Recording information: Black Righteous Space Studios, Tucson, AZ; Breakpoint Method Studios, Fort Collins, CO; Hideaway Studio, Minneapolis, MN; M.A.D. Studios, Windsor, ON; Pushers Collective; Strangeland Studios; Treesound Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Samantha Levi.
The ultimate goal of the Strangeulation series is to pimp Tech N9ne's Strange Music imprint and the label's roster, but just like on the first volume, this second release feels less like a crass marketing tool and more like an uncontrollable Strange Music office party. If the HR department's question is "What would you say you do here?," "Wake and Bake" is the answer from Krizz Kaliko and ¡Mayday! during a compressed and angry track that's somewhere between Kanye's Yeezus and the Beastie Boys' aggressive version of funk. Tech, Rittz, and smooth-voiced singer Darrein Safron flirt with the mainstream as "We Just Wanna Party" sits between horrorcore and Bieber-big R&B, while the monolithic "PBSA" strips dubstep, EDM, and trap music of everything but bass, offering the ultimate in booming systems and a big, cocky bomb from Ces Cru ("I stay high like A.I./What the fk we talkin' about? Practice?"). "Blunt and a Ho" with Tech ("Sittin' right on top of me with that magnificent rump") and Murs ("I once ran this festival called Pay Dues/But I never got paid dude") stands above it all, thanks to rapid rhymes that surf on neo new jack swing beats designed by Michael "Seven" Summers, who produces most of the album. Serious and heavy interludes dubbed "Cyphers" link all this party-time madness, and while some of the jokes are "insider" and designed for fan club members, entrance into the Strange Music club has never been easier, and thanks to this collection, it's never been such (devious) fun. ~ David Jeffries