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Kansas City-based rapper Tech N9ne released his dynamic new album Something Else only three months ago. Featuring compelling collaborations with the remaining members of The Doors and System Of A Down's Serj Tankian, it's a bravura piece of record making, one which could stand as something of a personal best for Tech, which is doubly impressive when you consider the fact that he's issued 13 studio albums and six EPs since his 1999 debut. It would appear that the hardest-working man in hip-hop is just getting warmed up.
And now comes Therapy, a blistering, riffs-a-plenty rock-metal EP produced by heaviositude specialist Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot) and framed around the unrelenting grooves of Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland and Glassjaw drummer Sammy Siegler. “It’s full-blown, man," Tech enthuses. "This is what’s always been seeping through my music, but now it’s got live instruments with Wes and Sammy, and I've got Alfredo Ortiz, who played percussion with the Beastie Boys. They came in and killed it. It’s beautiful.”
A lifelong rock fan, Tech recalls being the only kid in his neighborhood who even heard of The Doors, much less listened to them (he named his label Strange Music in honor of the band's album Strange Days). "It was the ghetto, so it was a lot of rap and R&B," he says. "But my uncle Ikey liked a lot of different stuff. I remember him playing Elton John's Benny And The Jets – that was a great one." He pauses, then snickers. "You know what song he liked? [sings] ‘Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight/ gonna grab some afternoon delight/ Sky rockets in flight…’Afternoon Delight, man. I'm sure I was the only dude my age who knew that one!" He explodes in laughter.
Before running down his list of 10 essential rock albums, Tech explains that he finds his pleasure regardless of genre – his iPhone is a cornucopia of styles. “Music is music – it makes no difference what it is," he says. "I can like Slipknot and Public Enemy equally. Pulse Of The Maggots, Welcome To The Terrordome – totally different songs, but I get the same thrill from them. Or listening to something by the Deftones might make me just as happy as De LA Soul. I can’t separate it like, ‘OK, rock does this to me, and hip-hop does that to me.’ It doesn’t work like that. It’s music, period."