Review Summary: This is the best rap album of the year so far, but is held back by a few bad songs and a couple bad beats. Definitely worth taking a look at though. Tech N9ne brings creativity and energy to this album, and he brings it hard.
K.O.D. (or King of Darkness), which was released October 27th 2009 is already – and not even a full day in – Tech N9ne's best selling album of all time on iTunes. You don’t even have to listen to a single track to know what Tech N9ne is all about. One glance at the album cover tells you. Tech N9ne is still the same rapper he’s been all along. He’s still bringing a sick flow while delivering dark twisted, evil-genius lyrics. Tech N9ne has never been afraid to swim upstream, he’s always addressed taboo subjects in his lyrics, and even named his own label ‘Strange Music’. And his success hasn’t changed him at all…
There are quite a few good songs on this album, “Demons” featuring Three 6 Mafia and “Hunterish” featuring Irv da Phenom being the best. Tech N9ne starts Demons out the right way- “I’m an angel slash demon…” and later goes on to contribute the best verse on the song, despite DJ Paul and Juicy J adding good verses attempting to snatch the spotlight from Tech. The chorus is dark with a lady singing, leading up to - “There’s a demon inside me, can I kill it? HELL NO!” Tech is the way he’s always been on his verse, while Paul and Juicy are back to their Triple Six selves that everyone loves. This makes Demons a Tech N9ne classic and the best on the album. Hunterish, the second best, features a beastly chorus, with a low and scratchy voice repeating “You’re one hundred, we so hunterish.” Irv da Phenom steals the show, spitting fire at rapid speeds during his mid-song verse. The entire song is full of witty lines. Example: “I’m a sexual predator, better alert tha neighbors/Cuz they desperate housewife is just my flavor/Darth Vader/Pullin’ out my lightsaber/Cuz they like my hard **** call it now-n-laters!” Even these are the two best songs on the album, there are plenty of other good songs to be had on K.O.D, be sure to check out the whole album.
Tech has a lot of great characteristics as a rapper. He’s often a brilliant writer, he has a great flow, a good delivery, and has a vibrant energy about him. One of my friends says Tech N9ne has the best concerts he’s ever been to. But, let’s talk about this album in specific. Tech N9ne shows a lot of creativity on this album, more than he usually does. Shadows On The Road has a jazzy element to it that is quite pleasing, with a piano sample and a chorus that is sung so jazzily I would have thought it was a young, alive, much smoother Louie Armstrong. The Martini is an R&B song, which is nice because – as the last track on the album – it’s a calm wind-down. It works as a cool down, as if you were going to take a rest. Or even as an intermission from the regular raps, as you get ready to play it through yet again. In Show Me a God, he proves he can be a meaningful rapper – “Show me a god/If there is, one ain’t doing his job.” And talks about the injustice done to Hurricane Katrina victims, among other subjects. The lyrics on that track do Tech N9ne, because many people would peg Tech N9ne as a guy that is just a “devil rapper”. But, if you dig into his discography, you can find songs that have purpose and meaning to them, which is a refreshing trait that most rappers’ work doesn’t have. There are still the regular Tech N9ne songs on here, but a little diversity is always good. Techa Nina showed a lot of creativity on this album…and not to mention - his flow, delivery, and lyrics are all good as usual.
But, like all musical artists, Tech has a few weaknesses. One minor flaw is that he doesn’t always pick the best beats. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good beats on K.O.D, quite a few actually. But, there’s a few beats that just dull songs. A few examples: The Show Me a God beat’s tempo goes well with Tech N9ne’s flow, but is just somewhat bothersome background noise that bogs down Tech N9ne’s flow and meaningful lyrics by taking the spotlight off of them; Leave Me Alone is something I would expect to hear on a Brittany Spears album; and Horns is just so pedestrian and the beat during the chorus sounds uniquely Nsync-esque. Which brings me to my next point. Another flaw is that some of his choruses are just plain WEAK. Strange Music Box goes hard during the verses, but the chorus is just pathetic. I would definitely know the song title if I heard it on the radio, seeing as Strange Music Box was repeated several times. It’s slightly catchy, but is not reminiscent of the lyrical prowess Tech N9ne possesses in his verses. The chorus in Show Me a God is meaningful, but painful. Bad choruses pop up a little too often with Tech N9ne, and while he needs to fix that, it’s nothing that completely will completely ruin a song.
K.O.D is an excellent album, with very few flaws. As my friend – who owns all of Tech N9ne’s music – said “This is his best album yet.” But, I’m going to stop referencing my friend and quote myself on this next one - “This is the best rap album of the year, so far.” K.O.D is now available on iTunes for $11.99. I highly recommend taking a look.