While there's no doubt that Tech N9ne wholeheartedly embraces the horrorcore rap genre where his music generally falls, he also explores genuine emotional turmoil quite a bit on "K.O.D.," a disquieting record of slow-moving, creepy beats.
Midway through "K.O.D." ("King of Darkness"), Tech N9ne's Strange Records labelmate Krizz Kaliko is being interviewed by reporter Jason Whitlock about whether Tech N9ne is a devil worshiper.
It's a fair question, I suppose. With track titles like "Demon," "Blackened the Sun" and "Show Me a God," the Kansas City native certainly courts that image, considering his painted face at concerts and casual affiliation with the Insane Clown Posse (and popularity among the group's "Juggalo" fan base).
And while there's no doubt that Tech N9ne wholeheartedly embraces the horrorcore rap genre where his music generally falls, he also explores genuine emotional turmoil quite a bit.
"I'm an angel-slash-demon, you know what I'm sayin'? What makes me a demon is lust, man, I'm girl-crazy, y'know, that's why I couldn't keep my wife," Tech says at the start of "Demons." But then you have tracks like "In the Trunk," a structured narrative in which a simple robbery turns into a kidnapping, and "Pinnochiho," of which I'll say only one thing: cannibalism.
So "K.O.D." is a sort of study in contrasts. "Show Me a God" has a provocative title, but it's really about Tech examining his fame in light of his mother's ailing health.
"This is Tech provokin' y'all, and y'all fall for it," Kaliko says at one point during the interview with Whitlock.
Is it? Many of the lyrical shocks on "K.O.D." are similar to those of grindcore metal bands. But in that same vein, much of it is also genuinely creepy. Whatever it is, it's wildly popular: Tech was recently certified by Soundscan as having sold a million units over his career, making him one of the most successful independent rap artists in recent memory.
Hear samples from "K.O.D." at Amazon.com.