Album Review – Tech N9ne, Klusterfuk (EP)

This has been a rough couple of days for me when it comes to new music. RnB is dead right now (I’ve listened to everything from the last week), Hip-Hop has been more of the same (except for a few tracks I am re-reviewing to write about) and I can never find good Pop music. I might as well go back to 2012 and pick out one of my favorite Rap EPs, Klusterfuk.

The entire album was produced by ¡MAYDAY!, who have always had a good relationship with Tech. So let’s break down the album song-by-song keeping that in mind:

1. Klusterfuk ft. Sassy- The album opens with a song named after it, which happens to be my favorite. Tech N9ne actually sings the first few lines, and goes on to rap. The listener really gets a good idea of Tech N9ne’s childhood and I find it an open track. The talking in the end is something you may have to get used to as there are blips of simply talking during a beat throughout the album, but it’s brief and the finale of the song is worth waiting for. 9.5/10

2. Blur ft. Wrekognize – The second song on Klusterfuk starts with what sounds like a phone call between Tech N9ne and Wrekognize. Nothing truly memorable about this song, the hook is decent and Tech sounds impressive. The song is generally focused on living crazy and not remembering it the next day. 8.75/10

3. Can’t Stand Me ft. Krizz Kaliko – I always thought this was a very underrated Tech N9ne song. I thought the raps were rather solid and the hook was always catchy, from both Tech N9ne’s parts and Krizz Kaliko’s brief vocal appearance. This is a typical “Haters hate me” kind of song but it had some excellent flow and a sold hook. The bridge is a bit off-pace from the song, but I would rather hear Krizz than more phone calls or just speaking. I have to say the song does end rather abruptly though, could use some extra length. 9.5/10

4. Ugly Duckling ft. Aqualeo – With another anti-hater song, Tech N9ne brings on Aqualeo on the hook. I was surprised at how long it took for the hook to start, and when it did I guess my hopes were a bit too high. I just don’t really like the chorus by Aqualeo all that much (though is rap verse is pretty excellent). I do like the beat a lot though, I think it goes incredibly well with Tech N9ne’s verses. You can tell there is a lot of passion in this song, which is always refreshing in a rap song. 8.75/10

5. Awkward – I think that ¡Mayday! producing this album makes the difference of whether or not this EP stands out from other Tech N9ne albums. I am a sucker for EPs, as I feel as though more effort is put into each song. I was impressed with the effort put in by both the production and Tech N9ne in this song. Nothing super memorable about this track, but it is an interesting rap song that shows Tech N9ne’s talent even on a chorus. More stories though, but it is more relevant to the song than the others. I actually found it amusing, but I would never play it over and over again. Spoiler Alert: Tech has no tools, he’s got God and angels with him. Now you have to listen to the song to know what I’m talking about. 8/10.

6. D.K.N.Y. ft. Krizz Kaliko – The song starts with that whole talking thing, which again is my biggest complaint on the album. I think the rap starts off strong, and overall the song is solid. It combines rock and rap pretty well. If it didn’t waste the first part of the song narrating, I think this song could be one of the best on the album. 9/10

So overall, that averages out to about somewhere between 8.75 to 9/10. And I do think that is an appropriate area, as the album is pretty consistent and shows some of Tech’s best verses but the unnecessary narration is so uncalled for. My point of writing this was to bring the very unknown Tech N9ne EP to attention. Unfortunately, I don’t have a link to the full album, but I’ll leave the first track on the album below and if you like it I at least recommend listening to my 9’s and above (though it is easy enough to listen to the whole thing):

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Tech N9ne ft. Kendrick Lamar, ¡MAYDAY! & Kendall Morgan, Fragile

I am aware that this song has plenty of listens already, but I really want to put this song in the spotlight for a minute. I heard it for the first time a couple of days ago and really appreciated the message that this track presents.

The song’s goal is to explain how sensitive an artist can be about about their work, and how just a bit of criticism can affect a person’s outlook on their work. Tech N9ne raps about how critics are ruining artists, and asks how they are going to be successful if they are constantly put down.

Both Tech N9ne and Kendrick Lamar have huge verses in this song with passion and without swearing more than necessary. The words both rappers release sound real and authentic, with Kendrick in his best form here. The hook is slow but goes well with the song.

¡MAYDAY! introduces Fragile with his own sung verse. I like how it starts slow and picks up, but I can understand if the lengthy slowness would not at first appeal to Hip-Hop fans. That is why I seriously recommend listening to the song the whole 4:00 through. The music video also has a nice ending so at least watch it for that.

Overall, this song is hard to rate any lower than a 10 because of its excellent message and lyrics, but I would have to give it a 9.5/10 due to the rather slow start the song has, which is not as impressive as after about a minute in. I absolutely think it is worth a listen:

-Austin Heath