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Tech N9ne may be a sort of meme in the hip-hop industry, but his new record The Storm may help him achieve more of a serious position as an artist, because, for the most part, it's a pretty solid record.
The Storm is a bumpy ride, but it has its promising moments. The record's start is fairly strong, 'Godspeed' opening up with some good ideas. The first verse is pretty funny, which doesn't really help solidify his position, but that's only a small fault. Much of the rest of the track actually goes pretty hard, filled with some drive and confidence. 'Need Jesus' featuring Stevie Stone and JL follows through, this one really bringing the best of Tech N9ne out. The flow has a Jamaican vibe to it, adding some color and taste to the track. The hook is dark both melodically and sonically. The song is overall just darker, and it pays off as Tech N9ne has a rock and metal past.
That past is referenced towards the end of the record in 'The Needle.' It's one of the two tracks that help bring the album back up from a low. There are plenty of name drops in this track, from Jimmy Kimmel to Slipknot and Deftones. This track is thankful, discussing the memorable moments of N9ne's career. It has a solid flow, too, really standing out from the rest of the record. The final track 'The Long Way' flows with some average pop hip-hop melodies, but the instrumental helps bring it all together, ringing sweetly and dramatically under the verses an chorus.
A lot of the record is unfortunately quite forgettable. There's not really a truly awful song on the record, but there's not much that stands out. Sandwiched between very solid tracks are many run-of-the-mill tracks that don't make any memorable mark while listening through it. There are tracks with promise, too, that don't quite live up to what they could. The most pristine example is 'Starting To Turn' featuring Jonathan Davis; Davis brings all the Korn vibes into play, creepy instrumental included. Tech N9ne sounds like he's back in his element to, being carried by the heavier instrumental. The song proceeds nicely, but after the first chorus, everything falls apart before coming to a very disappointing end. The brassy instrumental of 'I Get It Now' also feels like it could've been a lot more. There's nothing other than the brass elements making the song standout, which is really disappointing. There are songs that just feel uninspired, too. All that needs to be said for that is the lyric "I'm like the L in salmon / They can't hear me." It speaks for itself.
Tech N9ne has had a long career. It doesn't sound like he's quite ready to call it quits yet, though. The Storm has a lot going for it, and while it may be largely disappointing, there are promising moments. There's something. You can give it that much.
Favorite Tracks: The Needle, Need Jesus
Least Favorite Track: No Runnin To Ya Mama, Starting To Turn
Rating: 54 / 100