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Tech N9ne - Strange Reign Album Review

December 16, 2017

 

Tech N9ne was one of my favourite rappers for quite a while. He has amazing control of his flows, rhyme schemes and speeds whenever he raps, and he is definitely one of the most unique sounding rappers in the game. He manages to say simple things in such weird and creative ways, and I really like him for that. This is one of Tech's Collabos Albums. In these kinda albums every song is performed by a particular member of Tech's label Strange Music, usually with large amounts of features from everyone on the label. I'm expecting this to be pretty good based off of the singles that I've heard so far.  Every song on this album is produced by Seven except where noted otherwise.

 

1. Cold Piece Of Work (Performed by JL) (feat. Tech N9ne, Jay Trilogy and Joey Cool) 

 

This is the first single that I've already heard. There were actually two versions of this song, the first one was ok, but this one is a lot better. I really like the beat on this song, JL's hook is pretty cool, but it's nothing crazy. I really like the flow of his verse though, even if it is pretty short. Tech N9ne's verse is fairly aggressive. I like his flow as usual and he puts on a pretty good performance, but it isn't one of his best verses. Now these last two really make the song for me, they put on an amazing performance. Jay Trilogy is first up. He has some good rhymes and wordplay and an amazing flow. 

 

"I'm a Cold Piece of Work

They tryna find a cure for me but I'm pure disease

I'm infecting the industry first, ain't nobody safe from me

Bitch I'm great

I'm not the plug but I got that work bitch, don't try to test me

I got verses that could put everybody in a hearse if I feel they deserve it"

 

Joey Cool has the best verse when it comes to lyricism and wordplay though, he hasn't got Jay's amazing speed and energy, but he still has some great lyrics and flow.

 

"If you ain't ever heard of Coolie, you bout to get the connection
I'm narcotic, pharmaceutical, potent anti-depresent
I alleviate what antidotes heal and aging what's stressing
I'm like Lucy in the sky with the diamonds my effervescence is infectious"

 

This song would be cool if it was just Tech and JL, but Joey and Jay absolutely murdered this song. My biggest problem with this song is probably the hook, but this is still great. 5/5

 

2. Minimize (Performed by Stevie Stone) (feat. Krizz Kaliko and Tech N9ne)

 

I think that Stevie Stone has one of the sickest voices in rap, so I think that this song will end up being pretty good. I like the sound of this beat. Stevie sounds pretty badass, I like his verse a lot. He's started singing now. Stevie has a really good singing voice actually, I think he should be used for a lot more hooks on Strange Music songs. This hook is pretty good. Krizz sounds cool on this song. I'm not the biggest fan of Krizz as a rapper. I think he's a great singer sometimes and I think he's really versatile, but I don't know, sometimes I just don't feel him. He was kinda like that for me on this song. Tech is coming through with a ridiculous rhyme scheme now. This is a pretty cool verse, but I'm not really feeling it too much either. This song is cool, I don't love it, don't hate it, it's just pretty average. 3/5

 

3. Brand New Hunnids (Performed by Tech N9ne) (feat. Jeff James, Rittz and JL) (Produced by Frizz)

 

This is the only single I heard I didn't really like at all. This hook is pretty mediocre, I would have rather Stevie or JL done it. This beat is pretty mediocre too. It's just boring, it doesn't really go anywhere. Rittz had a really good verse and flow. He made the most of the average beat on this song. Tech's verse was pretty cool, but it was really nothing to talk about, just him messing around. JL had a really good flow on this song, but Ritzz was still the best rapper on this song overall. I wish JL would rap like this more often though. He has a habit of slowing down a lot on his new albums and trying to sound really gangster. It doesn't work for me most of the time. This song is pretty average too. I really don't have much more to say about it. 3/5

 

4. Let Go (Performed by Big Scoob) (feat. Darrein Safron and Tech N9ne)

 

This was another single I liked quite a lot. I really like the beat, it fits Big Scoob really well. Scoob honestly delivers one of the best verses I've ever heard from him on this song, he sounds really great and focused. I like the hook too, it's nothing crazy but it does the job. Darrein's verse was pretty cool too actually, I like him quite a lot when he's rapping, and sometimes his singing is cool, but only in certain situations. I actually liked the singing on his verse quite a lot, but he definitely has the weakest verse. Tech N9ne sounds great on this song. He's using a really different to what he normally uses. I love the part when he makes the gun sound in his verse. It's kinda hilarious but it sounds badass at the same time cuz of how he flows with it and makes it sound. I really like this song a lot. The worst part of it was Darrein, but he actually did a damn good job, so it's fine. 5/5

 

5. Is You The Police? (Performed by JL) (feat. MURS, Tech N9ne and Ubiquitous)

 

I really like how MURS starts his verse. He really makes it sound like a conversation, and at first it seemed a little awkward but it ends up flowing together pretty damn well, even if MURS does go off beat at times. JL's hook is cool, but it's really damn long, I wish it was shorter. Tech sounds great at the start of his verse, the way he's flowing over the beat sounds a lot cleaner than how MURS was. I don't like the part where he repeats "the way of the future" a bunch of times, but the way he comes back after that sounds pretty cool. Again, JL's hook is way too long. Ubiquitous sounds good on his verse, but he sounds a little awkward at times. Tech definitely had the best verse overall. This song is cool, I would definitely listen again because of MURS and Tech, but there are a few issues I have with it. I really like the production though. 4/5

 

6. Come Down (Performed by Stevie Stone) (feat. Krizz Kaliko and Tech N9ne)

 

Krizz is singing on the hook. He sounds ok, nothing crazy. This beat is pretty cool. Tech is on the first verse, he starts off by spitting really quick and then going in. The way the beat evolves sounds really good with how Tech's rapping. The line about being "higher than alien pussy" was just fucking stupid though. Stevie sounds fucking amazing on this song. He's absolutely going in right now. This production was made for him. He had a great verse. I wish that this song was just Stevie. This would've been a 5/5 if it was just Stevie, cuz he killed that shit. But this song is pretty average. The way that the song ends is pretty dumb though. 3/5

 

7. Let's Link (Performed by Tech N9ne) (feat. Big Scoob)

 

I don't like the sound of this song. I'm not really a fan of the production. Tech's first verse is pretty cool I guess, he just isn't saying anything that I find very interesting at all. Big Scoob's hook is pretty cool, but it's forgettable. Tech's second verse is even more uninteresting than his first verse. Ok. He's stepping up the energy and flow a bit more in this third verse. Nevermind.

 

"Yeah, if you ain't a stink butt, if you and the name fuckboy never synced up"

 

If you a stink butt??? Seriously?? That line is fucking stupid. This song isn't very good. It's nothing terrible, but its just really uninteresting. 2/5

 

8. Price is Going Up (Performed by ¡MAYDAY!) (feat. Tech N9ne)

 

I like Mayday. Wrekonize is easily my favourite member, but I still like hearing Bernz rap on anything he's on most of the time. This is really chill music. I like the hook. It's well written. This production is really relaxing. Bernz had a solid verse, he sounded really chill throughout the whole thing and just maintained this relaxing aura. Wrekonize is on the second verse. I really like his verse a lot. He step's the energy up a lot, but his voice is also really cool to listen to at the same time. His flow was really great. Wrekonize has one of my favourite voices out of any rapper I've ever listened to. He didn't say a whole lot in his verse, but it was still sounded really great and fit the whole idea of the song. Tech is using a pretty melodic delivery at the start of his verse. He's actually not too bad of a singer to be honest. He goes back to his typical quick paced style once he starts rapping though. He had a pretty good verse too. Wrek definitely had the best verse by far though. This is a good song. This is the type of music you play to have in the background and just chill to, or the type you play when you're going to sleep, and I mean that in the most positive way possible. This is great. 4/5

 

9. Happen (Performed by Tech N9ne) 

 

This sounds pretty different from what Tech normally does. I'm interested to see where he goes with this song. Woah. He has a lot of damn energy on this track. Straight Out the Gate he comes through with some crazy speed and flows. This seems like he's going for a really high energy vibe. An old school hype track I guess. This is cool. The hook sounds really old school. This song is kinda funny to listen to. His second verse has a really good flow, I think it fits the song a lot more than the first one. This song is just fun to listen to honestly. I wouldn't listen to this if I wanted a technically good music experience, however this is definitely a mood setting track. If you were asleep then the ridiculous speeds at the beginning will catch your attention for sure. This is a cool song. 4/5

 

10. Whatever You Want (Performed by Mackenzie Nicole) (feat. Darren Safron)

 

I've heard Mackenzie a lot on other Tech songs and I really like her voice a lot. She has a really mature and deeper sounding voice than most poppy singers, and I'm a sucker for those kind of voices. I like this vibe of this song a lot. Mackenzie had a really nice verse. I like this song a lot so far. Darrein sounds pretty damn good over this production as well. I don't really have a single problem with his singing on this song at all so far. This is pretty good. Yeah. Darrein sounded good on both of his verses. I have no problems at all with this song. This is really nice and chill. 5/5

 

11. Dangerous (Performed by Above Waves) (feat. Tech N9ne) (Co-Produced by Sainte)

 

This is another singing song. It sounds pretty poppy. Ryan Bradley is a really good singer, he does sound very mainstream though. This production is really nice. Sonically, this song sounds really good. Ryan is doing his thing. I don't really have any problems at all with his verses, his hook, or anything he does on this song. I like Tech's verse quite a lot though. The way that the beat changes for him sounds really nice. Around the time he says "And they ain't like it" the beat changes and I love it. He has two lines that were kinda childish stupid. 

 

"Love came and hit me like splat"

 

"So I had to go tell every chick that was hanging on close to me like scat"

 

I really liked the rest of his verse though. Those two lines kinda ruin the start of Tech's verse though, which is disappointing. Otherwise I like this song quite a lot, it's pretty good. 4/5

 

12. Stick It In (Performed by Tech N9ne) (feat. Krizz Kaliko)

 

This is gonna be bad. I can tell by the title already. This is gonna be one of Tech's cringey pornocore songs. He always goes way too far with his songs. Yep, I don't like this. I've got nothing to say about this first verse. It's stupid, it's not romantic or sexy at all, even though he's trying to make it sound that way. This is just fucking stupid. There's nothing I like about this verse besides the flow. Oh Krizz, why did you have to make such a nice chorus. He sound's really nice, until he get's to the part about sticking it in. This vocal is probably gonna be the only good thing about the song. Oh well, time for the second verse.

 

"Each one wanna have a D one

When the beat drums stick it where they pee from

Become a Tecca Nina legion

Wishing my D up in the V giving me some"

 

I shouldn't even have to say anything after those lines. This song is just fucking stupid. The production is pretty damn good too which is annoying. This song was a complete waste of space on this album. If it wasn't for the production and Krizz's really nice sounding vocals, this would be marked as garbage, but it's still a terrible song. 2/5

 

13. Plenty (Performed by Ces Cru) (feat. Stevie Stone Krizz Kaliko)

 

This should be good. I don't know how I feel about this production to be honest, during the hook it sounds pretty dodgy. The hook is pretty damn average, even Stevie doesn't make it that great. The way that the beat changes up for verses is pretty cool though. Ubi fits this beat well, I like his verse a fair bit actually. His flow is pretty damn good, but I'm just not interested in what he's saying. Krizz's verse was pretty damn mediocre. He just sounds the same every time he raps, I'm just not interested in hearing him rap to be honest, I'd rather him just sing. When he really wants to he can rap his ass off, but he never really seems to as of late. Hopefully Godemis can bring this up. Ok, he sounds cool, but it's nothing crazy. Yeah, his verse was pretty decent, better than Krizz's anyway. This song is just boring as hell, I don't really like it at all to be honest, I'd rather listen to the pop songs on Revival than this. 2/5

 

14. These Hands (Performed by Prozak) (feat. Mackenzie Nicole, Wrekonize and Tech N9ne) (Co-produced by Joshua S. Barber)

 

Prozak is the one member of Strange Music I can never 100% get behind. He just seems like he's always trying way too hard to be badass and dark in his songs. Mackenzie sounds pretty haunting on this chorus. Ok, I wasn't expecting that, this went in a heavy rock direction really quick. Tech usually does really well on rock tracks, so I'll see what he sounds like on this. Ok, Wrek is on the first verse. Wow. Wrekonize actually killed that verse. I would never expect him to fit this kinda production, but he really did some work on this song. Mackenzie's is really out of place on this song to be honest. Prozak's verse was pretty cringey. He just sound's so damn corny on every song I hear him featured in. He flows well enough, but I could defnitely go without Prozak on this song. Wow, even Tech wasn't that great. I really wasn't feeling his verse at all, but it was still better than Prozak. Well, I guess Wrek had the best verse. The idea behind this was fine, but unfortunately this song just doesn't do anything for me. 2/5

 

15. Bad JuJu (Preview) (Performed by Tech N9ne) (feat. King ISO).

 

This is just a preview. I've got nothing to say on this song. I'll save my thoughts for when I hear the entire thing on Tech's next album. I'm not gonna rate this.

 

 

Well, that turned out differently than I expected. There were some really weak performances on this album. I think Mayday/Wrekonize, Joey Cool, Mackenzie, Jay Trilogy and Scoob were the only ones that performed really well overall, otherwise everyone else was either cool or just uninteresting. Tech had his moments but he had a lot of uninteresting and filler verses too. This album ended up just being cool overall, there are a couple of songs I'd keep, but otherwise this album is pretty forgettable. Now onto the deluxe tracks.

   Overall Rating: 68/100

Favourite Track: Cold Piece of Work

Least Favourite: Stick It In

 

Ok, so there are five more deluxe tracks, just like with my Imperial review I'll have an album score if include all of the bonus tracks, maybe they'll bring the album up to a 7/10, maybe they'll drag it down to 5/10, let's find out.

 

16. Quicksand (Performed by Big Scoob) (feat. Godemis and Stevie Stone)

 

I like the sound of this. Big Scoob has really been killing it lately. Scoob sounds fucking gangsta on this song. He's actually rapping fairly lyrically too, but it just sounds really good. I like the hook too, it's an interesting idea for the song. He's saying that these ghetto and hood ideals are like quicksand, dragging people down and killing them. Godemis was speaking some truth in his verse, plus there was something about his flow that I really liked. Stevie did a good job too. This is a solid song, I'm suprised it got left off the album. 4/5

 

17. Off My Square (Performed by ¡MAYDAY!) (feat. Rittz and Tech N9ne)

 

I like this instrumental a lot, it's really different. Tech's flow sounds really good on this beat. He had a pretty solid verse. I dont' mind this hook, but I think the mood of the song really changes when it comes in. Bernz is starting now. He's killing this beat right now. This is one of the best verses I've ever heard from Bernz to be honest. He killed that shit. Wrekonize is next up. He did a pretty damn good job. Rittz came in straight after him though and Rittz absolutely murdered his verse too. Bernz and Rittz definitely had the best verses. Bernz had the best lyrics and Rittz had the best flow. That hook kinda brings the song down for me though to be honest. This is still good though. 4/5

 

18. Settle Down (Performed by Mackenzie Nicole) (feat. Wrekonize)

 

I'll probably end up liking this. Mackenzie's vocals sound cool. The instrumental sounds pretty groovy. Yeah, the chorus just came in, Mackenzie sounds really nice with this instrumental. Wrekonize sounds good on this song too, he has a really melodic, but short verse before the chorus comes back. I really like that chorus. Wrek pokes his head in and sings again for a few seconds but it's really just an interlude to the next chorus. I like this song. It sounds kinda mainstream but I don't really care, it's not too bad. 4/5

 

19. Lyin' (Performed by Darrein Safron) (feat. JL)

 

This is another Darrein singing track. This sounds pretty hip-hop, Darrein just happens to be singing on it. I like his singing on this hook a lot. The subject matter doesn't really interest me, but I like Darrein's vocals throughout this whole song. JL's verse is pretty short, and I wish it wasn't on the song. It's cool, but it doesn't really add anything for me. This is a cool song, it's nothing crazy, but I wouldn't skip it if it came on. 4/5

 

20. Face Down (Performed by Krizz Kaliko) 

 

Huh, a Krizz singing track. This should end up being pretty good actually. This sounds like a relationship song. I really like how Krizz's voice sounds, but this song is a bit slow for me. I definitely can appreciate the song, but I just don't really feel it. There's no standout problems, but there's nothing great that really stands out to me either. 3/5

 

Those bonus tracks were alright. They improved the album a good amount for me, but overall they make the album a little bit too long. 20 songs is pretty average for Tech N9ne though. This was pretty good overall with the bonus songs, but I definitely wouldn't return to the full project. There are a few songs that I like however, so this wasn't a total waste of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Overall Rating: 70/100

Favourite Track: Cold Piece of Work

Least Favourite: Stick It In

 

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