Realizing one's own power can be a life-altering experience. Just ask Tech N9ne. After almost 10 years in the business, the heralded Kansas Citylyrical sniper, who has recorded with everyone from 2Pac to Eminem, recognized the impact his music had on fans while touring to support "Anghellic," his critically acclaimed 2001 album.
This realization led Tech N9ne to call his new and most mind-blowing collection to date "Absolute Power". "I found out that I had 'Absolute Power' when I was doing shows for 'Anghellic,'" Tech N9ne explains. "'Absolute Power' is being able to move a sea of people through your words, your beats, your heart. When I would perform 'This Ring,' everybody would light lighters. That's 'Absolute Power.' That's why I'm on the cover of 'Absolute Power' with me and a gang of people behind me partying. It's 'Absolute Power' to be able to move those motherfuckers and give them that energy and they give it right back to you."
This high-powered back-and-forth exchange exists on every astonishing "Absolute Power" track. Thanks to Tech N9ne's otherworldly rap skills -- which include a variety of flows and subject matter that transcends rap clichés -- and progressive production from a bevy of talented beatsmiths, Tech's new collection stands as one of the most powerful rap albums ever unleashed.
Lead single "Slacker" will have listeners in a frenzy thanks to Tech's witty lyrical gymnastics and the elegant track from up-and-coming beatsmith Femi Ojetunde. "Slacker" will have legions of fans saluting in approval to Tech's tale of anti-establishment sentiment.
The cut's futuristic video gives Tech N9ne fans a glimpse into his diabolical mind. As the Slacker infecting the youth of America, Tech is attacked at his home base by a SWAT team. The results are, simply put, explosive.
The same can be said for the adrenaline raising "Imma Tell." Showcasing his diverse delivery patterns, Tech N9ne raps in a conversational flow and shifts gears mid-verse to his signature machine-gun like delivery with dynamic effect. "Imma Tell" represents Tech's mind spray to the fullest.
"That song right there is the one. That's my baby because it's a true Tech N9ne flow, where you can tell I'm schizophrenic," he gushes. "It's got the slow flow and then the other personality comes in, switching back and forth like I'm fighting with myself. 'Imma Tell' is going to let people know that we've got our own style in Kansas City."
Part of Tech N9ne's style includes masking his true subject matter until the end of a song. On the devilishly clever "Worst Enemy," listeners will be caught off guard when Tech reveals the identity of his "Worst Enemy" at the conclusion of the selection.
The cut shows that Tech's skills remain as sharp as ever. "I wanted to show my fans that I still had the skill to do something to make you think I'm talking about something and then bring it together to where you're like, 'Whoa, I've got to listen to it again,'" he explains. "It's showing off my brain and that I can do it again. I do songs to make you think."
While "Worst Enemy" wins because of its clever conclusion, "Slither" takes a more shocking twist. Based on some of Tech's real-life experiences at Kansas City strip clubs, the wild cut takes a demonic turn for the worst.
"It sounds so real but then at the end, it turns into some 'From Dusk Till Dawn' shit because the dancers turn out to be bloodsucking vampires" he says. "It's theatrical. The beat told me what to do. My Berlin cat Ronnz sent it to me on MP3 and I heard that belly-dancing flute and it made me think of Salma Hayek when she was doing the belly-dance shit for Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney on 'From Dusk Till Dawn.'"
Unfortunately, the vampires inhabiting Tech N9ne's world aren't limited to fantasy. Throughout his distinguished career, Tech has been the victim of a number of false starts, empty promises and fraudulent recording contracts. Tech's frustration comes to a head on the bombastic "The Industry Is Punks," as his rapid-fire raps attack those who have done him wrong over a thumping horn section.
"When I first did 'The Industry Is Punks,' my boys out in LA were like, 'You sure you want to put that as the first song on your album?'" Tech recalls. "I was like, 'You're damn right.' I felt it so why would I hide it?
I know I'm on some other shit and I'm glad it took this long because now I got my shit up and I know exactly who I am and exactly how I want my shit to sound. I said 'The Industry Is Punks' because everybody wants to keep their mouth shut and don't want to say nothing about somebody that did them wrong. This is life and if somebody did something to you, speak up."
"Keep On Keeping On" and "Yada, Yada, Yada" also address some of the pain Tech endured as some of his friends double-crossed him during his struggle to become a nationally recognized artist.
Like a true warrior, Tech overcame all of those troubles. In an unusual move, Tech N9ne's "Absolute Power" includes a bonus CD/DVD with six extra songs and other bonus features, all for the price of a regularly priced album.
"It's a way I can give my fans all my shit," Tech explains of the bonus CD/DVD. "They can get it for the same price as one CD. They get a DVD with live footage, interviews and six extra songs that are all hits, too."
TechN9ne first became fascinated with rap in 1985. In the intervening years, Tech N9ne has had a love-hate relationship with the music business. He's recorded with such legends as 2Pac, Eminem and Roger Troutman among others, all of whom have been impressed by his dazzling lyrical skills and supreme storytelling abilities. His work has also been featured on the critically acclaimed soundtracks for "Gang Related" and "Thicker Than Water."
Now, as co-owner of Strange Music, which is releasing "Absolute Power," Tech N9ne is ready to seize a nation of rap fans primed for his advanced lyricism and mind-blowing production.
With "Absolute Power," Tech N9ne will reach the legions of fans who know of this lyrical legend but who have yet to connect with him as an artist. "My thought is, if I can get into everybody's hearts and souls," he says, "then my journey is over."
Talk about "Absolute Power."