Our score: 5 out of 5 stars
Earlier this summer Tech N9ne released his 13th studio album, “Something Else.” It is a massive and brilliant collection of songs that show a maturation in the styles and messages delivered by the artist.
A Kansas City native, and local music legend, Tech N9ne has been performing for the better part of 20 years. My experiences with Tech N9ne are definitely not limited. As a teenager I named our family dog Techanina: my family calls her Nina for short but they know her real name. In 2003 I traveled to Phoenix for a concert of his and remember being in awe that there were so many people who knew who he was and that had bought a ticket for his show. He wasn’t just KC’s secret anymore. That being said, there probably weren’t 250 people at the small venue he performed at. In the decade since Phoenix Tech N9ne has accomplished so much and it shows in his enormous fan base, his record sales and the list of collaborating artists he brings in on this CD.
“Something Else” is a journey broken down into three parts: fire, water and earth. The story and songs focus on a meteor that hits outside of Kansas City and the ripple effect the devastation has on the surrounding communities. There are people looking to the heavens for answers; there is looting and corruption. There are fighters of evil and heroes who are making a difference. The roller coaster effect the songs have are reflective of the collaborating artists brought in for their unique styles, thoughts and artistry. From the surviving Doors to CeeLo Green and an all-star collection including System of a Downs’ Serj Tankian, T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, Game, Wiz Khalifa, B.O.B. and the Strange Music Artists, Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun and Big Scoob. Introducing the songs is KC news anchor Mark Alford.
“See Me” and “B.I.T.C.H.” were the first two singles off of the album and both were met with great response and radio play. Every song on the album is worthy of the air waves, and the DVD is an added bonus. It has a behind the scenes view not just on the making of the album but stories and life events detailed by Tech N9ne as to the importance of the songs, and collaborators. “Strange 2013” was the first song recorded for the album and it features all the remaining member of the Doors including keyboardist Ray Manzarek who passed away this past May. The Doors and their music were an enormous influence on Tech N9ne as a child. Their song “People are Strange” was an anthem for him when he was young because he was, well, strange. It’s no secret why his record label is named Strange Music. For him to end his album with this collaboration is a tribute to both the artists, then and now, and the music they have created.