Revenue retrievin’ day shift are those things that jump off in the daytime, revenue retrievin’ night shift are things that jump off at nighttime.

Jason:  You’ve been in the rap game a long time. Did you have a day job before your music career got started?

E-40:  My mama was a single parent. My daddy and my mama divorced when I was eight years old. And so I had to be, like, the daddy of the house. I had a paper route, I worked at Mickey D’s. You know, when I was young I was just a little hustla, rap was always my thing. As soon as I heard the Sugarhill Gang in 1979.

Jason:  Did you work the day shift and the night shift at your different jobs then?

E-40:  Yeah, I did. My mama used to work at Maggie’s Hamburgers and I’d be back there moppin’, mopping the floor, you know. Wiping down cabinets and what have you, you know, so. Washing walls there and everything. My life ain’t been no cakewalk. I could tell you a whole bunch of stuff. But that’s where we’re at right now.

Jason:  Well, sometimes they call the night shift “the graveyard shift,” and I was wondering if you could talk about why they call it that.

E-40:  I think it’s from twelve to eight? Anytime after twelve a.m? You see what I’m sayin’? So, that’s what it is, up all night, tryin’ to get my money orders right.

Jason:  Thanks so much, man! Can I get you to give me a high five and say “English, baby!”

E-40:  English, baby!


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E-40 explains that his albums called Revenue Retrievin’ are about the things people do to get money. Since your shift is the time of day you work, Day Shift is about things that happen in the daytime and Night Shift is about things that happen at night.

As a rapper touring the world, you could say E-40 usually works the night shift, since he performs at night. Before his music became popular, he had all sorts of different jobs doing things like making hamburgers and delivering newspapers. He has worked both the day shift and the night shift.

The graveyard shift is the early morning shift from about midnight to sunrise. E-40’s next album will be called Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift.

What shift do you work at your job? Do you like working at that time of day?

For more with E-40, visit his website, see what Ella thinks about his music in this lesson, or visit our blog.



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It seems E-40 didn’t like working the graveyard shift flipping burgers, there’s more money in rap :) I used to work long, hard, tiring hours on a night shift at a factory manufacturing norwegian log cabins for sale. It left me feeling tired and grumpy, however now I work in the day and I much prefer these hours.

09:49 AM Apr 02 2012 |




Its hard for us, english students to catch  the meaning  of the words that  rappers  use to convey their message .  They have their own way of communicating with the audiences and most probably only young people  in USA  can understand them.

09:06 PM Nov 17 2011 |

1 person likes this



That’s interesting, although I don’t think that it can be called English, wth, it’s gangsta language. IT Support

01:39 PM Sep 09 2011 |




Graveyard shift is an interesting word.

Thanks for the nice lesson.


12:08 PM Jan 08 2011 |



This article is informative and interesting i thing you interested in ed hardy clothing   Good quality and cheaper! hope your life is full of happiness!

04:02 AM Dec 28 2010 |



In fact, I work the night shift this moth,

I don't like night shift, it is harmfull for health,

most of my friends are day shift, so it is hard to touch with each other.

05:53 AM Dec 15 2010 |



Great read, well-written. Your post here is very informative and gives me more insight. I read a lot of useful posts around here. Please keep up your posts and I will continue to read them. Thank you.

Gold Coins

11:24 AM Dec 10 2010 |



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Great read, well-written. Your post here is very informative and gives me more insight. I read a lot of useful posts around here. Please keep up your posts and I will continue to read them. Thank you.

Gold Coins

11:21 AM Dec 10 2010 |




Humm In fact I work in chopped hours during the day…But my main work hour is night shift (From 06 PM till 09 PM)

I really preffer to work night shift 'cause I hate to wake up early :P But on certain days I have to do it Foot in mouth

07:08 PM Nov 30 2010 |


Åland Islands

this theme is part of my life, i used to work daypandora bracelet shift and night shift.

08:43 AM Nov 24 2010 |


CalvoSuper Member!


this theme is part of my life, i used to work day shift and night shift.

10:20 PM Nov 22 2010 |


CalvoSuper Member!


this theme is part of my life, i used to work day shift and night shift.

10:17 PM Nov 22 2010 |



I am a software engineer. I work during daytime. Sometimes, I would like to work at night. Because during that time it’s very quite. Your mind works better during that time.

01:14 PM Nov 18 2010 |



day shit and night shift / to me all dayshit. wht the fucking dick.

i am defiant , wrecking the whole shit , now suck it

04:40 PM Nov 14 2010 |




i have morning and afternoonshifts, but i would like to wake up as if i go for a afternoonshift but being back home as if i go for a morning shift :D

03:50 PM Nov 12 2010 |




provided that your job gives you joy, you can work both Dshift and Nshift because there is no bread for a lazy man.

10:24 AM Nov 05 2010 |

Echo Wang

Echo Wang


Like the word "Graveyard shift", but don't like the job that need to be done then. Sealed

10:10 AM Nov 04 2010 |




When things get difficult sometimes, we just have to grit our teeth and persevere, even working day shift and night shift, nothing will be considered at all. and we will encourage ourselves to go for it, because we believe that if we persevere with work, we will succeed in the end.

06:38 AM Nov 02 2010 |



Luckily, I work day shift. But I can fully understand it is so hard to work night shift. It completely changes people's biological clock and it makes people feel very tired. Life is not cakewalk. Everyone is working hard for a better life no matter day shift or night shift.

12:34 AM Nov 02 2010 |



I warked day shift and night shift when i was china, it was a hard time of my life.

It's not important working  day shift and night shift, i want to work the jobthat i like.

I want every one to be happy and to have goood job. 


06:40 AM Oct 25 2010 |

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