For those of you still getting acquainted with the deadly lyrical duo from Kansas City that Tech N9ne personally hand-picked to be on Strange Music, look no further than the 9 Essential CES Cru Tracks that the emcees themselves laid out for all the fans.
Who knows what the future holds? This list is bound to change with the release of their material for Strange Music, but for those looking to get an entry-level dose of what CES Cru is all about, be sure to check out the songs on this list and also their material on their respective solo mixtapes: Ubiquitous’ Matter Don’t Money and Godemis’ The Deevil, available for free download.
That’s a big song for us. Definitely a centerpiece. If you come to a live show you’re probably going to hear that one.
A totally slept-on song from our mixtape irongiant but we go real hard on it, kind of doing some speed-rap stuff. It’s a clean break-beat, which is where me and my homeboy Vertigone team up and make beats together, so I had a big hand in making the beat, arranging the beat and kind made the beat around our lyrics. It was a good time. I don’t produce too much but I felt like everyone was busting on there. It’s kind of a secret song.
Something off our first record Capture Enemy Soldiers. Not a super-flashy record but we all kind of freaked this style that Godemis kind of got in a zone. He came with a verse and we were like “Dang!” So we kind of developed this whole style based around the word “Sinister” – super-dope. It came out real dope. Stitch is on there too. One of my favorite songs off of our first record.
Another song where we kind of go back and forth. The video has Tech in it. Definitely one of my favorite songs we ever did, where we kind of intermingled reality and fantasy. There’s a certain amount of prophecy in that song. That song was written before there was any relationship with Tech or Strange. If you see the video now you probably would have never guessed that. In that way it’s literally some prophecy in that song. On some like divination-of-the-future tip – crazy shit. That’s definitely one of my favorites.
On the chorus we just decided we were going to overlap. The beat we were writing to we weren’t supposed to write to actually. It was off of this instrumental album that DStroy had but we were like “Naw, let’s just lace this up.” On that particular song, I dunno, we were just an experimental mood I guess, so we ended up writing extra choruses. We must have written like five or six choruses, and we were like “Let’s just all these and mix ’em up with choruses and sub-choruses.” We knew it was going to be a recording nightmare and a performance nightmare but it ended up being one of the most intricate songs that we’ve ever recorded.
I just like that one because it’s really a comfortable KC-like song. I feel like it’s just something for the city that’s close to me and my people.
This is something that people are familiar with that we do live normally to close out, sometimes to open up a show, but it’s where we overlap each other and we’re basically rounding. We do it acapella because that’s when it’s the gnarliest but it’s actually a song from our first full-length album Capture Enemy Soldiers, which also has our homegirl Stitch on it. Of course on the album there’s a beat playing and all that but it’s something that we do live and there’s also a YouTube video of us doing it that people always seem to comment on, where it’s just Mike and I in an alley rapping acapella at first then this truck comes down the alley and we just catch the beat of that and so not only are we doing the rounding but we just hopped on, double-dutch if you will, to the beat that this car was playing as it drove by. It’s one of my favorite things to do and people are always blown away by it.
This is also a song from our first full-length album. It’s a story song and it’s where I play a serial killer and Ubi plays a police officer who stumbles on the scene, a murder scene. It’s the first song we ever wrote also and it’s real tight. It’s sort of cliffhanger-ish and we’ve also talked about revisiting that and picking up on that story and maybe we will on the new album. That’d be a good idea. That’d be a treat for the longtime fans. It’s a story and it works real well.
We’re just doing some fast-rapping on there and on Ubi’s verse he’s shouting out mad stuff that’s relevant to clothing designs like people we worth is like Sike. His verse is one of my favorite verses. I like the beat on that song too. It’s a little quirky and it’s great for shows. At this stage in the game we’ve worked out a little call and response for the song so it goes over pretty well at shows.
I just really like the spirit that the song invokes. The hook means a lot. “So many days we’ve been sitting low.” “Thanatos” is like what “Elevators” is for Outkast. It kind of encompasses our struggle. It touches on what we’ve been going through, what we plan to do and how we feel without being hateful in any way. Just expressing our struggle without bellyaching too much.
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