Special Effects is the latest in the extensive catalog of Tech N9ne. Tech stays true to form, delivering 24 tracks of machine gun paced raps making the clear statement of making you conform to him before he conforms to the mainstream.
Our panel was divided going into the album. Justin D-Live and Nyght had their doubts, citing the album’s length and Tech N9ne’s content as their reasoning. Mista Produsa on the other hand went into this as a well documented fan.
“Bass Ackwards” was a split decision. Our panel loved the concept of twisting words backwards to further the song’s point of people making terrible life decisions. The song’s heavy use of features, which included Lil’ Wayne was a talking point where our panel couldn’t decide if the use of four rappers on this song was the best route to go.
“On The Bible” caught ears for its lineup featuring T.I. and Zuse. Tech’s success has carried him further away from his street oriented origins, but he brought it back for this one. T.I.’s verse really struck a chord with our panel, Justin and Mista Produsa praised it, and the only reason Nyght didn’t is because he wanted to play Devil’s advocate. The verses and Zuse’s splendid hook got this one thumbs up across the board.
“Speedom (Worldwide Choppers 2)” was the album’s obvious standout. The long overdue collaboration between Tech N9ne and Eminem doesn’t disappoint. Both artists channel their machine gun flows, but Tech clearly takes the backseat to let Eminem flex his muscle, as well as give his protege Krizz Kaliko some light to shine. While our panel appreciated the overall thought of the song, strangely enough they weren’t impressed with Eminem. Both Mista Produsa and Nyght felt that the speed made Em sacrifice saying anything of significance.
Overall, the album is a testament to Tech N9ne’s career. He has established himself as the king of the underground and has reached the point where he’s sounds at home recording with some of the most popular mainstream acts. It speaks to his independence that he can put out an album with 24 songs of original content in today’s ever changing climate – but in a way it does him a disservice as listeners may be inundated with the amount of words he packs into his album. Special Effects does shine bright, but it may be an album for only true Technicians despite its big name features.