By Eric Tweel
With the release of his latest album All 6’s and 7’s, rapper Tech N9ne shows us why he has quietly become one of the most successful independent rappers of all time. All 6’s and 7’s is a high-speed, infectious, non-stop journey into insanity.
While Tech’s expanding fan base has certainly attracted big names in commercial hip hop – T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg all make appearances – he still shines through as the most versatile emcee on the mic. The extent of his reach can be seen in the album’s most popular single, Worldwide Choppers, which features Yelawolf, Busta Rhymes, Twista, D-Loc, and Turkish rapper Ceza in five and a half minutes of unbridled ferocity. Tech also likes to share the mic with up-and-coming rappers. The mind-bending Am I a Psycho? is an example of this, featuring Hopsin, an emcee from L.A. whose style is reminiscent of a young Eminem. But no matter who he collaborates with, Tech always stands out, hurtling through his tracks at the speed of light.
At the pace that Tech’s words fly by, it’s easy to miss his lyrical ability, but it’s clear that he is a poet. His jaw-dropping ability to incorporate complex rhymes into his over-the-speed-limit delivery is present throughout the album, especially on tracks like Delusional and He’s a Mental Giant. His versatility in shifting gears is on display in the stop-and-start I Love Music, where he announces that music “saved my life/ paid my lights/ made my wife/ say, Bye, bye.”
Not all of 6’s and 7’s tracks are fast-paced. Tracks like The Boogieman and Strangeland are smooth and bass-heavy. These provide some rest to recover from Tech’s merciless tempo. The balance is commendable, bringing rap veterans and newcomers together in a varied offering of high-substance verses. If Tech keeps it up, his ever-growing fan base will be joined by new “Technicians” with each new release.
Rating – 4/5 stars