With his thirteenth studio album, All 6’s and 7’s, Tech N9ne truly spits pure, raw, dripping art. Disclaimer: if you can’t stomach gangster rap in its truest form, in all of the veins in which it exists, this album is not for you. But I will say this: what is at times harsh, obscene, almost cringe-worthy…is the same stuff that makes All 6’s and 7’s hit its intended notes directly on the head. It’s what keeps me coming back to Tech N9ne time and time again.
Tech has said his name refers to his true technical rapping abilities. After a hiatus from the rap scene, All 6’s and 7’s is his chance to once again prove those skills to a discerning indie rap audience who’s hungry for bullshit-free music you’d never find on mainstream radio waves. Keeping true to form, Tech’s incredible rhyming speed is one of the first standout characteristics of the album. It’s a skill that places him in the elite rap circle that contains the likes of Busta Rhymes and Twista.
As a matter of fact, you can find Busta and Twista on the track “Worldwide Choppers,” spitting mystifyingly fast verses that boast their skills as rappers through clever analogy and superior rhyme. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album, and, just as it implies, is the most diverse, featuring Yelawolf from Alabama, Ceza from Turkey, JL and D. Loc from Kansas City, Uso from Denmark, and Twisted Insane from California. To top off this already-phenomenal song and its talented cast, it’s got the kind of beat that could get me kicked out of my apartment building.
One thing I like about Tech is that even though he’s got the chops to rap incomprehensible on every single track, he doesn’t. His quest isn’t solely for impressing the masses with his extraordinary talent- it’s for conveying the raw feelings he’s got about growing up the child of a teenage mother, being misunderstood within the rap game, and how music saved his life. He slows things down a bit in the track “Strangeland”— an honest diary entry-like account of his come-up in the rap industry, from the crazy fans to the women to making millions.
The idiom “at 6’s and 7’s” refers to a state of frenzy and confusion — but with its all-star cast of collaborators and the remarkable skill demonstrated on each and every track, this album is anything but.