Tech N9ne, ‘All 6’s and 7’s’

Tech N9ne - All 6's and 7'sOn All 6’s and 7’s, Tech N9ne claims he’s a “Cult Leader,” with a following of suburban delinquents that mimic his facepaint designs and his violent, operatic dirges. Promising a similar fate for hip-hop’s mainstream, he adds, “I’m gonna show these non-believers what mass lab-producing means.”

But as hell-raising séances go, All 6’s and 7’s can’t compare to Tech’s 2001 debut, Anghellic, where he rapped alongside a firing machine gun. “I’m beyond the boobies and the champagne,” he claims on “Love Me Tomorrow,” pronouncing it “champain-ya.” Instead, the 39-year-old Midwestern rapper offers star power. Admitted Tech fan Lil Wayne and T-Pain discuss “animal magnetism and sado-masochism” on the bawdy “Fuck Food,” while E-40 and Snoop Dogg trade “Pornographic” tales and Yelawolf and Busta Rhymes join the nine-man speed-rapping race “Worldwide Choppers.”

With his otherworldly double-time flow, Tech N9ne’s music has lost none of its overwrought delirium, draping conventional rap&B tunes like “Overtime” with guttural vocal echoes akin to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What’s missing is the gangster excess of the past. Instead of wrestling with Faustian thoughts and Ecstasy binges, he honors his ailing mother on “Mama Nem” and worries over his children on “If I Could.”

Tech N9ne’s incredible rhyme flow often masks weak lyrics: “The industry never passed the baton/ Now I’m more sarcastic than Vince Vaughn,” he says on “Promiseland.” However, All 6’s and 7’s is an admirable attempt at balancing hard-won maturity and heavy-metal rap. As for the “Devil Boy” of Anghellic … well, you had to be there.

(June 2011 – Spin)

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