Album Review: Tech N9ne—”Strangeulation”

By Brandon Benguaich

Tech N9ne is arguably one of the most talented rappers on the planet in terms of rhyming, speed, annunciation, and lyrical content. Not only is his rapping impressive, but full of depth. He is truly a master of his craft and continues to amaze audiences with his new album Strangeulation, released through his own label, Strange Music. This album is the fifth in Tech N9ne’s “Collabos” series, featuring many artists from Strange Music including Jay Rock, Big Scoob, and Krizz Kalilko. Strangeulation is all about the artists of Strange Music rebelling against major labels — within the opening lines of the first track, entitled “Strangeulation I,” Tech N9ne states, “Smashes the masses, but the industry’s hatin’ asses,” clearly demonstrating the general theme of this album being an anti-mainstream label mentality. Tech N9ne does not need a major label to be successful. Since 1991, Tech N9ne has been successfully running the rap game with an impressive discography of fourteen albums.

Strangeuation album art

Strangeuation album art

Tech N9ne’s style is reminiscent of dirty south hip-hop because of his gritty back beats and heavy lyrical content. This album stays true to his roots by being adventurous and combining different genres and styles through the various featured guest artists and samples. A prominent example of his genre-clashing is the track “Make Waves,” featuring Krizz Kaliko, Rittz, and Tyler Lyon. The hook by Tyler Lyon is the following: “Make Way/I’m Coming through you/There’s nothing you can do/It’s my day, make waves/We Crash into you/Your end is coming soon.” These ambitious lyrics suggest Strange Music cannot be stopped and will take over the music industry. This somewhat alternative rock singing is layered on top of a chugging electric guitar, which continues throughout the songs. These guitar and drum samples make for an interesting combination underneath the various rap verses. Only Tech N9ne, with the power and freedom of Strange Music, can successfully pull this off while receiving generally positive reception.

A notable track is “Hard (A Monster Made It)” featuring Murs. This track is classic Tech N9ne; He is a “hard” rapper, technical, and this track as well as everything Tech N9ne has accomplished throughout his career proves that. Tech N9ne is not just hard, but he is the greatest. Strangeulation is a momentous addition to Strange Music’s discography and the ”Collabos” series. Tech N9ne is living proof of the significance of independent music and the impact of Strange Music. But be warned: Tech N9ne’s lyrics may shock you, but why not join the ranks of the Technicians? (Strange Music)

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