In terms of longevity and success in hip-hop Tech N9ne gets very little of the recognition and respect he deserves. But the fact is that he’ll probably go down as the most successful independent rapper ever. So successful that this is his 20th, yes 20th, album and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. While he started out as more of hardcore, side show to hip-hop, he’s gone more and more mainstream over the years and Planet is more in line with that trajectory than his older sound. Die hard fans might not like it but I find that he’s been able to make his music more generally accessible without losing his signature style or selling out. Even if the production is more in line with the ‘popular’ sounds he still keeps that menacing undertone and breakneck double time flow, all while laying down some incredibly personal verses that make him even more relatable than ever. He even shows his deep love for the tradition of hip-hop and its tradition. 20 albums in and he still finds ways to elevate his craft; I think it’s more than time he gets the respect he deserves as one of hip-hop’s greatest to ever do it – not only the hardest working.
If you're looking for some insane wordplay from one of the best lyricists out there and love Premier's classic scratches and essential hip-hop beat making then you're in for something special. If however, you're looking for that more contemporary style of rap that's full of breakdowns, beat switch ups, conceptual stories, and experimentation with other genres, then this is definitely not for you.
Nipsey Hussle's raps are full of motivation and 'game' (a la early Jeezy) and he's very much the voice of the people; he represents that west coast lifestyle to the fullest. Victory Lap is about on par with his past albums, just good to great west coast hip-hop that doesn't look to shake things up too much - he knows his lane very well and sticks to it. If you're a fan of Nipsey then you'll love this one too, but if you never a fan before, I don't see much here to change your mind.
Skyzoo dropped off a fully realized project that's a complete celebration of blackness, fatherhood, and community; and while it's overall tale is a small, personal affair, the way he paints the picture makes it feel like a much grander journey and by the ending's heartfelt revelation I found myself fully invested. Add to that an ridiculous pen full of rewind worthy gems and phenomenal production makes this a top tier hip-hop album that must be heard.
“Fed up with everything, I’m cynical than I ever been
I’ll make the Beretta ring if any comin’ up at a king
Alluding to leveling a leader livin’ a better dream
Kinda like the brother on the side of Coretta King!
But the people, they made me a monster
I need a getaway and may need some Kontra-
Band in my hand I’m goin’ crazy and bonkers
Like I’m rich and my baby’s Ivanka!”
Have you heard Planet? What’d you think about it? Where would you rank this among his extensive discography? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.
Tech N9ne – Planet Reaction
Planet's sound is more in line with the 'popular' sounds out there but he still keeps that menacing undertone and breakneck double time flow, all while laying down some incredibly personal verses that make him even more relatable than ever. 20 albums in and he still finds ways to elevate his craft; I think it's more than time Tech N9ne gets the respect he deserves as one of hip-hop's greatest to ever do it - not only the hardest working.