I’m not a rapper (shocking) but if I was, and if I was lucky enough to be signed to Strange, I would be hanging on Tech N9ne’s every word. I’d go to him for advice on beats, bars, and shit, even what to eat for lunch. Can you blame the hypothetical rapper version of me? With his creativity and his unique style, rivaled only by his decades of experience, Tech would be a great Master Splinter… I guess that’s just one of the many reasons I’m not a rapper.
Though Strange was built on the Killer Clown’s shoulders, each and every Strange artist stands tall on their own two; or, in the case of Ces Cru, their four. Even before being signed to Strange, the Kansas City natives displayed exceptional lyricism and a palpable chemistry. It’s what drew the eye (and ear) of Tech, when he saw them opening for Devin The Dude.
Tech N9ne, Ces Cru, Mac Lethal, and Devin The Dude (2009)
So, when it came time for Ces Cru to record Catastrophic Event Specialists, their fifth Strange Music release, Tech N9ne noted, “They never came to me or asked me anything,” adding, “they always know.” In fact it wasn’t until Tech popped the master copy into his car’s CD player, that he heard what Ces had in store,
“Me and my chick were rolling around and listening to it, and just the instrumentals alone…those are outrageous! The lyrics –all the realness, all the pain of the industry–oh my goodness!”
“Ces is chopping motherfuckers heads off!” he concluded.
Fitting because the title of Ces Cru’s new, visually assisted single off Catastrophic Event Specialists, one that left quite the impression on Tech N9ne, is entitled “The Process (Guillotine)”.
Though Seven has been pivotal in creating the grandiose, ever-changing sound Strange is known for, he takes a different approach on this effort, providing Ubiquitous and Godemis a more steady, minimalist beat. It’s the perfect backdrop for Ces’ razor sharp lyricism to reign supreme. Atop the cutting, headnoic production, Ces takes aim at the cookie-cutter rappers, and the formulaic, fake practices that pervade the music industry. Godemis stops the lyrical bloodbath (at least for a bar) to reflect on how they came to be a pillar of the Strange empire, “We never made a record and tried to shop it to Trav and Tech/ We made it off our talent and having that respect.” A line that further demonstrates what Tech saw in them even in the dawn of their careers.
Tech described Catastrophic Event Specialists as, “a classic hip-hop album” and nowhere is that more apparent than “The Process (Guillotine).” The stark yet captivating beat, the cutthroat lyrics and surgical execution with which they are delivered give this effort a golden age feel. “The Process (Guillotine)” will have fans of that throwback, vintage style excited for the future of Ces Cru.
Catastrophic Event Specialists is set to drop on February 10th (be sure to pre-order now), but heads are already rolling, because “The Process (Guillotine)” is streaming on Spotify and available for download on iTunes now!