VINYL MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
Tech N9ne Strictly Strange Tour
Krizz Kaliko, Stevie Stone, Ces Cru, BROTHER LYNCH HUNG
Tue, May 2, 2017
Vinyl Music Hall
This event is all ages
* General Admission * Standing Room Only- If Seating Is Available, It Will Be Limited And On A Strictly First Come/First Serve Basis * No Re-Entry * All Ages Event * Additional $5 Cash Surcharge At The Door For Attendees Under 21 * Attendees Under 16 Must Be Accompanied By A Ticketed, Adult Guardian *http://www.vinylmusichall.com/event/1423093/
That’s why, more than a decade after he released his first nationally-distributed album, the pioneering Kansas City rapper decided to call his forthcoming studio album Something Else.
“After all this music, you have the nerve to say to the world that you have something else other than what we’ve heard already, that’s cocky,” Tech N9ne says. “I knew going into this album that it was going to have to be totally something else beatwise, contentwise and featurewise. I went in on a lot of stuff.”
Tech N9ne delivers on his goals throughout Something Else, a rousing collection that takes listeners on an epic journey through Fire, Water and Earth sections of the album, a formatting tactic Tech N9ne also employed on his landmark Anghellic album in 2001 and his Everready [The Religion] album in 2006.
“Straight Out The Gate” kicks off the intense Fire section of the album. Featuring System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, the song has political and religious overtones while highlighting both Tankian and Tech N9ne’s talents. “Serj, he’s a guy that takes chances with music and sounds and fuses them together and that’s how I feel about my hip-hop music,” Tech N9ne says. “Our being on a song together, that’s one of the biggest things that could happen. That’s why I put it first on the album.”
From there, Tech keeps the intensity level sky-high with “B.I.T.C.H.,” an acronym for “Breaking Into Colored Houses,” a cut about his interaction with his black fans. “Love 2 Dislike Me” discusses the aftermath of a relationship gone sour, while “Fortune Force Field” explains how certain people are trying to keep Tech N9ne from enjoying all the fruits of his musical labor. Then there’s “I’m Not A Saint,” Tech N9ne’s latest look at his Evil Brain Angel Heart persona.
Tech N9ne embraces such personal, evocative subject matter because it is an innate part of his artistry. “The reason I opened up on this album is because throughout my career, all I’ve been doing is being inside out, being an open book,” he says. “Since the album is called Something Else, I have to let certain things loose that I otherwise wouldn’t let loose.”
The same logic applies to “Fragile,” a fierce collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, ¡Mayday! and Kendall Morgan. Here, the artists blast uninformed critics who lack the perspective and qualifications to fully and accurately evaluate their craft. Tech N9ne also introduces spirited newcomer Angel Davanport on “Priorities,” which also features Game.
As the Water section of the album arrives, the selections become calmer, if only thematically. “Dwamn” introduces the album’s first party vibe, while “So Dope (They Wanna)” with Wrekonize, Snow Tha Product and Twisted Insane, is the latest of Tech N9ne’s posse cuts highlighting rappers who excel at rapid-fire rapping, or chopping. “See Me,” with Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B., showcases Tech N9ne’s ability as an independent artist to conceive and execute independent albums with major label artists and with a major label feel. That’s also why this song’s lyrics focus on people overlooking Tech N9ne’s remarkable achievements – that he’s sold more than 2 million units independently, developed into to one of music’s most dependable touring artists and that he’s built Strange Music into one of rap’s most successful imprints from his hometown of Kansas City.
As Something Else advances to the Earth section, Tech N9ne focuses on topics he hopes will make the world better. “That’s My Kid,” with CeeLo Green, Big K.R.I.T. and Kutt Calhoun, for instance, finds Tech N9ne contemplating the recent rash of school shootings and realizing how fortunate he is that his children did not make some of the mistakes that he did as a child. “I was just sitting up one day looking at all these kids that do these heinous things, these horrible things,” Tech N9ne says. “I’m lucky that my son didn’t latch on to the Blood gang nonsense that I grew up doing. He latched on to music and now he wants to rap. I’m blessed. I have to rejoice.”
Tech N9ne also rejoiced on the career-defining song “Strange 2013,” his collaboration with The Doors. Tech N9ne named his Strange Music label with partner Travis O’Guin after the icon rock group’s songs “Strange Days” and “People Are Strange.” As a black fan of rock and rap growing up in Missouri, Tech N9ne grew up thinking he was “strange”. Getting to work with the surviving members of The Doors on “Strange 2013,” a reworking of “Strange Days,” is one of the proudest moments of his groundbreaking career.
“If it wasn’t for their fusion of music, I would have never told Travis I wanted to call the joint venture that we have Strange Music,” Tech N9ne explains. “That’s why ‘Strange 2013’ meant so much to me. Now, when I listen to it, I smile, like, ‘I did that.’ They’re the ones that inspired me. It’s the thing keeping me alive and putting my kids through college, because I was a Doors fan.”
Today, millions of people are Tech N9ne fans. He became known as an innovative rapper in the 1990s because of his trendsetting ability to rap at breakneck speed, to rap backwards and, soon thereafter, to also deliver riveting personal songs that examined his own inner demons, as evidenced throughout such memorable cuts as “Tormented” and “Real Killer.” In the 2000s, Tech N9ne hit the road relentlessly, becoming one of rap’s premier touring acts.
With 2012’s “Hostile Takeover 2012 Tour,” Tech N9ne holds the title of headlining the longest continuous tour in rap history. Even with all these accolades and the impressive list of artists Tech N9ne features on Something Else, he sounds as fresh and hungry as he did when he first started releasing music commercially more than a decade ago. “I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” Tech N9ne says. “I’ve still got a lot to prove. That’s why I still rap so hard. I’m always trying to get better and better. I’m not softening it.”
That, in and of itself, is Something Else indeed.
"On Constant Energy Struggles, I felt like we were constantly defining what that meant from song to song," Ubiquitous says. "On this one, we're not spelling it out for you."
"The thing that appealed to me about that name is that you couldn't put a finger on exactly what that meant," Godemis adds. "I felt like that was a good angle to come from in writing the music, with no preconceived ideas. I thought that it would open up our writing and draw people in."
The Kansas City duo showcases this newfound latitude on the skeletal "Sound Bite." Sans chorus, Ubiquitous and Godemis deliver stunningly intricate, braggadocio tag-team raps for three-and-a half minutes. "It really showcases our lyrical talent," Godemis says of the Internet hit that has logged more than 70,000 YouTube views in about two weeks. "The beat's kind of empty in a way to where your ear's not taken away by a lot of other different things. The lack of a hook is suicide in a way, I guess, but it's for another MC or a connoisseur of hip-hop."
Ces Cru then flexes its sociopolitical muscles on the masterful "Axiom," a meditation on everything from making a positive change in the world to the War on Drugs and the concept of freedom. In addition to the lyrical heft Ubiquitous and Godemis demonstrate, producer Michael "Seven" Summers adds stirring sonic layers throughout the song. "I really like the pianos that start popping up during Godemis' verse," Ubiquitous says. "The whole front half of the song feels different than the back half. By the end, you're rocking out to the piano. It's a beautiful, thoughtful piece."
Coathanga Strangla re-introduces listeners to the not so nice but strangely sympathetic guy they met on Lynch's 2010 album Dinner and a Movie. The "autocratic automatic reaper" instantly joined the entertainment biz pantheon of indelible killers like Mannibalector's cinematic predecessor, Silence Of The Lambs sicko Hannibal Lector. "I watch a lotta horror movies and I really love meat," says Lynch, "so I put that together and out came Mannibalector."
Longtime fans will, of course, recognize these deviant tendencies. Brotha Lynch Hung's 1993 debut, 24 Deep (Black Market Records) found his "human meat pot luck" already underway (who can forget the image: "find your brain cookin' in a barbecue pit"?). The 1995 release of the Sacramento (CA) native's certified Gold classic, Season of da Siccness, followed and Lynch has released a steady stream of music ever since, making him an ideal match for the do-or-die work ethic of his current label home, Strange Music.
Kansas City-based Strange Music is currently the most successful outfit in independent hip-hop and home to Tech N9ne. Dinner and a Movie was Lynch's first album released by Strange, but Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch have history: Tech appeared on "187 On A Hook" from Lynch's Blocc Movement in 2001, and in 2006 Lynch delivered a standout verse on "My World" from Tech N9ne's Everready album. "Strange Music understands me, they've really given me a fresh start," says Lynch. "As strange as it sounds, I feel like I'm just getting going with my career."
Make no mistake however: what feels like a fresh start for Lynch is coinciding with a high point in his artistic evolution. Always one to look to movies for inspiration, Lynch says that repeated viewings of the Hostel films had a direct effect on Coathanga Strangla. "Some horror movies are too ridiculous," he says, "but Hostel has a very realistic feeling. It's not scary like boo! — it's more like this could happen. That's an authenticity I'm going for in my music."
It's that sense that gives Coathanga Strangla its compelling core. With its bowel-bothering bass line and toothpick percussion (courtesy of producer Michael "Seven" Summers), "Mannibalector" is a cannibal lecture (replete with requisite slaughter) the reveals the crucial facet of Lynch's artistry: his alter ego is not a two-dimensional creation but a character full of humanizing doubts, fears and paranoia. Allmusic.com's David Jeffries has noted Lynch's facility at going "from gross to scary to sympathetic and personal, and then back again, all without losing a step or trying your patience."
When it comes to digesting Lynch's art however, it helps that his raps are leavened by what can only be called "gallows humor." Who else would refer to his manner of cooking victims as "Operation McPasta", as Lynch does on the new album's "Mannibalector"? While Brotha Lynch Hung is often credited as the originator of the rap genre known as "horrorcore", most so-called horrorcore rappers would be content with a standard disemboweling; Lynch goes all the way, a meal plan immortalized on the new album's "Spit It Out" wherein Lynch chortles: "If anything taste funny spit it out."
"Friday Night" features Lynch's fellow rap madman C.O.S., thumping production by Michael "Seven" Summers, and Brotha Lynch's "body sweatin' like a Juggalo." "I love the Juggalos man," says Lynch of the cult-like, face-painted fans who have embraced him. "They're good people with good hearts who are looking for an outlet from life's pain. I can relate to that." Standout cut "Blinded By Desire" is a sadistic travelogue following Lynch as he drives from California's Bay Area southward towards Los Angeles ("524 miles to SoCal..." begins Lynch) where mayhem will undoubtedly ensue.
Coathanga Strangla is the middle album in a conceptual trilogy, which began with Dinner and a Movie and is slated to conclude with 2012's Mannibalector. Each of the three albums has spawned three videos, which together will comprise the visual document of the terrifying times of Mannibalector. "The three albums and nine videos are about a rapper who's having a bad life and is about to give up on the world," explains Brotha Lynch Hung. "You can hear he's about to walk the thin line, past the thin line, and then go way over it."
Join Brotha Lynch Hung as he continues to obliterate that line like no other artist can do.
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