The face of mainstream rap has gone through a re-invention and is wittier than ever. Eminem’s return to music proved to be what he needed to refuel his musical prowess, as he soon became Nielsen Soundscan’s Artist Of The Decade. It seems like we’ve all heard the same story for so many years. Tech reached out to Eminem for a feature on 2006’s Everready. The timing was not working in Tech’s favor as Proof of D12 had just passed. Since then, Tech has reportedly reached out to Eminem several times, but to no avail. Albums dropped left and right, and still no sign of the coveted guest feature. Tech wanted it, the fans wanted it, everybody wanted it. Then, sometime last year while Tech N9ne was on tour in Europe, he happened to meet with Eminem backstage. News of the chance meeting re-lit the interest of a possible collaboration. Once Tech had returned, he brought news of a discussion over the matter. In interviews leading up to the first recordings of All 6’s And 7’s, Tech made several mentions of a track he would work on before sending it to Eminem. It became clear soon after though, that Eminem very well may have been absent from a Tech N9ne album again. When pressed for answers, Tech would seem unsure of the collaboration actually coming to fruition. Eminem was once again becoming nothing more than a dream collaboration for the fans.
With Tech N9ne still holding out for that final big collaboration, it is important to take step back and grasp the significance of this high profile album. Working with other artists is nothing groundbreaking for Tech N9ne. The Collabos series is proof positive of this. Rather, the barriers he is breaking here are those that stand between independent artists and mainstream artists backed by major labels. Major labels push their artists to feature big name start in order to create a buzz, and these days, you’ll be hard pressed to find a solo album with no guest features. Those are the majors though. Independent labels will often rely on their artists musical ability to carry an album, as opposed to a brand name. Tech has done this for his entire career. Resisting the pressure from mainstream trends and flash in the pan themes, Tech has opted to speak from the heart. Delivering tales directly from his life and his experiences, Tech has connected with his audience on another level, one that most mainstream artists miss out on. Laying down this foundation his music, Tech then continues to build upon it with carefully chosen guests. Tech is known to hold off on guest appearances if he does not believe they are meant to be. Without a label barking orders at him, Tech can freely decide if and when he will collaborate with another artist.
In All 6’s And 7’s, Tech is loading up on the guest features. Knowing his meticulous planning, there must be rhyme and reason behind every single one. The Deftones-members collaboration is one that he has longed for. Seeing this alternative rock band on an album with Tech N9ne is something that has piqued the interest of fans from all genres. The use of organic music on this record is growing more and more apparent. Could Tech’s KABOSH project carry it’s influence over to All 6s And 7s? It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. All 6s And 7s is digging its roots into as many outlets as there are available to Strange Music. Tech described the sound of this album as something new, crazy, and extremely different. Live instrumentation has been confirmed for much of the production coloring the landscape of All 6s And 7s. Joining the class of hip hop albums with soul and actual music, All 6s And 7s could feature the strongest, purest music yet from Tech N9ne.
The fact remains, no matter how much speculation runs rampant, and how much is leaked out, the final product of All 6’s And 7’s will ultimately be nothing like anyone expected. Whether or not that’s a good thing, is up to the fans to decide. Tech N9ne is working like always, giving as much of himself as he can. He does so now, though, in full view of the music industry. We’ve seen the players, now its time to see the end result. A few surprises are on their way, that much we can all be sure of. We may not hear Lady Gaga on the album, but the time has come to pull out all the big guns. When the clock stops, all we will see are 6s and 7s.
-Victor Sandoval, Strange Music Blogs Contributor
Follow me on Twitter for more: @VicMSandoval