Album Review: Tech N9ne- “Something Else” (All Access Edition)
By Elle Fleming on August 1, 2013
Tech N9ne, born Aaron Yates in 1971, grew up in Kansas city with a dead-beat father and a mother who suffered from epilepsy and lupus. He began to search for God at a very early age to find comfort and hope. When his best friend was shot and killed, Tech N9ne reached even farther to reach God and started using his rapping skills to relieve his frustration. This is probably why most of Tech N9ne’s music is apocalyptic, yet spiritual. Something Else is no exception.
At first glance, twenty-six tracks seem like an over-ambitious feat that seems impossible to make work. Most artists can barely make an album with a dozen tracks without letting a few slip, and Tech N9ne has created an album with almost double the amount of tracks on average albums and every single one brings it.
Something Else begins with a breaking news report of a meteorite that hit Missouri, the skies have turned burgundy and eerie fog has crept in. This reporter comes in and out throughout the album to tell the story of a changing world. The first track, “Straight Out the Gate” could not be more accurately named. It is powerful and displays his disgustingly amazing rapping skills. The beats, instrumentals, and team up with Krizz Kaliko & Serj Tankian make an unreal combination that will lead the listener amped for the rest of the album. “Love 2 Dislike Me” starts with the ethereal voice of Liz Suwandi that is halted by strong rock guitars. Tyler Lyon then comes in and the mash up between the three creates such an unusual sound and genre that it is hard to classify.
The eighth track “Fragile” features Kendrick Lamar, ˇMAYDAY!, and Kendall Morgan. It is a beautiful infusion of jazz, rap, and blues that exemplifies the musical mastery Tech N9ne is capable of. “That’s My Kid” featuring Kutt Calhoun, Big K.R.I.T. and Cee-Lo Green, shows that maturity that only a rapper of his age could have. He admits his faults in the past, and that he is committed to his children’s future. Again, this song combines both rap and gospel sounds that create something that is uniquely Tech N9ne.
This album is easily one of the best of the summer, and possibly the year. It is rare to find an album with so many tracks that is also so beautifully created with such craftsmanship. Cohesiveness of an album is often over-looked in today’s industry, but this album flowed so smoothly from song to song, it was hard to tell when one began and one ended. Tech N9nes consistent use of oppositions, whether it was good vs. evil or deep aggressive rap vs. fragile high voices shows his intelligence, artistry and understanding of music. He knows exactly what he is doing. Something Else is exactly that, something else