The TECHnique of Being Strange- Tech N9ne in Hollywood

Tech N9ne

June 4, 2014

House of Blues- Los Angeles, CA

             After 2 months of non-stop touring, Tech N9ne and his Independent Grind Tour, hit Hollywood, CA on June 4, 2014. Shortly following opener, Freddie Gibbs’, Tech N9ne’s stage set up was arranged and featured clockwork type mechanisms, strobe lights, and a platform on the middle of the stage, atop of which stood his Strange Music Label logo. As the lights dimmed and the intro music began, the ever so diverse, mostly young, early 20’s crowd, packed in closer toward the stage just as Tech N9ne burst through his logo and stood atop of the platform, as a room full of cheers echoed through the venue. He wasted no time going into the 90 minute plus set which began with Strange Music Box. Following the white face painted, fast paced lyric spitting, technician outfit wearing, N9ne- label-mate Krizz Kaliko was second to burst through the logo and jump onto the stage, and go straight into his verse of Strange Music Box, similarly wearing a technician outfit.

T9  It takes a lot for an independent rap artist to make it big, or any rapper in that case but Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko really showed Hollywood, how they managed to do just that. They incorporate a new style of rapping, featuring all types of musicians into their music, not just other hip-hop artists which is rarely seen (done well, at least). N9ne showed his diverse musical style early in the set, by performing Straight Out The Gate which features Serj Tankian of the hard-rock, metal band System of a Down in the chorus. Aside from his “strange” style of music, Tech N9ne’s fan base is like a cult; they follow everything he does, worship his words and showed their love by actually watching the show, rather than recording it for social media, something that is hard to find at concerts nowadays. People who aren’t fans of his music probably think he is part of the Illuminati, being so different with his lyrics, dance moves and fan base; but those who are part of it, know he is the “only real rapper left”. N9ne doesn’t just rap about what “sells” (money, weed, sex, and gang-banging); he stays true to himself and focuses on a wide basis of topics including bullying, critics, politics, religion, etc.

Throughout the evening N9ne and Kaliko danced alongside their perfectly choreographed dance moves, jumped around stage, engaged the audience to sing along and even got on top of the barricade, getting up close and personal with their fans. Their set was long but face paced, with little to no breaks in between for meaningless side talk and they quickly performed fan favorites including, Am I A Psycho; E.B.A.H; Dwamn; Caribou Lou and more. Toward the half way point of his set, N9ne introduced a couple people to come on stage with him, confusing those in the audience who didn’t seem recognize the special guests. It was only then when the beat started to play when the cheers echoed for !MayDay! and Kendall Morgan Tech N9ne     DSC_5549who joined N9ne and Kaliko on stage for the singing verses and chorus of newest fan favorite, Fragile. Unfortunately though, the song was cut in half due to the fact that Kendrick Lamar had a verse in the song but wasn’t at the show; nonetheless, the two guests made the song just as good live as on the recording.

Following the slower, less hardcore rap song, Fragile, N9ne went into B.I.T.C.H., an ironic song transition which couldn’t work better than it did. Fans were back to dancing and rapping along and wanted more. N9ne and Kaliko gave fans what they wanted and then some more on top of that, by performing around 40 songs, ending with Ima Playa where the whole stage was packed with artists including Machine Gun Kelly; Murs, !MayDay!; Wrekonize, etc. which was the perfect ending to a perfect Wednesday night in Hollywood, CA.

Rap fan or not, if Tech N9ne is going to be in your area, be sure to check him out and see his incredible stage show; his smooth fusion of genres; his incomparable dance moves, and all around great live performance. It is sure to leave you wanting more and who knows who might just show up and perform with him.

Review by: Nicole Lemberg

Tech N9ne

Freddie Gibbs