Review Summary: We gonna start this shit off right.
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
For someone as seemingly underground as Aaron “Tech N9ne” Yates, he sure does have an extraordinarily large fan base. Originating as a top MC out of Kansas City, Tech N9ne has possessed a steadily growing reputation as one of the premiere underground rap artists. The game hasn’t always been kind to Tech, who in interviews has recalled hitting rock bottom with hardly any money to spare, but he persevered, and recently hit the million album sales mark.
But when you’ve got red spiked hair, you’re bound to get a few buyers for shock value alone.
In the wake of creating ambitiously large albums, “Everready (The Religion)” is a double-disc collection of original songs by Tech N9ne and other artists on his label, Strange Music. For what it’s worth, the 2nd disc is essentially a collection of Strange Music label artists and a few songs written by Tech N9ne; the real meat of the album comes through on the first disc. Unlike most hip-hoppers and rappers of today’s music industry, Tech N9ne recalls back to the old days of aggression and hostility found in Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy (albeit sounding drastically different in a beat and rhyme delivery sense, mind you).
“Everready (The Religion)” finds Tech N9ne utilizing drums, distorted guitars, popping basses, and gang chants to get his frustration out in center. The furious opener “Riot Maker” is venom-laced tale of Tech’s issue with Honolulu’s agents who refused to allow him to perform, calling his music “riot music”; in retrospect, this couldn’t be any truer. The whole “Everready” album is a trip down rap’s paths of insanity, occasionally throwing a reassuring, smooth rhymed piece such as “The Rain” and “The Flash”, which focus more on Tech N9ne’s ability to create various beats (with “The Rain” utilizing what sounds similar to keyboard tuned to sound like an organ). But it’s in Tech’s natural hostility that “Everready” excels, with “No Can Do” and “The Beast” being jackhammer tracks with harsh beats and sharp tongues.
Tech N9ne’s rhyme and lyrical delivery is more than just effective; it’s what often what moves the song along. The classic iron drum beat on “Bout ta Bubble” is only infections due to Tech N9ne’s witty tongue and rolling lines, not to mention a bit of odd humor: “Yo, get ya ID, passport, state skippin, All around the world, busy with the bass hittin. We ain't come for bustin heads, yea we hate trippin. When we through rockin the shows, man we chase kittens”. One of Tech N9ne’s bigger hits, “Caribou Lou”, thrusts Tech N9ne’s lyrical ability into the spotlight, using the trippy beat and back-up voice synths as supports to push the party song even further (not to mention the drink he refers to repeatedly sounds incredible).
However, as with the case of most double-disc collection, the presence of filler is nearly unavoidable. The second CD is largely forgettable, since nearly 75 percent of it does not feature Tech N9ne (on song and on credits). “Come Gangsta”, while presenting tight lines, feels like it never takes off and just stays on the same plane the whole time. The same can really be said for “Running Out of Time”, which has a slightly irritating sang chorus that seems to distract from Tech himself (though his speed verses are certainly a highlight of talent).
Tech N9ne’s “Everready (The Religion)” captivates when focusing on its aggressive nature, and while it tapers off in a few places due to filler and slower tracks, it still stands as a thrilling hip-hop album. It seems like Tech N9ne is pretty happy with his spot in the rap world, viciously stating on “No Can Do” that “You industry punks I hope you fakes die, cause most of these rappers have a queer eye for the straight guy”…it appears that Tech N9ne is one to tell it how he sees it. Regardless, “Everready (The Religion)” should be a welcome addition to any hip-hop enthusiast’s collection, as long as they don’t expect sugar-coated songs about flashy cars.
It seems like your labeling rock/metal/hardcore and the like as 'normal' and hip-hop as some abstract subject. I've always found it easier to write about hip-hop than anything else because of rap's strong focus on the lyrics and its typically two-dimensional structure.
I think you totally missed what I was talking about. I am used to describing the instrumental sound, and then going deep into the lyrics. With rap and hip-hop, the lyrics do not really need to be delved too deeply into. Instead, you have to focus more on the flow, and you almost have to listen differently for reviewing purposes. I said that they are different to review, and for me, rock/metal and the like are normal, because I listen to it more. I never said hip-hop was an abstract subject, I said it was different to review than rock.
You didn't say most of that before; rap music is the lyrics so I dunno where you got the idea that they 'don't need to be delved too deeply into'. I've listened to rap songs with lyrics that opened my mind and helped me think on a higher philosophical level than I had been doing before, I owe a lot of my musical knowledge to rap music. The flow is simply the style of a rappers delivery of said lyrics, its not the deciding factor in the quality of the music and if it is bad great lyrics can usually save it (See hip-hop artist Immortal Technique for starters). Also your and its various forms are all relative and should not be used to describe something overall.
A lot of rap is good even though the lyrics can be stupid though. I enjoy Lil' Wayne, although his lyrics do not open my mind or make me think. You can not say all rap is about the lyrics, a lot of it is based on beats and flow.
Yeah, because I don't listen to Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, or Immortal Technique so I have no idea what I am talking about. I Simply said that a LOT of rap is not centered around lyrical prowess. Whether it is mainstream or not is irrelevant.
Yes it is relevant, because the large majority mainstream doesn't represent hip-hop, it represents pop and clever marketing schemes. Again I'm not trying to downplay your insight, but it just isn't that deep if you really think that a lot of rap isn't centered around lyrics. When you compare the amount of rappers in the mainstream to the MCs of the underground its like tossing a needle in a haystack, most of the time rap is entirely about the message from the lyrics. Please stop getting pissed.This Message Edited On 01.07.09
I did not say a majority, I said a lot. There is a lot of rap that is not centered around lyrics. Therefore, a rap album is not always about lyrics. Take Tech N9ne for instance. He goes both ways with his songs, some have meaning behind them, some don't. Is there a deeper meaning behind Caribou Lou that I am missing? Probably not.
My beef was that you started off arguing that rap in general was a flow oriented thing and lyrics always take a backseat to the delivery and style. Which you did in your earlier posts, just specify next time : )
I just found this hard to review because I'm so used to just reviewing thrash (cause no one does here really) that it was even a challenge to write about different metal genres...so to switch completely over to hip-hop was near impossible for me.