Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne has been a part of the hip hop scene for over 20 years. He has released over 13 full length LPs and on his latest EP Therapy, Tech delves into uncharted territory: metal. In the past, many artists have switched styles. Some were successful like Bob Dylan trading his acoustic guitar for an electric six string in 1965. Others though have failed at the attempt such as KISS going disco. Unfortunately Therapy falls in the latter category.
Tech N9ne has proven time and time again that he is a genius on the mic and has one of the best deliveries in the game today, but on these 11 tracks it seems as though he is shooting blanks. Tech doesn’t shoulder all the blame; Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Sammy Siegler of Glassjaw add to the catastrophe that unfolds. Instead of actual metal, Therapy is saturated with a nu-metal sound which leaves the whole affair feeling dated and gimmicky. Muted distorted power chords combined with Tech’s phoned-in sounding vocals leave the listener wondering if this record had any outside input or if these guys just wrote a lot of songs they thought sounded good and didn’t bother with anyone else’s opinion.
Not all the songs are a total wash. “Head Now” trades in the Korn–esque sounding guitars for a more bluesy riff, which is a definite improvement. That one track though is drowned by the seven other songs and three skits which follow. On “I.L.L.,” which we learn stands for “I Love Ladies,” Tech delves into the task of trying to lay lesbians, and on “Public School” we listen to a 42 year-old drivel on about smoking refer in high school. It’s not just that the lyrics are bad or the music is bad; it’s that they are both equally unenjoyable. Therapy definitely will not be considered Tech N9ne’s greatest moment, but it’s not terrible enough to be considered a silver bullet in the heart of his career. Maybe next time Tech wants to rock out, he’ll recruit a few musicians who have more metal in them than pencils do.