Tech N9ne – “Special Effects” review

Just 363 days after releasing his 5th collabos album (but his 14th album overall) Strangeulation, Kansas City indie hip hop icon Tech N9ne is returning with his 15th full-length album he has enlisted 7 (the in-house producer for Tech’s label Strange Music) to produce it with the exception of 2 songs. The album kicks off with “Aw Yeah? (InterVENTion)”, where Tech is questioning God about all the negativity in this world & the background choir vocals throughout were a great touch. The song “Lacrisoma” talks about the death of his mother Maureen & while the beat isn’t mindblowing or anything like that, the way Tech vents about the loss of his mother is really personal & the gospel choir hook is fantastic. The song “On the Bible” sees Tech & T.I. talking about some gangsta shit over a war-inducing beat. The song “Shroud” sees Tech sonically feels like a throwback to Tech’s 9th album K.O.D. (King Of Darkness), which is one of My Top 5 Tech N9ne Albums. The song “Psycho Bitch III” is the final installment of a trilogy of songs that Tech started on Anghellic & as with the first 2 installments, the beat & hook are similar to one another but this installment’s about how the woman from the last 2 songs is now cheating on him. Tech’s verses aren’t bad, but the verse from Funk Volume founder Hopsin is pretty uncomfortable. The song “Wither” with Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor talks about the demons within Tech & while it starts off with these somber acoustic guitar passages for the first 2 minutes, everything sonically turns into a nu metal song after that & it wasn’t too surprising for me. The song “Hood Go Crazy” with 2 Chainz is a miserably failed attempt at making a radio hit & the guest verses from Lil Wayne & Yo Gotti on the following song “Bass Ackwards” make it almost worse than “Hood Go Crazy”. The next track “No K” with E-40 is about an inside joke Tech has with his label & it definitely makes up for the previous 2 abominations we heard earlier. The song “Speedom (Worldwide Choppers 2)” is a sequel to a song Tech did off his 11th album All 6’s & 7’s called “Worldwide Choppers” & for this follow up, it isn’t too surprising to see that longtime collaborator Krizz Kaliko hopped on but it was the guest verse from Eminem that REALLY had people talking about the track even before it was released. Needless to say, everyone delivers. The song “Yates” sees Tech getting with his younger cousin Oobergeek (who’s credited under his birth name for whatever reason) & while the beat is just ok, the hook’s pretty weak to me. The song “Burn It Down” addresses some comments that former Strange Music artists Kutt Calhoun and Skatterman & Snug Brim had made about their old label not giving them enough support on the 2nd verse & while I absolutely love that, the production sounds commercial to me. The song “Dyin’ Flyin'” sees Tech addressing those calling him a sell out & the eerie production seems like yet another throwback to Tech’s K.O.D. (King Of Darkness) days. The standard edition closes out with “Roadkill”, which decent lyrically but I wasn’t feeling the dubstep production on this joint at all. I know a lot of people say that this album is for those who’ve never heard any of Tech N9ne & while I personally wouldn’t recommend this as a go-to album for anyone who wants to get into his music, this definitely is one of the best albums he’s released in a while

Score: 4/5


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