Artist: Tech N9ne new album, Planet, Review

The legendary Kansas City-based rapper Tech N9ne has returned with his brand new album, Planet. Approaching 47 years old and being 20 albums in, he is still hard at work at his craft and still has a few tricks up his sleeves. Planet stands among his discography as being one of his angriest yet.

The album Planet refers to a metaphorical place he named Planet Pyune, an acronym for Peaceful Youth Unit Neutralizing Earth. In an interview with Billboard, he said, “No girl deserves to be ran over by somebody who thinks they shouldn’t be marching in the street. No unarmed man should be gunned down…”

The lead singles are “Drink Up,” “Don’t Nobody Want None,” “Bad JuJu,” and “No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song).” The industrial intro to “Drink Up” sounds like Death Grips, and with “Don’t Nobody Want None,” while catchy and dedicated to the b-boy traditions of the 1980s, does not really stand out to me.

“Bad JuJu,” which features King Iso, on the other hand, is confrontational and aggressive, and is rife with Tech’s chopper-style, lightning-fast flow. “No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song),” featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Y2, is similarly acidic. It has an auto-tuned chorus by Y2, which seems like a shot at the record label Strange Entertainment – the label Tech is suing for copyright infringement.

The strongest track on the album is also its most experimental. “Brightfall” details Tech reminiscing on the evils he has done in his life and despite his religious practices and doing the right thing, evil always comes crawling back. Throughout the song there is a discordant orchestra that sounds like a choir of angels and is reminiscent of his struggles in spite of his spirituality.

In “Red Byers (Say Som’n Do Som’n),” which features Krizz Kaliko, Tech addresses the problems that arise in the hood due to growing up in radically different perspectives. Cops, with their urban prejudices, should not patrol in bad neighborhoods. On the flip side, the youth who have grown up in these neighborhoods are conversely prejudiced and are violent and reticent. However, due to hoods being a place of inequality, violence typically occurs when these two groups meet.

As for the other songs on the album, the opener “Habanero,” featuring Mackenzie Nicole, is solid and is reminiscent of “Sriracha” off of his previous album The Storm, albeit slightly lesser. “Fresh Out!,” featuring Swisher Sleep, is a scalding track with Tech’s classic attitude. In fact, later on in the album there is a track “Not a D— Thing” that is very reminiscent of this same attitude, albeit not nearly as well done.

“Kick it With Myself,” while an ode to loneliness, is a track that is just okay. “Comfortable” is a strong track with an alluring, spacey trap beat and is lyrically about who Tech likes and dislikes, who he feels comfortable talking to, and the places where he feels he is respected. “Never Stray,” which features Navé Monjo, has a heavy bass beat and is about him never straying from his path that he has been on the past 20 years.

The next two songs also feature Navé Monjo. “My Fault” is about his presumed gripes with Insane Clown Posse, and while not bad, it is not particularly good either. “Leviathan” is another song with a mellow spacey beat. The album closes with “We Won’t Go Quietly,” which features Jordan Omley. It is an uplifting song with a powerful pen game.

The album, which contains 15 songs (excluding the deluxe edition which contain three bonus tracks), is not for everyone and is exhausting to listen to in one go despite the 53 minute runtime. The most successful independent rapper in the world has released yet another superb and refreshingly experimental hip-hop album.

Parker’s Picks: “Brightfall”, “Red Byers (Say Som’n Do Som’n)”, “Bad JuJu”, “No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song)”