Tech N9ne has set July 30 as the release date for his blockbuster Something Else album. The high-powered collection is broken up into “Fire,” “Water” and “Earth” sections and features legendary guests from different genres and different eras, including music icons The Doors, rap superstars Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, rock maverick Serj Tankian and singer-rapper Cee Lo, among others.

Tech N9ne collaborated with the remaining members of The Doors on “Strange 2013,” a reworking of The Door’s “Strange Days” that was one of the last recordings The Doors’ founding member, Ray Manzarek, made before he passed away in May. In a June 24 RollingStone.com feature, Tech N9ne says that The Doors’ music saved his life and that The Doors’ songs “People Are Strange” and “Strange Days” are the reasons why he named his record company Strange Music. “If I didn’t listen to their music and their fusion of sounds, I probably would’ve never called [my label] Strange Music,” Tech said to Rolling Stone. “I have Jim Morrison to thank for that.” http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/tech-n9ne-aligns-with-the-doors-for-strange-2013-20130624

The rest of Something Else is equally remarkable. “That’s My Kid” featuring Cee Lo, Big K.R.I.T. and Kutt Calhoun has Tech N9ne explaining how he gave up his life in the streets in order to be a better father. Elsewhere, Tech N9ne teams with Kendrick Lamar, Mayday and Kendall Morgan for “Fragile.” On this spirited selection, Tech N9ne delivers a dazzling, tongue-twisting rap blasting all of his critics, while Kendrick Lamar details how he pours his heart and soul into his lyrics.

Today, Tech N9ne releases the Drumma Boy-produced single “See Me,” which features Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. Tech N9ne sings and raps on the cut about how he gets overlooked by many despite his remarkable accolades – selling more than 2 million units independently, headlining the longest tour in rap history and owning hip-hop’s most powerful, truly independent record company, among them. (link to song and download below)

Something Else will be available for pre-order on iTunes July 2. Fans who purchase a copy of the album in advance will instantly receive the song “So Dope (They Wanna).” The lyrically intense tune is in the vein of Tech N9ne’s revered “Choppers” series of songs that pair him with fellow top-tier rappers who deliver dizzying flows with remarkable clarity.

Tech N9ne will also be the lead music feature in this week’s print edition of Billboard Magazine, on-stands June 28.

It's not every day a musical genius is born. On July 14, 2009, KRIZZ KALIKO will release his second solo CD, GENIUS,. Along for KRIZZ KALIKO's aurally eclectic rollercoaster ride are E-40, Kutt Calhoun, Big Scoob and, Strange's flagship artist, Tech N9ne. Powered by a fusion of funk, rap, rock, R&B and opera – a self-made style KRIZZ KALIKO calls "Funkra" – GENIUS covers the entire spectrum of genres, from the slow and seductive "Get Off" with Tech N9ne and the rock-flavored "The Chemical" to the street anthem "Back Pack" and the album's crossover single, "Misunderstood."

Traditionally, “mayday” is an attention grabbing distress signal, so, it’s no wonder that the Miami-based hip-hop group ¡MAYDAY! is generating a sound way too strong for anyone to tune out.

Starting out as a 2-man project ¡MAYDAY! has since evolved into a full-fledged 6-man band with a buzz so loud that it came to the attention of hip-hop mogul Lil’ Wayne who had to stop and take notice. He invited the band, which consists of MCs Bernz and Wrekonize, producer/guitarist Plex Luthor, bassist/keyboardist Gianni Ca$h, drummer L.T. Hopkins and percussionist NonMS, to be his on-screen band in 3 of his videos (“Get A Life,” “Da Da Da,” and “On Fire”), had them perform at his 2010 Super Bowl party, and then gave them the ultimate high-five by wearing a ¡MAYDAY! t-shirt in his “Get A Life” video and proclaiming himself the next member of the band. It doesn’t stop with Lil Wayne – as the #1 indie rapper alive, Tech N9ne quickly signed the band to his Strange Music label. So far, the relationship has proved fruitful. The band completed two US Strange Music tours, including the record breaking 90 shows in 99 days Hostile Takeover tour with Tech and Machine Gun Kelly; produced the entire Tech N9ne Klusterfuk EP which hit #1 on the indie Billboard charts; released their Billboard top 100 charting Strange debut album, Take Me To Your Leader, and most recently, released their new EP, Thirft Store Halos, which quickly hit #3 on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts on the first day of release. Numerous platinum and buzz-worthy artists and producers such as Cee-Lo, David Banner, Black Thought (The Roots), SpaceGhostPurrp, NORE, Jim Jonsin (TI, Lil’ Wayne, Kid Cudi), Ace Hood and more have stepped up to work with the ¡MAYDAY! crew.

¡MAYDAY!‘s distinctive fusion of urban and alt.rock is pushing the boundaries of music as they flex their muscles in areas of funk that hip-hop has yet to explore. Their attention to detail (they write, arrange, mix and produce all the music themselves) and explosive live show is impossible to ignore. Miami Magazine said of their performance: “¡MAYDAY!‘s musical mash-up fuels both its frenzied live shows and a new album that oozes Miami cool.” ¡MAYDAY!‘s signature style has already caught the ear of media outlets like MTV, XXL, RapRadar, HipHopDX, 2DopeBoyz and more, and as DJ Khaled proclaimed: “¡MAYDAY! is headed to the top floor.”

After premiering the video for their Cee-Lo assisted single “Groundhog Day” on Youtube, the clip achieved a record-breaking 2 million plus views in less than two days and garnered attention from The New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, NBC 6 Evening News and Inside Edition. Later that year “Groundhog Day” was featured on HBO’s Entourage. Other songs including “Watching Me” from ¡MAYDAY!’s debut album, have been used in video games (NBA Street Homecourt 2007) and television, including Stuck on an Island’s “On 2 Somth’n” which was featured in ABC Family’s popular show Lincoln Heights.

¡MAYDAY! has long been a force in the Miami underground scene. Live ¡MAYDAY! puts on an impressive show with a exhilarating party vibe. The Miami Herald said ¡MAYDAY! “…captures the electric excitement of a city on the verge of a breakthrough” and the Miami New Times called them “…one of Miami’s hardest-hitting bands.” After the release of their self-titled debut album, URB Magazine placed ¡MAYDAY! In their next 20 Artists to Watch and MTV chose them as one of the Freshmen Five giving them opportunities to travel the US performing to packed houses with a spectrum of artists ranging from Daft Punk to Big Boi to Method Man and Goodie Mob.

¡MAYDAY! is a band that fits right in, but their sound is different. It’s live, hard-hitting, future brand of music posted up somewhere between rock and a hard place, strangely familiar, yet brand new.

Stevie Stone

Normal is not a word that people used to describe Prozak. Not his appearance, not his music,
not his views on life and society. So, it makes perfect sense that the Saginaw, Michigan rapper
selected Paranormal as the title of his new album on Strange Music.

"I chose that title because genre-wise I can do rock-rap, the hip-hop, storytelling, a little bit
of the dark stuff," reveals the artist-director also known as The Hitchcock of HipHop. "I'm
Paranormal to the music industry. One thing I keep hearing from people whether it's A&Rs or
publicists is that they've got to figure out how to market me. After hearing that so much, I felt
like what I do is paranormal to the scene. My music is something that's outside the range of
normal. This is not cookie-cutter hip-hop. You can't say this is gangster rap or backpack rap or
that this is just for the hipsters. You're not going to be able to categorize it that simply. I make
complex music for complex people."

Indeed. Bolstered by production from Mike E. Clark (Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock),
Michael "Seven" Summers (Tech N9ne, XV), Robert Rebeck (Tech N9ne, Kottonmouth Kings)
and The Legendary Traxster (Mariah Carey, Ludacris), Paranormal takes listeners on a powerful
lyrical and sonic journey into the mind of one of rap's most compelling artists.

"The Tell A Tale Of Two Hearts," for instance, was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short
story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Prozak's song, which sounds like Tim Burton meets hip-hop,
discusses what happens when two people are in love and one of them dies suddenly. The twist
is that the deceased person is still present in their lover's life. They do not want to leave their
partner.

Prozak then teams with a live band and DJ Starscream from Slipknot for "The End Of Us."
This hardcore track features Prozak exploring the consequences of living in a consumer-driven
society.

"Everybody is worried about buying $300 and $400 cellphones," Prozak says. "It's like we're
farm-raised, like guinea pigs right from birth. Everything is marketed to you from the time
you're old enough to even understand what it is. It just happens at the beginning and goes all the
way through life. The funny thing is in the genre of hip-hop, everyone is worried about image.
All it does is push everything even further. Everybody's worried about $800 outfits and 20-inch
rims, but none of these people even have a lifestyle that can support that. It's about consumerism
and everybody being brainwashed into thinking that they've got a have these things in order to
be accepted. It spiraling out of control and eventually it will all collapse."

Another volatile subject Prozak examines on Paranormal is prejudice. On the charged

song "Hate," he looks at the implications of persecution based on racial, religious and economic
grounds. Shot in a train station from the 1880s that had segregated waiting rooms, the song's
explosive video features appearances by stand-ins for The Pope and members of the Ku Klux
Klan and Taliban.

Prozak takes a more optimistic approach with "Million Miles Away." On this thoughtful
selection, he wonders if humans would be able to create a utopian society if they could wipe the
slate clean and start over. While filming the video for "Million Miles Away," Prozak and his
team traveled throughout Michigan, Illinois and Missouri and had people explain the one thing
they would change about the world if they could.

As his songs and their subject matter demonstrate, music is about much more than image for
Proazk. It's about substance.

"People write about stuff that interests them and that they feel passionate about," he says. "The
topics on my album are the things that matter to me. To me, all you have is life. You have to
look at the things that are going on that are incorrect or the things that are affecting your life, the
hypocrisy of what's going on out there. All that stuff matters. I know that this is entertainment
and that people listen to music and watch music for an escape from reality. I wouldn't say that
I'm a political rapper, but a lot of those things do matter. In making music for people, I believe
you have somewhat of a responsibility to put something positive out there or bring attention to
things that people should be aware of for part of a greater good."

Prozak's razor-sharp focus has helped him become one of rap's most formidable independent
artists. During the last decade, he's appeared on four national tours and done more than 1,000
performances, where his moshpits rival those of any heavy metal show. The Michigan rapper
earned a lofty 3.5 Mics in The Source for his 2008 album, Tales From The Sick, and has
collaborated with Tech N9ne, Twista, Cypress Hill and Insane Clown Posse, among others.

As a filmmaker, Prozak released the first two installments of his A Haunting On Hamilton
film series, which opened with sold-old screenings of 2,000 people per screening in Saginaw,
Michigan. He also directs his own music videos, ensuring that his art is properly presented
visually.

Now, with Paranormal, Prozak has delivered a project that hits hard lyrically and aurally, the
type of release that stays with a listener long after the music stops.

"I wanted to put out the best record that I thought I was capable of, an album that would really
define who I am," Prozak says. "If you want to know who I am or what kind of artist I am, this
record will set that tone completely. It's a really deep record. To me, it's an album. It's not a CD
of tracks. It's an album. It has that feel."

A Paranormal feel at that.

Ces Cru comes up with a new acronym for each of its releases. But after feeling held somewhat captive by the title of 2013’s Constant Energy Struggles, Ubiquitous and Godemis felt creatively liberated when they settled on Codename: Ego Stripper as the title of its second Strange Music album.

“On Constant Energy Struggles, I felt like we were constantly defining what that meant from song to song,” Ubiquitous says. “On this one, we’re not spelling it out for you.”

“The thing that appealed to me about that name is that you couldn’t put a finger on exactly what that meant,” Godemis adds. “I felt like that was a good angle to come from in writing the music, with no preconceived ideas. I thought that it would open up our writing and draw people in.”

The Kansas City duo showcases this newfound latitude on the skeletal “Sound Bite.” Sans chorus, Ubiquitous and Godemis deliver stunningly intricate, braggadocio tag-team raps for three-and-a half minutes. “It really showcases our lyrical talent,” Godemis says of the Internet hit that has logged more than 70,000 YouTube views in about two weeks. “The beat’s kind of empty in a way to where your ear’s not taken away by a lot of other different things. The lack of a hook is suicide in a way, I guess, but it’s for another MC or a connoisseur of hip-hop.”

Ces Cru then flexes its sociopolitical muscles on the masterful “Axiom,” a meditation on everything from making a positive change in the world to the War on Drugs and the concept of freedom. In addition to the lyrical heft Ubiquitous and Godemis demonstrate, producer Michael “Seven” Summers adds stirring sonic layers throughout the song. “I really like the pianos that start popping up during Godemis’ verse,” Ubiquitous says. “The whole front half of the song feels different than the back half. By the end, you’re rocking out to the piano. It’s a beautiful, thoughtful piece.”

While “Axiom” explores stark subject matter, “Hope” celebrates the bliss of enjoying life. “It reinforces the philosophy from the last record about optimism and magnetism and envisioning what you’re trying to get for yourself, do for yourself,” Ubiquitous says of the cut, which also features ¡Mayday!’s Bernz. “It’s on some ‘Seven Chakras’ stuff as far as keeping a positive outlook on things regardless of whatever you’re up against.”

To this point, Ces Cru illustrates how it responds to stress on the soulful, laid-back “Pressure,” which also features Rittz. “Pressure implies a manic mind state, but the song is about what is pressure for us: chillin’,” Ubiquitous says. “I think a lot of rap these days is very turnt up, trap, high-energy rap with this fast lifestyle, glamour content. That’s very prevalent on radio and we made a chill record. That was on purpose. It’s not all about rapping your head off. It’s about chilling out, vibing out.”

The duo ratchets up the intensity on “Whips,” a concept cut about cars that features an impressive succession of sound effects. “You can kind of close your eyes and see everything that’s going on in the song,” Godemis “We took a lot of time to get it right so that it does sound like we’re on the highway with big rigs passing by and there is a helicopter in the air. It’s a lot of fun.”

Ces Cru keeps the sounds scintillating with “Que Lastima,” which features a hyper, boast-heavy verse from Angel Davanport. She was featured alongside Game and Tech N9ne on the latter’s “Priorities,” a cut from his 2013 album, Something Else. Ubiquitous was happy to feature the talented act on one of his group’s songs. “I kind of look at Angel Davenport as our secret weapon because she’s going to be virtually unknown to most people when they hear the record and I think that is a delight to the listener, to give them something fresh and new and good,” he says. “That’s what I wanted to do with Angel and her talent is maybe only 30 percent exposed on that track. She’s got a lot more tricks in her bag.”

Ditto for Ces Cru. The group formed in the early 2000s and became a duo after the release of its debut album, 2004’s Capture Enemy Soldiers. The pair appeared on a string of local releases before releasing its next album, 2009’s The Playground. Buoyed by such songs as the break-up anthem “DYT,” the chest-thumping “Float” and the politically-charged “Teeter,” The Playground impressed Strange Music co-owner Tech N9ne.

In 2010, Tech N9ne featured Ces Cru on his Bad Season mixtape and had Ubiquitous and Godemis open for him at Kansas City’s The Beaumont Club. The group then joined the Strange Music roster in 2011, released the 13 EP in 2012 and followed that up with 2013’s Constant Energy Struggles. The acclaimed collection features several singles whose videos have become viral hits: “When Worlds Collide” (more than 1.1 million YouTube views), “Seven Chakras” (more than 900,000 YouTube views) and “Juice” (more than 750,000 views) among them.

As it is wont to do, Ces Cru looks at its older material as it evaluates its new work. “When I think about our catalog and how it’s evolved, I feel like Constant Energy is a super-dope album, a very important album,” Ubiquitous says. “But, when I hear it, it sounds like we teamed up, cliqued up with some new guys – and we did. With that, I feel like the new album is back to us being us. We kind of took the reins back and it sounds more like our earlier work, more like Playground. We were very hands-on with this album to make sure that it sounded different than our last project.”

With that mission accomplished, Ces Cru shows with Codename: Ego Stripper its ability to refine, update and enhance its music while creating special material. “We want to make something that will last,” Ubiquitous says. “We don’t want to do something that has a hot single on it, nine throwaway tracks, a couple average ones and then just pump out a record 10 months later. I feel like all of our albums should be able to last a couple years. People still bump Playground and that came out in 2009. That’s a five-year-old album. That’s the standard.”

Adv $36, DoS $38, Door $40, Mezz $46

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Show :: 7:30pm (times are subject to change)

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Cain's Ballroom

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Tech N9ne's Something Else Tour 2013 with Krizz Kaliko, ¡Mayday!, Stevie Stone, Prozak, Ces Cru, Trip-C

Thursday, September 5 · 6:30 PM at Cain's Ballroom