Tech N9ne - Welcome to Strangeland

Posted 4 years ago
Tags: Tech N9ne,

It’s really not that hard to figure out why Tech N9ne’s succeeded. The major labels are...

Welcome to Strangeland Album Review

It’s really not that hard to figure out why Tech N9ne’s succeeded. The major labels are dedicated to making hip-hop an insider’s club. Fans aspire to the lifestyles of their favorite artists, and they’re willing to pay to become insiders too. That’s their motto anyway, but what they didn’t realize is that there are not just hundreds, or thousands, but hundreds of thousands of hip-hop fans who think of themselves as outsiders. They just don’t give a f**k about getting into that exclusive club, they’d rather party in the alley. They don’t want to hear raps about fantasy lives, they want to hear raps about the complex and often painful lives they’re living right now, and they come in every ethnicity and nationality on the globe. They don’t live under Hollywood’s or New York City’s never sleeping lights. They come from places like Kansas City, Tulsa, Berlin and everywhere in between. These are the people Tech N9ne speaks to.

Tech hasn’t just created a sound, he’s created a world for his fans to live in, so it’s only appropriate that he titled him new album Welcome to Strangeland. In contrast to this last album All 6’s & 7’s, which was in large part a testament to the amount of high-profile rappers hungry to become Strange insiders themselves, Strangeland consists solely of artists from his Strange Music label. Accordingly it’s a rawer and more explicit album guaranteed to please hardcore fans, and frighten those who have yet to venture into Strangeland’s borders.

There’s no better place to begin than title track Welcome to Strangeland, a cut that contains all the essential components of a Tech song: a machine gun ready beat layered with Tech’s spitfire flows complete with a shout out to his army of outsiders: “Juggalos kottonmouth kings and queens / Gangbangers metalheads and the college kids / Then everything in between.” Is that everyone? But although tracks like Welcome invite listeners to go down Tech’s rabbit hole, it’s completely possible to bump the hell out of this album without joining the movement. Just take Unfair – I don’t care who you are, if your head doesn’t get nodding to that string fueled beat you don’t have a neck, and while groupie love raps aren’t exactly groundbreaking material, it’s not hard to feel the appeal of Bang Out. Better yet, just play anyone new to Tech Beautiful Music and watch their reaction. You don’t have to like a flow like that, but you do have to respect it.

What makes Tech much more than just a fast rapper, and Welcome to Strangeland more than just your average hardcore rap album, are tracks like The Noose. Easily the album’s standout, thanks in no small part to the instrumentation and vocals of new signees ¡MAYDAY!, Noose isn’t afraid to tackle the largest issues imaginable: death, god and purpose. This willingness to let us into his actual life, his fight with overeating on My Favorite for example, runs throughout the album, from the sure to be controversial Gods to his relationship with his children on Slave, topics that his second in command Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun are more than capable of speaking on as well. Although it won’t defend against those who don’t bother to actually listen, these are the tracks that make Tech much more than face paint and fast rhymes.

It must be said though that if the primary point of Welcome to Strangeland is to showcase the rest of Tech’s Strange family the results are mixed. This is a solid album from the headliner, but while those already deep in the Strange Music world will undoubtedly rush to cop Young Bleed, Jay Da 3rd and Stevie Stone’s solo music off the strength of their guest verses on the album, it’s frankly hard to imagine the more casual listener paying attention to much more than Tech. The standout guests on StrangelandJay Rock, ¡MAYDAY!, Calhoun – have all originally made their names outside of Tech’s camp, and that helps them to sound like they’re truly enhancing the track, not simply appearing on it. But I think I already know N9ne’s answer to that criticism – “I don’t care. You’re on the inside, and this album is for outsiders. Feel free to join us – otherwise shut up.” Honestly, he’s right.

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

0 Comments
Written by
Posted 4 years ago

Sample Text - Sample Link
0:00
3:00
Shrink
Hide

More from Tech N9ne

Featured Video

New Features

2016-05-02-soulja-boy-400-million-deal-no-way

There’s No Way Soulja Boy Signed a $400 Million Deal

Soulja's mystery "deal" would be worth 20 times Drake's deal with Apple Music, so yeah, consider us more than skeptical. Read More
Posted about 3 hours ago by Nathan S.
2016-05-02-drake-partynextdoor-reference-tracks

More Drake Reference Tracks Surface, He’s Still More Popular Than Beyoncé

A version of "Legend" written by PND surfaced but it won't slow Drake down. "Views" is already projected to outsell Beyonce's new album. Read More
Posted 7 hours ago by Nathan S.
2016-04-29-logic-gaming-channel

Logic Just Launched a Gaming Channel, This Is Why It’s A Big Deal

Laugh if you want, but there's huge money to be made in gaming and Logic's getting there first. Read More
Posted about 3 days ago by Yoh
2016-04-29-royce-da-59-alcoholism-music

“I Needed It For My Edge”: Royce Da 5’9” Comes Clean About His Alcoholism & Music

Royce shatters the myth of the genius-artist-addict by talking about how his sobriety lead to great music and a number one album. Read More
Posted 3 days ago by Nathan S.
2016-04-29-drake-kanye-joint-album

Drake & Kanye’s Joint Album Will Never Happen & That’s a Good Thing

Drake revealed that he and Kanye were supposed to do an album together, still might. Here's to hoping it never actually happens. Read More
Posted 3 days ago by Yoh

TRENDING NOW



Flame

TOP 20 MUSIC CHARTS


Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.