Something Else (Tech N9ne album)

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Something Else
Studio album by Tech N9ne
Released July 30, 2013
Recorded 2012–2013
Genre Hip hop
Length 65:44
Label Strange Music, RBC Records
Producer Travis O'Guin (exec.), Ben Cybulsky, Drumma Boy, Fredwreck, Jon Pakfar, ¡Mayday!, Scoop DeVille, Shane Eli, Seven, Young Fyre, Daniel "Keys" Perez, Ralfy "FAFA" Valencia
Tech N9ne chronology
Boiling Point
(2012)
Something Else
(2013)
Therapy
(2013)
Deluxe edition cover
Singles from Something Else
  1. "So Dope (They Wanna)"
    Released: July 2, 2013
  2. "Fragile"
    Released: July 17, 2013

Something Else is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Tech N9ne. The album was released on July 30, 2013 by Strange Music and RBC Records. The album is broken up into three portions — Earth, Water & Fire.

Production of the album was handled during 2012 and 2013, primarily by frequent collaborator Seven, among others such as Young Fyre, Drumma Boy, and Fredwreck. The album features guest appearances from B.o.B, Big K.R.I.T., Cee Lo Green, The Doors, Game, Kendrick Lamar, Serj Tankian, T-Pain, Trae tha Truth and Wiz Khalifa, among others including several artists from Tech N9ne's Strange Music imprint.

The album was supported by two singles, the posse cut "So Dope (They Wanna)" and the Kendrick Lamar assisted "Fragile". Upon its release, Something Else was met with general critical acclaim from music critics. Also faring well commercially, the album sold 58,300 copies in its first week of sale, and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart.

Background[edit]

The album was first announced on February 8, 2013, on the Strange Music blog.[1] On the preview on the Strange Music blog, Tech N9ne spoke about what to expect from the album, saying:

The beats sound nothing like anything you’ve ever heard me on. The features that I’m going for are something you would never imagine. All I can say about it now is that it’s a very human album. What I mean by that is that it’s contradictory. On one song I say, ‘The saint is ours’, like we’re in the saint’s corner and then I have another song called ‘I’m Not A Saint’. It’s so beautiful because the King, the Clown, and the G are still present on this album. There’s no apologies in what I’m saying. I don’t mind that it contradicts itself because that’s what people do. The album is everywhere. It feels like it’s Hell, Purgatory and Heaven all over again. I’m telling stories that I’ve never told – that I was afraid to tell on some songs. It’s super personal and I’ve got a big chip on my shoulder again. It’s always been there, but it’s getting bigger having to prove to fans and critics that we ain’t goin’ nowhere.[1]

—Tech N9ne

In March 2013, during an interview with The Arizona Daily Wildcat, Tech N9ne revealed that the album would be divided into three separate parts titled Fire, Water and Earth. The "Fire" section is darker in themes while the "Earth" section is shorter and has heavenly themes, similar to Tech's earlier album Anghellic.[2] Tracks 2-10 are the Fire part, 11-13 the Water part and 14-24 the Earth section.[3]

Guests and production[edit]

During the album's recording process Tech N9ne worked with several of his Strange Music label mates including Big Scoob,[4] Ces Cru,[5] Krizz Kaliko,[5] ¡Mayday!,[5] Rittz[5] and Stevie Stone.[5] He worked with various other collaborators such as B.o.B.,[6] Big K.R.I.T.,[6] Cee-Lo Green,[6] Game,[6] Info Gates,[5] Red Café,[4] Serj Tankian,[6][7] T-Pain,[8] The Doors,[9][10] and Trae tha Truth.[4] While speaking with The Spokesman-Review about the album, he noted that he would be working with both Citizen Cope and Macklemore,[11] but neither appeared on the final track listing. Tech attempted to get Corey Taylor to record vocals for "Love 2 Dislike Me", however Corey was unable to commit due to the timing because of personal reasons.[12] Tech had given consideration to trying to get James Hetfield to appear on the song instead.[6]

In June 2013, the final track listing revealed guest appearances on the album from Krizz Kaliko, Serj Tankian, T-Pain, Big Scoob, Red Café, Trae tha Truth, Liz Suwandi, Tyler Lyon, Kendall Morgan, Kendrick Lamar, ¡Mayday!, Angel Davenport, Game, Snow tha Product, Twisted Insane, Wrekonize, B.o.B, Wiz Khalifa, Big K.R.I.T., Cee Lo Green, Kutt Calhoun, Scoop DeVille, Rittz, Stevie Stone, Ces Cru, Danny Brown and The Doors.[13] In April 2013, Tech N9ne spoke on why some artists and collaborations cannot make the cut, saying: "I write music on an impulse; I write it as I feel it. If I was just writing bullshit songs trying to make a hit, yeah, I could give you a song six months in advance. Nigga, I’m doing my album in a month’s time. I’m writing it...recording it, going to write another one, really feeling the music for some months and then go in the studio for like a month and a half and do it. Everybody don’t work like that."[14]

In July 2013, Tech elaborated further on how the quick schedule for his albums kept him from securing features he wanted on the album. In a Q&A session hosted by Angela Yee during the album's official release party, Tech spoke on his intentions to have both Nas & Jay-Z on the album. Nas was initially sent the song "Burn the World", however the rapper requested to not be featured on that track and requested Tech send him something else, finding it too personal. Tech then had his producer, Seven, create a beat he called "The Rise & Fall of Y'all" which he intended to send to Nas but was unable to due to timing. He also spoke on how he contacted producer Mike Dean, who at the time was engineering Watch The Throne 2, in an attempt to secure a Jay-Z verse for "That's My Kid," and while Dean had agreed to get Jay to listen to it, Tech ran out of time before having to put the album together.[15]

Producers on the album include Drumma Boy, Fredwreck, ¡Mayday!,[16] Scoop DeVille, Michael "Seven" Summers and Young Fyre.

Release and promotion[edit]

On March 14, 2013, Strange Music released The Independent Powerhouse Sampler, it featured snippets of songs from the album titled "Fortune Force Field", "So Dope", "Thizzles", "Meant To Happen", "Dwamn" and the album's first promotional single "B.I.T.C.H." featuring T-Pain.[17] On July 2, 2013, "So Dope (They Wanna)" featuring Snow tha Product, Twisted Insane and Wrekonize was released as the album's first single along with the pre-order of the album on iTunes.[18] The song was described as being in the same vien of N9ne's previous song "Worldwide Choppers".[19] On July 25, 2013, the music video for "So Dope (They Wanna)" featuring Snow tha Product, Twisted Insane and Wrekonize, was released.[20]

On July 17, 2013, the Kendrick Lamar, Kendall Morgan and ¡Mayday! featuring song "Fragile", was released as the album's second single.[21] On August 1, 2013, the music video was released for "Straight Out The Gate" featuring Serj Tankian.[22] On August 6, 2013, the music video was released for "B.I.T.C.H." featuring T-Pain.[23] On August 14, 2013, the music video was released for "Party The Pain Away" featuring Liz Suwandi.[24] On August 29, 2013, the music video was released for "Love 2 Dislike Me" featuring Liz Suwandi and Tyler Lyon.[25] On September 12, 2013, the music video was released for "Dwamn".[26] On February 9, 2014, the music video was released for "Fragile" featuring Kendrick Lamar, ¡Mayday! and Kendall Morgan.[27]

On March 27, 2013, the official album covers were revealed.[28] In May 2013, Amazon.com revealed that the release date of the album would be pushed back from June 25, 2013, until July 30, 2013.[29] On June 4, 2013 the album was released for pre-order on the Strange Music website, in three different variants including a standard, deluxe, and a vinyl version. All three come with two tracks; Fortune Force Field, and Party the Pain Away. The deluxe version will include an autographed copy of the CD (If pre-ordered), three bonus tracks, and a bonus DVD.[30]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 58,324 copies in the United States.[31] It would be the highest first week sales of an album for his career.[32] In its second week the album sold 17,000 more copies.[33] In its third week the album sold 10,000 more copies.[34] In its fourth week the album sold 7,000 more copies bringing its total album sales to 92,000.[35]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 85/100[36]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[37]
Artistdirect 5/5 stars[38]
DJ Booth 4.5/5 stars[39]
Exclaim! 8/10[40]
HipHopDX 4/5 stars[41]
The Needle Drop 4/10[42]
RapReviews 8/10[43]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[44]
Vibe (positive)[45]
XXL 4/5 stars (XL)[46]

Upon its release Something Else was met with critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, which indicates "universal acclaim" based on 5 reviews.[47] David Jeffries of Allmusic gave the album four out of five stars, saying "Building on the pop and polish of his 2011 release All 6's and 7's, this 2013 effort from Tech N9ne finds the angry and angsty rapper bringing back some of the horror show rap of his early days, which is good, because now his nightmares are not only vivid, but incredibly well-funded."[37] Arasia Graham of HipHopDX gave the album four out of five stars, saying "Something Else in all of its intense, loud, confusing and obnoxious glory is fluid in its musical movement and sincere in its content. The album is contradictory in subject matter and sound yet speaks to the idealistic and free flowing approach Tech takes when creating music. Tech N9ne sounds sharp over complicated production that has many layers to peel back. And he took big risks that will pay off, as Something Else will surely be a contender for album of the year. There are a few holes—the project’s length and forgettable appearances (Wiz Khalifa on “See Me”)—but overall, it’s an incredible album that will keep that hint of burgundy in the sky."[41] Erin Lowers of Exclaim! gave the album an eight out of ten, saying "While 18 full tracks is a bold move, it's not the best. Songs like "Dwamn," "Strange 2013" and "Meant to Happen" fall by the wayside, and ultimately break the record's power. Nevertheless, the standout numbers are potent enough to carry this from start to finish."[40] Steve Jones of USA Today gave the album three and a half stars out of four, saying "The Kansas City rapper explores facets of his personality — fire, water, earth — using a variety of flows and eclectic beats. He harnesses a prodigious guest list (Cee Lo, Kendrick Lamar, Serj Tankian, T-Pain, The Doors) to create something unconventional."[44]

Eric Diep of XXL gave the album an XL, saying "Though Tech proves he’s a master of the flow and storytelling (“My Haiku—Burn The World,” “Fragile,” “Priorities”), his approach to what he dubs as “beautiful music” has yet to reach the level of pop culture icon. Something Else—his most cohesive balance of indie and mainstream—will be remembered as an album that brought him closer to acceptance. Whether Tech wants the bigger fame or not is unclear, but it’s safe to say the growth he displays here is one step nearer. He’s strange, he’s provocative, but the lesser shock value on this album marks it as his true debut to a larger audience."[46] Paul Cantor of Vibe gave the album a positive review, saying "Is Something Else a milestone in Tech N9ne’s career, the quintessential album he’s been waiting to make his whole career? Tough to say. The LP has a cornucopia of guests, but they all show up in force and only occasionally detract from the material. There aren’t any blatantly bad songs, but sure, you might skip a few. It happens. And do all the tracks fit neatly into the project’s conceptual arc? No, but even attempting something like that is a tall task, and the album as a straight listen certainly exhibits a noted change in musical direction as it plays, which is a commendable. Though he’s not exactly the outsider he once was, Tech N9ne fans—the die-hards and the johnny-come-latelys—should really enjoy this album."[45] Steve Juon of RapReviews gave the album an eight out of ten, saying "Is "Something Else" excessive? Not for a 20+ year veteran who has been a certified star for at least 14, and not given how many guest features factor in. It's a sign of Tech's confidence that the lead single "So Dope (They Wanna)" gives equal time to Wrekonize, Snow Tha Product and Twisted Insane flowing over the Shane Eli/Jon Pakfar beat - and Tech's flow on the opening verse shows he hasn't slowed with age."[43]

Accolades[edit]

Something Else was ranked at number 23 on XXL's list of the best albums of 2013. They commented saying, "There’s plenty for everyone here: dark emotional songs (“I’m Not A Saint,”) trap hyphy bangers (“Dwamn”) and radio-friendly cuts (“See Me”). Despite the fact that Tech is exploring heavy metal rock with his Therapy EP, you can always count on him for a solid hip-hop album."[48]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Edition[49]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "News With Mark Alford 1 (Skit)"   Mark Alford, Michael Summers Seven 1:16
2. "Straight Out The Gate" (featuring Krizz Kaliko & Serj Tankian) Aaron Yates, M. Summers, Samuel Watson, Serj Tankian Seven 4:09
3. "B.I.T.C.H." (featuring T-Pain) A. Yates, Faheem Rasheed Najm, M. Summers Seven 4:27
4. "With The BS" (featuring Big Scoob, Red Café & Trae tha Truth) A. Yates, Frazier Thompson, Jermaine Denny, M. Summers, Steward Ashby Seven 4:35
5. "Love 2 Dislike Me" (featuring Liz Suwandi & Tyler Lyon) A. Yates, Elizabeth Arnold, M. Summers, Tyler Lyon Seven 3:53
6. "Fortune Force Field"   A. Yates, M. Summers Seven 4:16
7. "I'm Not A Saint"   A. Yates, M. Summers Seven 4:29
8. "Fragile" (featuring Kendall Morgan, Kendrick Lamar & ¡Mayday!) A. Yates, Benjamin Miller, Bernardo Garcia, Daniel Emilio Perez, Gianni Perocarpi, Kendal Morgan, Kendrick Duckworth, Ralfy Valencia ¡Mayday!, Daniel "Keys" Perez, Ralfy "FAFA" Valencia 3:55
9. "Priorities" (featuring Angel Davenport & Game) A. Yates, Ashley Hart, Jayceon Taylor, M. Summers Seven 1:43
10. "News With Mark Alford 2 (Skit)"   M. Alford, M. Summers Seven 0:41
11. "Dwamn"   A. Yates, M. Summers Seven 2:57
12. "So Dope (They Wanna)" (featuring Snow Tha Product, Twisted Insane & Wrekonize) A. Yates, B. Miller, Claudia Feliciano, Jonathan Pakfar, Michael Johnson, Shane Eli Abrahams Shane Eli, Jon Pakfar 4:18
13. "See Me" (featuring B.o.B & Wiz Khalifa) A. Yates, Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., Cameron Thomaz, Christopher Gholson Drumma Boy 4:09
14. "My Haiku-Burn The World" (featuring Krizz Kaliko) A. Yates, S. Watson, Tramaine Winfey Young Fyre 4:01
15. "That's My Kid" (featuring Big K.R.I.T., Cee Lo Green & Kutt Calhoun) A. Yates, Justin Scott, M. Summers, Melvin Calhoun, Thomas DeCarlo Callaway Seven 4:22
16. "Meant To Happen" (featuring Scoop DeVille) A. Yates, Elijah Molina Scoop DeVille 3:55
17. "News With Mark Alford 3 (Skit)"   M. Alford, M. Summers Seven 0:53
18. "Believe"   A. Yates, M. Summers Seven 3:52
19. "R.I.P. Ray (Skit)"     Ben Cybulsky 0:54[A]
20. "Strange 2013" (featuring The Doors) A. Yates, The Doors Fredwreck 3:31
21. "SMB"     Ben Cybulsky 0:04
Total length:
65:44
Notes:
A: ^ On the standard edition, the skit is 54 seconds long. On the deluxe edition however, it was abridged to only 7 seconds.

Charts[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[59]

  • Richie Abbott - A&R, Publicity
  • Shane Eli Abrahams - Composer, Producer
  • Mark Alford - Composer
  • Derek "MixedByAli" Ali - Vocal Engineer
  • Elizabeth Arnold - Composer
  • Steward D. Ashby - Composer
  • Chris Athens - Mastering
  • Aaron Bean - Marketing, Promoter
  • Bernz - Producer, Vocals
  • Big K.R.I.T. - Vocals
  • Big Scoob - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • B.o.B - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Sam Bohl - Assistant Engineer
  • Brent Bradley - Marketing
  • Delynia Brown - Vocals
  • Violet Brown - Production Assistant
  • Kutt Calhoun - Vocals
  • Melvin Calhoun - Composer
  • Thomas DeCarlo Callaway - Composer
  • Valdora Case - Production Assistant
  • Gianni Ca$h - Producer, Vocals
  • Izabel Castellano - Vocals
  • Liz Codd - Violin
  • Glenda Cowan - Production Assistant
  • Ben Cybulsky - Arranger, Engineer, Mixing
  • Angel Davanport - Vocals
  • Jermaine Denny - Composer
  • The Doors - Composer, Featured Artist
  • Michael Johnson - Composer
  • Kendrick Duckworth - Composer
  • Jim Fanning - Cover Illustration
  • Claudia Feliciano - Composer
  • Brett Turner Francis - String Arrangements, String Conductor
  • Emma Frost - Vocals
  • Game - Vocals
  • Bernardo Garcia - Composer
  • Avery Geiger - Vocals
  • Jasmyn Geiger - Vocals
  • Roneesha Geiger - Vocals
  • Drumma Boy - Producer
  • Christopher Gholson -Composer
  • Cee Lo Green - Vocals
  • Ben Grossi - Project Consultant
  • Ashley Hart - Composer
  • Lan Jiang - Cello
  • Krizz Kaliko - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Kendrick Lamar - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Kortney Leveringston - Vocals
  • Andrew Lloyd - Additional Production
  • Korey Lloyd - Production Assistant, Project Manager, Publicity
  • Tyler Lyon - Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Fabian Marasciullo - Mixing
  • Kendra Matthews - Vocals
  • Mayday! - Featured Artist
  • James Meierotto - Photography
  • Benjamin Miller - Composer
  • Elijah Molina - Composer, Featured Artist, Producer, Vocals
  • Kendall Morgan - Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Mugs - A&R
  • Faheem Rasheed Najm - Composer
  • "Fredwreck" Farid Nassar - Additional Production
  • Jeff Nelson - Marketing
  • Cory Nielsen - Production Assistant
  • Dawn O'Guin - Production Assistant
  • Mackenzie O'Guin - Vocals
  • Jonathan Pakfar - Composer, Producer
  • Fabio Peixoto - Violin
  • Daniel "Keys" Perez - Producer
  • Daniel Emilio Perez - Composer
  • Gianni Perocarpi - Composer
  • Jose Ramirez - Marketing
  • Red Café - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Sadikov String Quartet - Strings
  • Shokhrukh Sadikov - Viola
  • Víctor Sandoval - Marketing
  • Justin Scott - Composer
  • Brian Shafton - Project Consultant
  • Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. - Composer
  • Snow tha Product - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Ashton Summers - Vocals
  • Christina Summers - Vocals
  • Michael "Seven" Summers - Associate Producer, Bass, Composer, Producer
  • Liz Suwandi - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • T-Pain - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Serj Tankian - Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Jayceon Taylor - Composer
  • Tech N9ne - Primary Artist
  • Cameron Thomaz - Composer
  • Frazier Thompson - Composer
  • Trae Tha Truth - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Travis O'Guin - A&R, Executive Producer
  • Twisted Insane - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Ralfy "FAFA" Valencia - Composer, Producer
  • Crystal Watson - Vocals
  • Samuel Watson - Composer
  • Christopher Watson, Jr. - Vocals
  • Dave Weiner - A&R, Associate Producer
  • Jace Wilbert - Guitar
  • Tramaine Winfrey - Composer
  • Tramaine "Youngfyre" Winfrey - Producer
  • Wiz Khalifa - Featured Artist, Vocals
  • Wrekonize - Featured Artist, Producer, Vocals
  • Aaron D. "Tech N9ne" Yates - Composer

References[edit]

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