Ever since around 2002, I’ve been a fan of Kansas City, MO rapper Tech N9ne. His album Absolute Power was released on my 18th birthday, and that album changed my perspective on rap. I’ve even referred to his music as “progressive rap” due to the eclectic nature and lyrical references. Aside from Steve Vai, Randy Rhodes and various guitarists in Heavy Metal, Tech’s speed rap technique was very influential on my wanting to play faster guitar. A common theme through a good amount of Tech’s albums are lust, destruction, frustration from the lack of acceptance of “mainstream” acceptance but succeeding in the end with a following that rivals his more commercial “counterparts”. Teamed with Krizz Kaliko, Prozak, King Gordy, Three Six Mafia, Sundae and many more Strange Music regulars.
Tech’s new album K.O.D. (possibly an acronym for King of Darkness) is what I would label Goth-Rap at its finest. K.O.D. is a very cinematic album that has elements that’s plays almost like a radio drama; an aural film noir as it were. With a running theme of lust, loss, isolation, a listener would become just listening to an album, but would become enchanted by a journal of melancholy and woe without seeming whiny. Here are a few outstanding tracks that are anticipated Tech N9ne tracks, the “misunderstood”, the “club jams”, the “macabre” and the very hedonistic reminiscent of a modern version of original dirty rappers Blowfly and Rudy Ray Moore.
Demons feat Three Six Mafia (misunderstood)
Like Trapped in a Psycho’s Body, this is shedding light to the darker side of Tech N9ne. “Demons” is basically about the reckless activities that he constantly fights, but succumbs to.
Blacken the Sun (misunderstood)
His “flow” is a melodic rap that is reminiscent of Dave Draiman’s vocals of Chicago hard rock Disturbed. This is another track that expresses his frustration for being accused of being a “Devil”, “Weird” by critics.
Check Yo’ Temperature (Club Jam)
This is a track featuring rapper by the name of Sundae. Not that lyrically interesting, but infectious for club play.
B. Boy (Get buck/kick some ass)
Good production, with hard hitting drums that makes you want to “whip some ass” MMA-style or to get you psyched up to tear the club up.
This is the modern Dirty Rap, 2 Live Crew party track that is the ode to Caligula-like hedonism. Like the title of the song suggests, this is a fairly cleverly written song about the animalistic “ready to screw” side of Tech N9ne, Irv Da Phenom and Krizz Kaliko and in actuality, most humans.
When it comes to it, I don’t just see Tech N9ne as a rapper. In some cases, I see him as a novelist that uses rap as a vehicle to express tales of lust, pain, indulgence, and all around voicing the thoughts that most wouldn’t admit to having. For someone new to Tech N9ne, I wouldn’t recommend them starting with this album. To get in the mindset of K.O.D., start with Everready: The Religion, Killer and then K.O.D. This album is totally worth it.
You can get K.O.D. and most of Tech N9ne’s back catalog on iTunes and can find K.O.D. in most retailers.