The name Tech N9ne has been on the cusp of being a household name for sometime now and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be. He’s been in the game a long time (He’s in his early 40’s now) and he isn’t anything shy of a controversial rapper, always saying what’s on his mind. He’s built up an incredible fan base by relentlessly touring and putting on wild shows. He’s sold millions of records independently and started up a successful record label with Strange Music. Now hot off the shout out from one of the hottest rappers in the game and continuing to expand his fan base and empire, Tech has released an EP with little promotion but possibly a lot of heart. Let’s see…
Produced by Plex Luthor & Wrekonize
Slow, hazy and melodic is how Techa Nina’s flow begins over an equally cloudy beat. Tech tells how his story began and his first encounters with religion, having first been born into a strictly Christian family to later having his mother convert him to Islam while still in his early years of life.
The beat, along with Tech’s flow is sped right the hell up as the story continues on. Talking about how he takes different aspects of various religions on board for his life. Thus the meaning of “Klusterfuk” is revealed.
A lot has been confessed so early into the album, which makes you wonder what else there is to be said. Let’s continue on.
Featuring & Produced by Wrekonize
For those who love a good story telling rap, pay close attention to this track. The concept here is that Tech has woken up after a night of crazy drunken antics and is now trying to put the pieces together of what happened (Been watching any Todd Phillips movies lately Tech?).
Tech’s ability to paint pictures so clear is amazing. Close your eyes and you’d be able to witness everything he’s saying. Being able to tell these details while remaining lyrical is something to respect.
The chorus sang in a lullaby style by Wreknize breaks up the parts of the story while the beat sounds like what the noise of a disastrous foggy night out would be.
3. Can’t Stand Me
Featuring Krizz Kaliko; Produced by Plex Luthor
It seems that Tech N9ne has always worn his outcast status as a celebration. The chorus (Which has been stuck in my head all week) sums it all up.
These are people that can’t stand me/ ya mamma, ya daddy, ya greasy ass granny/ who be callin me uncanny
Tech’s use of the rapid-fire flow is great. It doesn’t sound forced or gimmicky. Just that accelerated pace that hits you upside the head with super lyrical rhymes.
The beat sounds like it’s sampled an assembly of marching feet. Perfect anthem for the castaways….
4. Ugly Duckling
Featuring Aqualeo; Produced by Plex Luthor
Or have I spoken too soon? “Ugly Duckling” as you can imagine is talking about Tech’s position in the rap game. He’s not exactly complaining about being mentioned in your top 5 MC’s or not but proving that he should be.
I don’t normally like posting too many lyrics trying to fill up the review but I think the first verse explains all:
I’m this way cuz I got up and got it
When I was the oddest and demolished
The hotter scholars with all of this goddish
Product called it way polished, I jotted
Dotted then they got it.
Stayed modest but psychotic thought
Is raw and sick.
But everybody didn’t want to give a nigga
The time of day.
How will I ever reach another when?
I’m lost in the gray?
I gotta be different to get a grip and the pay.
Say, say, say what you want about Nina.
The one who’s wishing me coming up missing,
That one’s a dreamer.
Calling me ugly, I laugh.
Cuz I’m rough as rugby and fast.
The industry chubby and flab.
You look sick pudgy and crass.
Now your chick wanna hug me and smash.
I look lovely in cash.
Instead of muggy and clash,
You act like we was buddies in class.
Got my painted face, ain’t it great?
I made it within a tainted space.
Better to bring it straight and gain it late,
Then aim at fake. Famous for my brain.
It’s faith that with strained faith I became the great…
Produced by Gianni Cash
The concept here is Tech’s dealings with awkward situations. Simple? Well it’s not quite stories about bumping into your ex or talking about somebody while they’re right behind you.
Tech breaks down three instances with each verse where things can get a little tense. The first verse being about unintentionally up-staging the headlining act that you’re opening up for at a concert. Second: After sleeping with a groupie and trying to kick her out her husband shows up saying what’s happening is all good and that he’s a massive fan of Tech’s music. (Sounds like that Ludacris skit off The Red Light District or even that scene from Semi-Pro).
The third story is an un-rapped, bizarrely funny event where Tech describes an encounter where B.o.B. wanted to borrow one of his guns. Weird right? Overall this track is well written and presented. Another great story telling rap song.
Featuring Krizz Kaliko; Produced by Gianna Cash
“Different Kinda Nigga You” is the acronym here and that’s exactly what Tech is saying he is. At the start of the track there’s a spoken word segment about the state of black males in America and elaborates on this in his verses along Strange Music signee Krizz Kaliko.
Both MC’s stand their ground with similar flows and equal lyrical skill. The chorus is enhanced with Tech’s yelling which may make a few people stomp some shit. Just saying.
Also Gianna Cash puts up another dope beat for the second time in a row on this album, not a bad finish to the album.
I know a lot of fans that have been up on Tech N9ne’s music for years probably won’t like me saying this but since Wayne shouted him out it seems like his fame has grown. Even Tech admits it (Check out his verse on Tha Carter 4 track “Interlude“). What I’m saying is Tech’s making a smart move and putting out music while the iron is hot.
From this being the first time I’ve ever listened to a full Tech N9ne CD (I know it’s only 6 tracks but give me a late pass please!) I’ve learnt a few things about him as an artist:
- He’s a great story telling rapper
- Lyrically he’s a beast
- He’s not afraid to touch on any subject
- He has a good ear for beats
Regardless of only having a little over 23 minutes worth of songs, leaving no room for error, Tech has put out a great EP with Kluskterfuk. Each track is solid and can be repeated numerous times.
Songs like “Ugly Duckling” and “Kluskterfuk” illustrate Tech’s ability to form his flow anyway he likes. This EP makes it clear that he is true MC, having the flow locked down and the lyrics to match.
Each song is different from the last one, which means fresh topics. You can really appreciate what Tech N9ne is doing for Hip-Hop music. Just putting out great songs that are a far cry from what we hear on the radio. Tech has a great fan base that supports and hopefully it continues to grow. It has at least one extra member with me now.