Tech N9ne - Something Else (Review)

Tech N9ne - Something Else

"Something Else" is the thirteenth album by Kansas City, MO emcee Tech N9ne. The album features guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T, Cee Lo Green, Wiz Khalifa and others as well as production from Seven, Drumma Boy, Fredwreck, ¡Mayday! and others. It was released on July 30, 2013 via Strange Music.


1) News With Mark Alford 1 - Skit

2) Straight Out The Gate (featuring Krizz Kaliko and Serj Tankian) - The first song on the album has an energetic rock instrumental, courtesy of Seven, that features some heavy electric guitars and hard-ass drums. Lyrically Tech N9ne bodies it, rapping in his trademark rapid-fire flow and intricate rhyme patterns. I don't think he really gets enough props for his style, which is definitely unique. As far as the guests go, System of a Down's Serj Tankian and Krizz Kaliko only provide the chorus, which is pretty good. This song is really dope actually. Good way to start the album.



3) B.I.T.C.H. (featuring T-Pain) - I don't think I have heard anything from T-Pain since like 2007 or 2008, so I was kind of surprised to see him on the tracklisting for this album. His appearance on here doesn't really add much to the song, but it doesn't take any points away either - he's just kind of there. Either way, the beat on here, provided by Seven, is pretty good and Tech N9ne does his thing, spitting about his quest to take over the rap industry. This is good, but not as good as the previous song.

4) With The BS (featuring Big Scoob, Red Café and Trae tha Truth) - This song started off with a grimy instrumental that sounded really dope, but quickly switches up to a more traditional instrumental once the song really kicks in. I prefer the way the beat sounded at the beginning, but it is what it is. Tech N9ne and Trae tha Truth both rip it, but Red Café and Big Scoob both get lost in the shuffle. This could have been much better if they had kept up that intro beat. Oh well.

5) Love 2 Dislike Me (featuring Liz Suwandi and Tyler Lyon) - This song begins with some beautiful vocals by Liz Suwandi that lead me to believe that this was going to be a slower song on first listen. Man was I wrong. The beat on here, again by Seven, has a very energetic heavy metal feel to it and Tech N9ne just bodies it. His flow is tailor made for instrumentals such as this and it shows in his furious delivery. Guest Tyler Lyon shows up to add some screaming to the chorus to contrast with the soft vocals by Liz Suwandi. It sounds like an odd combo, but it works. This is actually really good.

6) Fortune Force Field - Aaron Yates fights his inner demons over a mellow Seven instrumental that is a total 180 from the merciless energy of the previous track. The beat has a introspective vibe while maintaining an epic feel at the same time and Tecca Nina restrains his flow a bit so that the listener can catch every lyric he spits. It's nice to hear him going solo on this track since every song so far has had guests on it. Nice.

7) I'm Not A Saint - Similar to the previous track, this song features Tech N9ne speaking on his inner demons and dark past over an eerie Seven instrumental that has a muffled vocal sample and mellow drums. The lyrics seem heartfelt and you can definitely hear the pain in his voice at certain parts of the song. Not bad.

8) Fragile (featuring Kendall Morgan, Kendrick Lamar and ¡Mayday!) - Now this song is dope. The beat, by ¡Mayday!, is very laid-back, with a soft acoustic guitar that really makes the drums standout more than anything else on the track. Tech N9ne comes correct, but I think Kendrick Lamar took him on this track. He changes up his voice and flow to a more aggressive style as he spits:
"Tell me that I'm famous
Tell me that my name is
Big as Venus, Jupiter and then Uranus
Tell me that your anus got your head in it
I can smell the articles and know you're heinous"
This is fire and one of my favorite tracks on the album.

9) Priorities (featuring Angel Davenport and Game) - Tech N9ne trades off verses with Game and Angel Davenport over another Seven instrumental that is more ambient noises than actual music. As strange as that sounds, it actually turned out pretty well, with all three emcees spitting fire and sounding good over the backdrop. Angel Davenport especially impressed me on here since I've never heard of her before and didn't know what to expect. This is pretty dope. I just wish it was a bit longer.

10) News With Mark Alford 2 - Skit

11) Dwamn - Seven returns with a strange instrumental that sounds like it's going for radio/club play, but I can't really ever picture this song being on the radio. Lyrically Tech N9ne sounds ok, spitting some comical verses about beautiful women that would make you say "DWAMN!" The song definitely shows off Tech N9ne's crazy humor and flow, but I'm not really feelin' this track that much. Oh well.

12) So Dope (They Wanna) (featuring Snow tha Product, Twisted Insane and Wrekonize) - This was one of the songs released in promotion of the album and its nice. The beat, provided by Shane Eli and Jon Pakfar, has some light synths and deep bass and sounds like it could probably be a hit if pushed properly. All four emcees come correct and spit their rhymes in rapid-fire flows, but Tech N9ne sets it off lovely:
"Wanna sit beside a sick and seductive sinner, see
Something so sinister seeking sookie, somethin' like a centipede
Slitherin', she's searchin' for synergy
Suckin' my seed, Chakra tease, stickin', sippin' Hennessy, shittin'"
The "stripper" subject matter is kind of tiresome, but this is still pretty dope.



13) See Me (featuring B.o.B and Wiz Khalifa) - Drumma Boy comes through with a bass heavy instrumental that has a bit of a breezy feel to it. Tech N9ne rips it and greatly overshadows Wiz Khalifa, who sounds way out of his league on here. The beat is ill, the chorus by B.o.B. is catchy and Tecca Ninna sounds great. Somebody edit Wiz off and we got a banger.

14) My Haiku - Burn The World (featuring Krizz Kaliko) - The beat on this track, courtesy of Young Fyre, is really nice and has a melodic electric guitar layered over some head-nodding drums. Both Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko come correct, preaching some positivity despite the title of the song. These guys have great chemistry together and have for years. Very dope track.

15) That's My Kid (featuring Big K.R.I.T., Cee Lo Green and Kutt Calhoun) - Tech N9ne and guests spit some heartfelt rhymes dedicated to their offspring over a soulful Seven instrumental that provides the perfect backdrop for the positive message of the song. Big K.R.I.T. rips his verse:
"To my unborn I give my all so you could ball like I couldn't
Stay in school and play it smooth and do those things that I wouldn't
Pay attention and keep your distance from ignorant instances
Play a instrument anything that you want just envision it
Follow your dreams, no matter what may come or what may fall
Cuz ain't no shame in failing as long as you know you gave your all"
All three verses are really good while Cee Lo Green comes through with a beautiful chorus that ties it all together. I'm really feelin' this track. It's definitely a banger and is easily one of my favorite songs on the album.

16) Meant To Happen (featuring Scoop DeVille) - The beat on this track, courtesy of Scoop DeVille, has a somber feel to it which complements the emotional lyrics of the song nicely. The beat is simple, which allows the listener to focus on Tech N9ne's lyrics instead of on the beat. Aaron slows his flow way down as he spits some sincere rhymes about his life, including verses about his mothers epileptic seizures and his father being shot. It's rare to hear an emcee open up so honestly about his past and I applaud Tech N9ne for doing so. Another dope track.

17) News With Mark Alford 3 - Skit

18) Believe - The past few songs have all featured Tecca Nina spitting some positive messages in his rhymes and this song continues that trend. The instrumental, by Seven, is uplifting, with some soaring strings, ambient synths and rapid-fire hi-hats. The beat is really ill, the chorus is beautiful and Tech N9ne rips it. Can't ask for much more than that. Very dope.

19) R.I.P. Ray - Skit
 
20) Strange 2013 (featuring The Doors) - Tech N9ne and producer Fredwreck team up with The Doors to rework their classic song "Strange Days" and the result is surprisingly dope. The beat and chorus are essentially the same as the original, just reworked a bit to incorporate some rap and modern day elements. Tech N9ne destroys the beat and raps about how he started his Strange Music label and how everyone thought it was going to fail. Definitely a great way to end the album.

21) SMB - Skit

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because it's got some really great songs, but it also has some filler tracks. The beats are pretty good throughout, with a wide variety of instrumentals ranging from club friendly tracks to heavy metal inspired riffs. Lyrically, Tech N9ne rarely disappoints and that is still true for the majority of this album. Some of the topics of the songs are tiresome, but the album really shines on the second half when Tecca Nina lets lose with some heartfelt and introspective tracks. My only complaints with the album are the overabundance of guests, the length of the album (which is too long in my opinion) and the few filler tracks here or there. Still, the album is really dope and hopefully it will get the shine it deserves.

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