Tech N9ne has been unleashing rap albums out of Kansas City since a couple months before the millennium got underway, and was chopping rhymes on singles and making guest appearances for a few years before that. As befits a guy who was born in 1971 and grew up in a good Christian household in flyover country and used to go ghost-hunting in abandoned buildings as a kid, he's long drawn almost as much inspiration from heavy rock -- Metallica, Slipknot, System of a Down, AC/DC -- as hip-hop. On Therapy, his new seven-song/four-skit EP with longtime Korn-and-otherwise producer Ross Robinson, he makes a full-on juggalo-metal move. But as this playlist aims to illustrate, metal and loud rock have always been part of his sound.
Some cuts here have horror-show power chords crunching them to smithereens; others are actual collaborations, from Tech N9ne's albums and rapcore bands' albums alike. He's with Serj Tankian in "Straight Out the Gate"; hed (pe) and Kottonmouth Kings in "I Am Everything"; Kottonmouth Kings alone in "Fock the Industry 2" and "City 2 City"; Kottonmouth Kings and Insane Clown Posse in "Thug Pit"; Insane Clown Posse alone in "The Witch Remix"; a couple of Deftones in "If I Could"; Five Finger Death Punch in their mosh-hop cover of L.L. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out"; Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland in "Head Now"; Beastie bongo sideguy Alfredo Ortiz in the mookishly posturing "Hiccup." Those last two are among six Therapy tracks included in the mix. And there's also "Juice," an excellent 2013 single with Ces Cru -- signees to Tech-founded Strange Music -- that's disco-propulsive like rap-rock was way back at its mid-'80s birth. Any way you slice it, Tech N9ne keeps his decibels high.