“The Best of Old Tech N9ne” is a mix CD that I made myself a few years ago and has been played constantly play in my car and iPod. I am sure that every N9ne fan has their own personal favorites, but these are the classics in my opinion. Considering it has been a bit of time since I burnt this disc, I cannot say specifically why I put each song on here and why it is in the order it is in but I will do my best to objectively tell you why everyone on therealtechn9ne.com should make one for themselves. It should be noted that I classify “Old Tech N9ne” as the music created before the tour van crash that occurred before the release of Everready when Tech’s demeanor shifted to enjoying life and partying.
1. “Hellevator” – Produced By Richie
Originally an interlude on the Anghellic album, this 17-second track makes for the perfect introduction to this CD. “Welcome to Hell, we have such sights to show you;” a.k.a. get ready to get your ass kicked, listener.
2. “Tormented” – Produced By Don Juan
What better song to start with than “Tormented”? I love the guitar wails, I love the clashing hats, I love the explosions, I love the distorted back talk Tech does with himself, and I love the “father pleases”. This song is what Old Tech N9ne was all about: money, women, liquor, hella drugs. My favorite line in the song is “Can’t shake it/Try to pass it by but homey I/Can’t make it/If it was non-existent I would die!”
3. “Here Comes Tecca Nina” Produced By Carl Breeding and Flash Technology
The simple kick kick clap beat makes this song an easy one to enjoy. Tech’s gritty flow conquers this track especially in the second verse once the “jeas” start flying. The chorus is catchy and will get stuck in your head all day. This song is also one of the first to make a reference to the now famous “Caribou Lou”. My favorite line: “You got me bent, we rolls all peelin skrilla/Roll call willin’ killaz froze yall feelin’ millas.”
4. “Big Bad Wolf”
We start this song out with a snarling wolf, ready to devour its prey. Then comes the chorus, which samples Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” which I’ll admit is a little goofy. But the Nina kills it from bar one. I am blown away every single time I listen to this song. There is no other rapper on Earth who has more intricate diction than Tech N9ne employs in “Big Bad Wolf.” This song is worth listening the whole way through, my favorite part comes at the conclusion: “Cause I’ma let ya know that wolf in reverse says flow/I gotta big bad flow and I’ma let ya nigga know that I rip it.”
5. “I’m A Playa” – Produced By Rob Rebeck
This may be the guiltiest pleasure of “The Best of Old Tech N9ne.” It’s too bad this song never caught on because of Urban radio not caring about the awesome Falco sample. This song is great, starts with a history of the Nina over a catchy kick kick clap beat before getting into the wickedness. I love the Playa instruction manual in verse three. Krizz Kaliko also makes one of his first appearances and has my favorite line in the song: “I’m in hot pursuit of a prostitute.”
6. “Earthquake” – Produced By Don Juan
With the backwards bass beat and Tech N9ne’s reverse rapping, “Earthquake” flips the script. All of the psychology gurus on therealtechn9ne.com have got to appreciate the line about the different types of melanin. But my favorite line of the song comes just after that: “love is irrelevant when you hittin the demon lookin hella elegant.”
7. “Devil Boy” – Produced By 5150 Mental Productions
I want the congregation to check yall’s selves. Watch who your children pray. Who among us does not take pleasure listening to Tech N9ne attack his opposition? This is the first track off of the re-release of Anghellic and Tech holds nothing back while addressing the accusations against him. The best part of this song is the metal breakdown in the second verse, “I love Lucifer I will kill all of you!!!!” But one thing is for sure, I don’t respect poor pricks who listen to this album and then say exorcist.
8. “Slacker” – Produced By Femi Ojetunde
I have heard people say that “Slacker” being chosen as the lead single for Absolute Power was one of the worst decisions made in his career. That might be true, but this song is another guilty pleasure. The lyrics make allusions to both Biggie and 2Pac. “I’m a product of Reagonomics,” is another great line that reaches those who are pained by the trickle down system. It may be a little corny, but my favorite part of this track is definitely: “I stay rid of you lames (yall gay) and play video games (all day).
9. “This Ring” – Produced By IcyRoc Kraven
I believe that “This Ring” is one of the most honest songs in the history of hip hop. Very few artists are as open with what is really occurring in their lives as Tech N9ne is and he really opens up to the audience in this track. You can feel the uneasiness, the confusion, and torment that he is going through while trying to figure which direction to take his life. It is a common theme: fame and fortune or family, but Tech N9ne’s take on it is uniquely is own. If you have not yet seen him perform this song live, I highly recommend you make an effort to do so. My favorite line is: “With all the fame and fortune shit ought to be fine/But what happens when the divorce papers just gotta be signed/And you lose half and your children cause you gotta be N9ne.”
10. “Now It’s On” – Produced By Don Juan
Another great track where Tech N9ne attacks his critics. It seems as if when he is doubted Tech always comes out with a gritty, biting, intricate, and furious track to get your blood pumping. I get lost into the the flows by Nina and Lejo when this song gets going loud. Speaking of Lejo, whatever happened to him? Tech makes one of his first allusions to Beatrice, his slang word for bitch, in this song as well.
11. “Stamina” – Produced By Don Juan and Tech N9ne
A great interlude. I was once complaining to my friend about my car speakers becoming too rattling and he said it was because I listened to this song too loud too often. I can’t help it though. Whenever this comes on I just have to spit it out with Tech. “Stamina” is powerful because in just a couple bars, Tech N9ne explains completely what is music is about.
12. “Psycho Bitch” – Produced By Don Juan
No offense intended to the ladies of the world, but gentlemen you must listen to this warning from the N9na. This song samples the “Halloween Theme” and makes crazy women the most fearful thing in the world. I can relate to the things Tech mentions in this song, I have dealt with plenty of psycho bitches in my life and every time I tell myself, “You should have listened to Tech N9ne, Hunter.” This best part of the song is in the first verse: “the fatal attraction will only get you ice packs/Better watch what you do when you sleep with a woman that’s on the edge/ in your bed cause you’ll be resting in red.”
13. “Trapped in a Psycho’s Body” – Produced By RonnZfromBerlin
Do not play this song if you are at a party. It will bring down the mood. The slow beat, the piano, and the strings give this song such a down feeling. This song is full of stress and pain. It is scary, but it is also hard to turn off. It is unbelievable, but Tech N9ne makes such a dark life sound appealing with his writing skills. Krizz Kaliko at the end is a nice touch as well. The best line in the song comes at the very beginning, it grips you and let’s you know exactly what Tech N9ne is feeling at the moment: ” Don’t you come near me cause the devils sittin’ next to me/I drink my drink and smoke my weed and pop my ecstasy.”
14. “The Industry Is Punks” – Produced By RUBONYX
It is a shame that being so different used to be such a bad thing for Tech N9ne. This song is filled with anger. He is telling us that he will be himself and he is not going to change for a record label or for the radio. The horns in this beat give an aggressive feel similar to what 50 Cent used in “I’ll Whip Ya Head Boy”. The third verse goes especially hard in this song, my head really starts nodding once the “jeas” get going. My favorite line is : “How many 2 pacs and JZ’s and Master P’s can they conceive? Don’t they know a few gloc’s 380’s and master keys will make’em bleed.”
15. “Planet Rock 2K” – Produced By Don Juan and Tech N9ne
It is hard to believe that a sample of the “Theme From Dragnet” would turn into such a great party song, but should we really doubt Tech N9ne? Looking back on this track from the present makes me wonder why Tech N9ne never developed into the rap power he should have been. This song is fresh, original, and totally fun. It has a great beat, flow, and hook. If you have not listened to this song in awhile you need to play it immediately. My favorite line is: “Call it what you want it, ghetto futuristic come get up on it, there’s a Bianc up in my section can I bone it?”
16. “Imma Tell” – Produced By RUBONYX
There’s really only one word to describe this song: tight. I’ll admit that I know the regular lines better than the double-timed ones, but the patterning used in this song is really enticing. If you have subs in your car, you should already know how deep the bass is in this beat as well. Our educated friends will really appreciate the allusions to the chakra. My favorite line from “Imma Tell” comes from the second verse, “Stagger, when you with the nuthouse we gonna have ya/Taking everything up in the book from ex to that puff you/Lookin’ to get took. Abracadabra, 151 and coke is Viagra.”
17. “Biancas and Beatrices” – Produced by RUBONYX
I’ve shown my friends who are non-Techn9cians this song and they think it’s annoying. I don’t get it. I am a huge fan of fast raps and this song has got it. Once you learn the words to the chorus, this song only gets better. I really enjoy the harem-like strings in the beat, it adds to the womanizing theme of the song. My favorite line is: “You’s a biank baby, whether you like it or not/but you hot especially with ex & vicaden popped.”
18. “Einstein” – Produced By Don Juan
…And finally we concluded “The Best of Old Tech N9ne,” with the song that epitomizes his self-proclaimed brilliance, “Einstein.” Tech N9ne’s murderous flow completely destroys this sample of the Beat Box Boys. Einstein, meaning gifted, too slick to get with, this track is a hall-of-fame, all-time great rap song. As long as there are Techn9cians on this planet, this song will continue to be played. It is the pinnacle of the villainy, creativity, dastardliness, cleverness, and intricacy that was “Old Tech N9ne.” My favorite part of “Einstein” has got to be the first few bars: If you got scratch nigga get the fuck up/Throw your hands up if you hella fucked up.”
There you have it. Now you are educated in what I believe are the best tracks of the pre-Everready-era Tech N9ne (keep in mind that iTunes limits your CDs to only 120 minutes so unfortunately some songs have to be left out, like “T9X”). Go ahead and burn yourself a copy of this playlist, I promise you won’t be disappointed.