Tech N9ne "Something Else" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Fri, 26 Jul 2013 17:30:03
Tech N9ne didn't conquer hip-hop the easy way.
No, it was anything but simple for Kansas City's finest. He grinded out harder than any other MC on the planet, and he carved out his own empire in the process—independently. Much like YMCMB, MMG, Taylor Gang, and the other heavy hitters, Strange Music is not to be fucked with, and it's built on its leader's blood, sweat, and tears.
However, thirteen albums into his career, Tech N9ne is firing on all cylinders more rapidly than before. Something Else, out July 30, is his moment. Coming off the Welcome to Strangeland collabos and All 6's and 7's, which paired him with everybody from Lil Wayne to Deftones, he had to raise the stakes again. Don't worry technicians, he's raised them higher than ever for lucky number 13.
"Straight Out the Gate" teeters between his signature rapid fire mic fury and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian's haunting croon. Tech promises, "The pen is going to heat the paper", and by the third verse, the entire game is on fire. Plus, Krizz Kaliko unleashes his own brand of lyrical brutality worthy of the legends on the marquee. Piano and epic orchestration bristle beneath Tankian's hook, and it's the perfect album opener. As our hero remains "in the dark", he and T-Pain break down doors with the incendiary Molotov cocktail that is "B.I.T.C.H." punctuated by more musical malevolence.
Then, there are moments like "Love 2 Dislike". Liz Suwandi's melody sounds unnervingly angelic, contrasting brilliantly with the raging guitar rumble and the MC's staccato word wizardry. Tyler Lyon brings the right amount of rock grit to the track as well on the second harmony, and it's quite the mixture of emotions.
"Fragile" tiptoes along between soulful vocals from Kendall Morgan and pensive poetry from Kendrick Lamar as well Tech and ¡Mayday!'s formidable flows. Suwandi pops back up on the hook for the piano-driven twisted last prayer of "Drowning". Tech pleads, "Teach me to swim. Keep me from them".
Tech N9ne emerges victorious again on one of the year's best albums and a landmark for himself and the genre. He is Something Else…
What's your favorite Tech N9ne song?