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Kanye’s Role In ‘All 6′s And 7′s’ [Editorial]

Published: June 16, 2011 in Tech N9ne by

The most remarkable thing about All 6’s And 7’s is not the high profile list of features or the mainstream hype surrounding it.

No, instead the real star of the album is Tech N9ne’s growth as an artistic visionary. Ditching conventional song structures and typical Tech N9ne sounds, Tech built an album that pushes the boundaries of what hip hop should sound like. The complexities of the album may not jump out on a first listen, but with a little attention to detail, it’s easy to see what could have sparked Tech N9ne to change his approach. There is an argument to be made that Tech N9ne may have very well been influenced by another musical oddity.

In 2010, rapper and mega-producer Kanye West released his highly anticipated My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Rooted in rich instrumentation and an extensive creative process, the album redefined what a hip hop album could be. The grand sounds from songs like “Dark Fantasy”, “Power”, and “Hell Of A Life” established the album’s overall dedication to building bigger without being too careful. The name of the game was not to recreate good music, but instead to break down traditional arrangements and rebuild them into something completely unrecognizable. Kanye West has always been praised for his ability to take risks. The ambitious recording process included collaborations with major names, and the use of several different musical styles. The end result was an album full of peculiar styles that clashed in a complimentary way. In short, MBDTF was one giant contradiction that somehow held itself together. Unfolding more like a film than a record, the album dismissed any and all use of conservative song writing, and instead created its own. Filled with endless verses and no real mapping for hooks or bridges, Kanye pretty much wrote what he wanted to and placed it anywhere he wanted to. If he wanted Kid Cudi for two bars, that’s exactly what he got. This was more than just a hip hop record, it was real art.

Following the release of Bad Season, Tech created a bit of a stir over Twitter when he heavily praised Kanye’s MBDTF. Fans could not believe that Tech N9ne was a Kanye West fan, but he defended his love for Kanye’s music, and even expressed interest in working with the Chicago MC. It was around this time that Tech first reportedly began work on All 6’s And 7’s. From the get go, Tech promised fans an album that would borrow from all corners of the musical spectrum and reinvent his sound. All 6’s And 7’s would not only be representative of his torn emotions, but also of the various influences that would spill into the recording process. Somewhere along the way, it seems like Tech N9ne could have turned to Kanye West’s music for a little inspiration.

From the opening track, All 6’s And 7’s runs full force into an experimental rabbit hole and never looks back. The dub step production on “Technicians” is certainly not fitted for a typical Tech N9ne track, but even then, the real leap of faith comes much later on the album. Tracks like “Strangeland”, “The Boogieman”, and “Delusional” challenge Tech N9ne’s signature sound, and in doing so, give him an entirely new world of music to play with.

On “The Boogieman”, the hooks come in with free reign and Tech takes no precautions between verses. He even calls upon First Degree The D.E. for only four bars, and while it seems trivial, it is another sign of Tech’s freedom to use as little or as much of any single sound as he wishes. Every nuance in the mixing of “The Boogieman” fills it with a real threat of what is to come.

“Strangeland” places Tech in an odd spot, a bizarre and yet so calming soundscape that feeds on his sense of accomplishment and amazement. Built like drug induced odysseys, these songs find Tech N9ne in places he’s never been musically. Much like Kanye’s album, they transcend the rigid foundation of song writing.

Nothing on All 6’s And 7’s restricted Tech, and that is where he and Kanye share a common ground. Both MCs allowed themselves to push deeper and deeper into the core of their creations. While Kanye’s album did this on a larger scale, Tech still sought to explore the same process, and hints of influence are scattered about All 6’s And 7’s.

To most fans, Kanye West and Tech N9ne couldn’t be any more different. While Kanye’s flamboyant personality plays into his music, Tech’s hardcore edge keeps him from reaching a point of no return. Kanye can afford to ignore any and all warnings. Tech on the other hand risks alienating his fan base by straying too far. Still, Tech took a big risk on All 6’s And 7’s by toying with his original formula. Frankly, it’s safe to say that his risk paid off big. All 6’s And 7’s is a representation of what Tech N9ne is capable of as an artist, not just a rapper. Kanye West may not have been present on any single track of All 6’s And 7’s, but it would be hard to imagine that his music did not steer some of the direction on the album on a conscious or subconscious level. As both artist continue to elevate the true art of music, their worlds cross, making the smallest, but oh so significant imprints on each other.

Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music

Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval

Click here to purchase All 6’s And 7’s Deluxe iTunes Edition.

  • Indy Evans

    OK..I’ve sat idle with no comment absorbing everything Tech and his fans had to say from Bad Season to All 6’s and 7’s.  And its been an interesting saga. I’ve been tempted to comment on some of the more interesting aspects but held off. With that said I can’t sit idle no more. I have to say my peace on this particular article. What a bunch of bulls%*&t! I know Tech has a group of people posting these articles from his Blue Springs, Mo. record company. They have done a great job at promoting Techs label. But this article totally turns the tables on Techs legacy. The whole idea that what Tech does on this album is somewhat that of Kanye West is absolute nonsense. I’ll go as far as to say that what Kanye does on MBDTF is a break from his norm and fits what Tech has done since ANGHELLIC. Tech N9ne’s legacy is astounding. He has truly crisscrossed every genre of hip-hop. The uniqueness that Tech has exhibited along his way is the epitome of what Hip hop albums could be. TECH N9NE REDEFINED WHAT A HIP HOP ALBUM COULD BE.  Not Kanye West. I hold this same belief for a few other artists not so  mainstream. But Tech by far reaches this caliber. I’m amazed when listening to Techs full discography. It’s all over the spectrum. Theirs no doubt that Krizz Kaliko contributes to the versatility that Tech has been able to espouse on us Technicians. And here me when I say Kanye West has found his niche in hip hop almost creating a whole other genre. But Tech N9ne created a whole other genre 11 albums ago. and since then he has reinvented it over and over again!

  • The article doesn’t turn the tables on Tech’s legacy at all. It’s a different look at the album and it’s meant to spark some thoughts, not give the perspective that Tech isn’t an original artist. Bit of an overreaction if I do say. Thanks for reading though.

    Remember, even Tech draws inspiration from different things.

  • EVERY tech album is different from the last so nothing new man, youre reading to much into things. sure tech is inspired by other artists but to have this big of an explanation to justify how you read this much in to kanye is fuckin ridiculous

  • Everyone needs to check out the video available on the iTunes deluxe version before commenting on this editorial. Kanye’s last album had a huge effect on Tech’s train of thought when making All 6’s and 7’s. 

  • Everyone needs to check out the video available on the iTunes deluxe version before commenting on this editorial. Kanye’s last album had a huge effect on Tech’s train of thought when making All 6’s and 7’s. 

  • If people didn’t know Tech was a Kanye fan, they need to listen to Everready again…

  • wow i was dick then lol, thanks victor and jeff

  • Jarren

    that’s my favourite ablum

  • Jack

    Is tech ever going to tour in the UK ?

  • Tech N9ne is just talented anyway. If u listen to his previous albums his sound has always been for the most part diverse. Tech always does a good job of making a rhythm in a song where there was not one before. He always makes his songs where the is something artistic and enjoyable about them. All being said he’s a mental giant and one extremely clever person. This is not the first time Tech N9ne has ditched traditional song structure and song-writing techniques.


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