Soda Jerk Presents
Tech N9ne's Independant Powerhouse Tour feat. Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch Hung, Kutt Calhoun, Rittz, & Ces Cru
Brotha Lynch Hung, Kutt Calhoun, Rittz, Ces Cru
1402 Clinton St.
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
For an artist who has achieved so much – the most robust touring regimen in rap, more than a decade owning the most successful independent rap label, an independently released gold single, and recurring placement on Forbes’ Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, among them – Tech N9ne wanted his new album to transport him and his listeners to new levels of musical expression. With Special Effects, the Strange Music mogul has delivered.
“We’re playing with music, letting people know that we got this,” Tech N9ne says. “What it turned into, after my mom passed June 6, 2014, we still kept the same thing of affecting the music and the beats, but it got real serious, man.”
Tech N9ne gets serious in each section of Special Effects, which is broken into 10 portions (each of which has its own subdivision), starting with “Sunday Morning” and running through the entire week before concluding with another “Sunday” installment and an “Encore.”
The “Wednesday” section is dedicated to lyricism and features a collaboration Tech N9ne’s been working on since 1999. Eminem appears with Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko on “Speedom (WWC2),” one of the best rap exercises ever recorded. Each rapper flows at breakneck speed while clearly articulating each word of their mind-blowing raps.
Even though having Eminem on Special Effects may bring Tech N9ne extra attention, he didn’t secure the appearance for name recognition. “I got Eminem on the album because I love what he does and he’s on the top of his game,” Tech N9ne explains. “I always felt like I was one of those guys, too, that really took time with lyrics, that really took time to create material that people have to study.”
Longtime Tech N9ne fans have been studying Tech N9ne’s story raps for years. One of his most legendary series reaches its dramatic finale with “Pyscho B**ch III.” Given that the Kansas City rapper no longer has the psycho female element in his life, he wanted to conclude the installments with a chilling ending based on a real-life experience.
“When I heard the beat, it was so massive and so eerie that I wanted to talk about a crime of passion,” Tech N9ne explains of the song, which features Hopsin. “My best friend Brian Dennis, he was killed through a crime of passion, so I know it’s about a woman dating two dudes, usually. So, I made the song with two rappers dating the same chick. She got busted with one of them and they both knew each other. They don’t like each other much and they’re fighting over this girl.”
Switching gears, Tech N9ne gets serious about making music for the clubs with “Hood Go Crazy.” The song features 2 Chainz and B.o.B, and harkens back to Tech N9ne’s roots as a dancer.
“I know what makes people move,” he explains. “Just like I did ‘Planet Rock 2K,’ ‘Let’s Get Fucked Up’ and a lot of the party songs I’ve done, being three-dimensional. It’s 2015 now, so what’s Tech N9ne’s ‘Caribou Lou’ going to sound like in the future? It’s ‘Hood Go Crazy.’”
As much as Tech N9ne focuses on other pursuits, Special Effects is dominated by darkness, the pain and confusion that enveloped him upon the death of his mother. While he was reflecting upon her passing, he thought about the artwork of his K.O.D., Seepage and Boiling Point projects. Each featured black tar covering a portion of Tech N9ne’s body. As Tech N9ne revisited his artwork, he and producer Seven realized he was now metaphorically covered by this film.
The results were “Shroud,” one of Special Effects’ most emotional songs. “It has a need to be angelic, to be good, to take all that madness and let it explode and shake the masses and put it back on the evil people,” Tech N9ne explains. “I spit out everything I felt. I was really angry with people’s evilness and was dealing with my confusion about my mom, about why she was so tormented. She was such a God-fearing person, loving person. It’s just me talking to God and really letting the darkness take over me, but still turn it on the evil. It’s all in me, but then I turn it back on them, the evil that they made.”
As the album heads into its final sections, Tech explains how people have turned on him with “A Certain Comfort,” discusses losing longtime friends to disagreements on “Burn It Down” and details bringing people together on “Life Sentence.” With “Dyin’ Flyin’,” he addresses people’s claims that he’s selling out, while “Worldly Angel” sums Tech N9ne up as a human: the good and the bad, the confusion and the joy.
These are hallmarks of Tech N9ne’s work, key ingredients that have helped the Missouri mastermind grow from one of rap’s best-kept secrets into one of its most successful acts. With a tireless work ethic, he became rap’s marquee double-threat: a rapper whose musical magnificence was matched by his impeccable live show. He and partner Travis O’Guin launched Strange Music in 1999 and have methodically built it into an independent powerhouse, a label that releases high-quality, chart-topping music and whose artists, Tech N9ne chief among them, tour throughout the world virtually year-round.
It all adds up to one of rap’s best success stories. But, as Tech N9ne has found, success doesn’t always shield you from loss, setbacks and jealousy. “It’s messed up that money changes everybody around you and not necessarily you,” Tech N9ne says. “I’m still me. Money changes everything. Fame changes everything and it’s a shame. That’s one thing about Special Effects. Two is that I’m totally messed up about my mom’s death because I felt like she was such an angel and she was cheated spiritually, to me, in this life, so I’m frustrated. But in the midst of all that sadness and upset and madness, I’m still going to find a way to celebrate, to say thank you to my fans. We’re going to party the pain away.”
And Special Effects is the perfect elixir – for Tech N9ne and for the rest of us.
Brotha Lynch Hung
Hip-hop ambitions are often described in terms of "hunger", but no known MC has an appetite quite like Brotha Lynch Hung. This is not simply the peckishness of a seasoned artist still making music while his former contemporaries have long passed their sell-by date. This is the ravenous hunger of Mannibalector, Brotha Lynch Hung's flesh-chomping, gore-streaked altered ego and the antagonistic protagonist at the dark heart of Coathanga Strangla, the genuinely stunning new album by Brotha Lynch Hung.
Coathanga Strangla re-introduces listeners to the not so nice but strangely sympathetic guy they met on Lynch's 2010 album Dinner and a Movie. The "autocratic automatic reaper" instantly joined the entertainment biz pantheon of indelible killers like Mannibalector's cinematic predecessor, Silence Of The Lambs sicko Hannibal Lector. "I watch a lotta horror movies and I really love meat," says Lynch, "so I put that together and out came Mannibalector."
Longtime fans will, of course, recognize these deviant tendencies. Brotha Lynch Hung's 1993 debut, 24 Deep (Black Market Records) found his "human meat pot luck" already underway (who can forget the image: "find your brain cookin' in a barbecue pit"?). The 1995 release of the Sacramento (CA) native's certified Gold classic, Season of da Siccness, followed and Lynch has released a steady stream of music ever since, making him an ideal match for the do-or-die work ethic of his current label home, Strange Music.
Kansas City-based Strange Music is currently the most successful outfit in independent hip-hop and home to Tech N9ne. Dinner and a Movie was Lynch's first album released by Strange, but Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch have history: Tech appeared on "187 On A Hook" from Lynch's Blocc Movement in 2001, and in 2006 Lynch delivered a standout verse on "My World" from Tech N9ne's Everready album. "Strange Music understands me, they've really given me a fresh start," says Lynch. "As strange as it sounds, I feel like I'm just getting going with my career."
Make no mistake however: what feels like a fresh start for Lynch is coinciding with a high point in his artistic evolution. Always one to look to movies for inspiration, Lynch says that repeated viewings of the Hostel films had a direct effect on Coathanga Strangla. "Some horror movies are too ridiculous," he says, "but Hostel has a very realistic feeling. It's not scary like boo! — it's more like this could happen. That's an authenticity I'm going for in my music."
It's that sense that gives Coathanga Strangla its compelling core. With its bowel-bothering bass line and toothpick percussion (courtesy of producer Michael "Seven" Summers), "Mannibalector" is a cannibal lecture (replete with requisite slaughter) the reveals the crucial facet of Lynch's artistry: his alter ego is not a two-dimensional creation but a character full of humanizing doubts, fears and paranoia. Allmusic.com's David Jeffries has noted Lynch's facility at going "from gross to scary to sympathetic and personal, and then back again, all without losing a step or trying your patience."
When it comes to digesting Lynch's art however, it helps that his raps are leavened by what can only be called "gallows humor." Who else would refer to his manner of cooking victims as "Operation McPasta", as Lynch does on the new album's "Mannibalector"? While Brotha Lynch Hung is often credited as the originator of the rap genre known as "horrorcore", most so-called horrorcore rappers would be content with a standard disemboweling; Lynch goes all the way, a meal plan immortalized on the new album's "Spit It Out" wherein Lynch chortles: "If anything taste funny spit it out."
"Friday Night" features Lynch's fellow rap madman C.O.S., thumping production by Michael "Seven" Summers, and Brotha Lynch's "body sweatin' like a Juggalo." "I love the Juggalos man," says Lynch of the cult-like, face-painted fans who have embraced him. "They're good people with good hearts who are looking for an outlet from life's pain. I can relate to that." Standout cut "Blinded By Desire" is a sadistic travelogue following Lynch as he drives from California's Bay Area southward towards Los Angeles ("524 miles to SoCal..." begins Lynch) where mayhem will undoubtedly ensue.
Coathanga Strangla is the middle album in a conceptual trilogy, which began with Dinner and a Movie and is slated to conclude with 2012's Mannibalector. Each of the three albums has spawned three videos, which together will comprise the visual document of the terrifying times of Mannibalector. "The three albums and nine videos are about a rapper who's having a bad life and is about to give up on the world," explains Brotha Lynch Hung. "You can hear he's about to walk the thin line, past the thin line, and then go way over it."
Join Brotha Lynch Hung as he continues to obliterate that line like no other artist can do.
Hotness drives hip-hop. The hottest albums, the hottest lyrics, the hottest beats, the hottest videos, the hottest clique: every rapper wants to have all of the above. Kutt Calhoun has them all and stands to be the next, hottest rapper. The Kansas City chief's debut album, the scorching "B.L.E.V.E." (Strange Music/MSC Entertainment), fires on all cylinders and introduces hip-hop's next star to the world.
Kutt got the album title from people who deal with heat on a regular basis. "It's a firefighter term that I got off TV," he explains. "It means Boiling Liquid Expanding Vicious Explosion. That's the most extreme hot that something can get. I figured I'd name it that because everybody's saying they're hot. I figured I'd come up with something that's above that category and have that as my album title."
"B.L.E.V.E." kicks things off with the sizzling "Bring Da Flames." A take off of Method Man's classic "Bring The Pain" single, Kutt's track summarizes the type of heat he'd be bringing on his album. "What I was looking for was a title track for the album," he says. "That Method Man hook was a catchy hook and it was what I was looking for and with what my album stands for, I had to bring the flames. I switched it up, put my own little twist on it and I love the way it turned out."
Kutt displays controlled energy on "Keep It Keebler," a funky, laid-back song sure to introduce the country to a new catch phrase. "It's about keeping it about money, keeping it green," Kutt says. "Get your money. Whatever you're out here doing, hustling, working, pimping, whatever you're doing, just 'Keep It Keebler,' in other words keep it real. I thought it was a catchy saying, kind of like how BG came out with 'Bling Bling.' I figured 'Keep It Keebler' would be a catchy saying that people outside of the Missouri area could catch on to. I figured it would be some new slang to introduce people to."
Indeed, one of Kutt's strengths is to introduce new perspectives and new ways of looking at old problems through his music. On the stirring "N A Whitemanzeyes," Kutt gives an impassioned look into the ways black are viewed in America, while on "To Whom It May Concern," Kutt teams with Skatterman & Snug Brim and BG Bullet Wound to give an unconventional look at the role various government officials play in our society.
These cuts showcase Kutt's ability to examine issues that dig beneath the surface of everyday life. "I'm more than just rapping about some bitches, getting some money, shooting this guy or just kicking it," Kutt says. "There's more to me than just that and I had to let the people know that that's how I feel. Nothing on a prejudice tip, but 'N A Whitemanzeyes' is basically saying that through the white, political eye of the government and certain legislations is that this is how they view black people. They just view us as angry, as people that'll never make it, people with no brains, people that sell drugs."
Yet Kutt still enjoys life's pleasures. He dedicates "Real Sex" and "Panic Box" to his female followers. The former features a warbling beat and frank sex talk, while the latter has Kutt rapping over the beat for Too Short's classic "Don't Fight the Feeling." As a long-time $hort fan, Kutt was itching to redo one of his songs.
"I always wondered why no one did a remix to that, man," he says. "That's such a dope beat that it's been 15 years since it came out and that beat will still get a party jumping, somebody's head bobbing as soon as they hear it. I wanted to bring it back on the freaky tip for the ladies, so the ladies would have something. Besides that, I figured that would be a beat to where it comes on, even if they don't know who I am, that beat is going to catch their attention. Once they get to listen to it, I think it will be a well appreciated song."
Kutt's album, at times celebratory, other times stinging, results from his volatile upbringing. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kutt Calhoun shuttled between his mother and his sister's house during his formative years. While at a Kansas City YMCA during the summer before ninth grade, Kutt realized that his ability to cleverly put words together could have benefits beyond the classroom. Kutt discovered that he could rap.
Even with his passion for music, Kutt turned to the streets once the instability at home became too much for him to bear. By age 16, Kutt was supporting himself by selling drugs, sometimes taking trips out of town to transport product. While in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1996 Kutt got a wake-up call. He was shot in the back.
"It was like a big-ass smack in the face," he says. "It was like, 'Hold up, Kutt. You need to slow down.' I got shot in the back. The bullet richocheted off my pelvis. I had to get surgery on my stomach. They had to go in through my stomach and get the bullet out and I had to get 18 staples in my stomach. I could have died. I took that as a smack in the face, man, more or less like a blessing from God. This was my warning. I stopped selling dope altogether. I started chilling out, writing rhymes all the time and freestyling. Then I ran into some guys that noticed my talent and I'm thankful for that."
Kansas City businessmen Cory Lark and Derek Miller recognized Kutt Calhoun's potential in 1998 and gave him a chance to polish his rapping skills. For the first time, Kutt was in a recording studio, pursuing his musical aspirations. The environment pulled him from the streets and he was soon spending virtually all of his time at the studio.
While recording, Kutt started working with a producer who was also recording with Kansas City rhyme legend Tech N9ne. A long-time fan of Tech N9ne's work, Kutt made an impression with Tech thanks to his uncanny ability to rap for hours at a time. Impressed by Kutt's work ethic, Tech N9ne in 1999 enlisted Kutt as one of his hype men, taking him on several national and international tours and eventually signing to Strange Music/MSC Music Entertainment, home of Tech N9ne. Kutt's alliance with Strange set the stage for "B.L.E.V.E.," which features several guest appearances from Tech N9ne.
"I feel real privileged to be in the position I'm in," Kutt says. "I could have been somewhere else. I could have been dead or in jail. Everybody's life is designed a certain way and I'm glad everything happened the way that it did because if it didn't, I wouldn't know Tech, I wouldn't be at Strange, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in. I wouldn't have damn near traveled all over this world, getting to do the stuff that people only dream to do. There aren't too many people out there that can say that they've done the stuff that I've done. I don't take that for granted at all. I feel blessed and I'm thinking that it's only going to get better."
The Atlanta metropolitan area stretches on for at least 30 miles beyond the Georgia Dome and the World of Coke. Peachtree Street (conspicuously void of actual peach trees) stretches up through several counties, changing its name a number of times, confusing the tourists and the transplants. Furthest to the north of the metro area, sits Gwinnett County; sprawling and well-populated by a mix of out-
of-towners hoping to indulge in a slice of that oft-mentioned American Pie: a house in a subdivision with a yard for the kids. After closer observation though, it's apparent that the suburbs of Gwinnett are the digs to many who don't fit the cookie cutter, Stepford lifestyle. The county, more frequently being referred to as the Northside, boasts both million dollar homes on golf courses as well as drug hubs in neighborhoods riddled with gang activity. The Northside, essentially, is in stark contradiction to itself. Rapper Rittz is the Northside.
Raised in Gwinnett County, Rittz embodies the same level of irony and self-conflict as his hometown. Born into a musical family, he, his twin sister and their brother had always been exposed to the inner workings of music. The fact that their parents were heavily into rock and roll ensured that the kids were always around instruments or in studios. The family moved from small-town Pennsylvania (Waynesburg) to the Atlanta outskirts when he was eight years old, and once Rittz got to junior high, his musical tastes evolved. Atlanta's booming bass and rap movement had traveled north on I-85 to get the entire metro area jumping.
"When I moved here, I was introduced to rap music. When I started rapping, I was listening to any early Rap-A-Lot records, like Willie D, Geto Boys… Kilo [Ali] was like the first. So when I started at 12 years old, my early raps, I tried to rap like them," he explains, "But the early Outkast, and Goodie Mob was really the beginning of me wanting to rap and imitate them in finding my own style. Me and another guy were actually in a group called Ralo and Rittz [1995-2003], we were like the white Outkast, or we tried to be like that. I had a studio in my basement, and we put out a bunch of tapes in Gwinnett. I felt like we were one of the first, if not the first... There were only maybe one or two other people rapping in Gwinnett at the time, from '95 to 2000."
During the earlier part of the millennium though, around 2003, Rittz had hit a wall. After eight years, he and Ralo had matured in different directions. His promising buzz had led to countless disappointments. "I won Battlegrounds on Hot 107.9, got retired and shit and felt like I was 'bout to make it. But, so many industry up and downs, with managers, contracts…" He was dead broke, feeling dejected, and living with friends- ready to resign from the rap game before even taking his rightful place in it. It wasn't until 2009 when he'd randomly received a call from another flamespitter who was repping an area as under-the-radar as Gwinnett was. "I had some money behind me." Rittz says, "Everything was going good and then everything fell out, at the same time, I'm getting older, thinking it's time to hang it up. This isn't gonna happen and that's when Yelawolf put me on 'Box Chevy.' [on Yelawolf's Trunk Muzik]."
Nowadays, the rap career of Gwinnett-raised Rittz is rapidly on the rise. From his affliation with one of the hottest new rappers coming out of the South to his first mixtape, Rittz White Jesus (hilariously inspired by a friend's term of endearment), everything is coming together now, two years after he nearly lost everything. These days he's booking late night studio sessions, and still clocking in to work early the next day. "I see both sides: the regular, working class type shit and then I've also seen a lot of the street shit that goes on here, some people that are blind to that here, may never have seen it." Rittz says he's "just a normal guy who raps"- a contradiction if there ever was one- but he makes you believe, with the humility of the everyman and the talent of a superstar.
Introduced to each other in late 2000, Ubiquitous and Godemis found an immediate chemistry on stage and began performing as CES CRU. Their first full-length album, Capture Enemy Soldiers, was released in 2004. Since then, they have won numerous MC battles, been nominated for three Pitch Music Awards and collaborated with local favorites, Mac Lethal, Miles Bonny and Human Cropcircles. The Playground, is available now! Hit our website www.cescru.com or just google cescru. We are on Itunes and physical copies are available at local Kansas City music outlets such as Streetside records or 7th Heaven. Keep digging and enjoy!
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