In just a year after the original landed, the team at Strange Music Inc. have put together an even better sequel to the Strangeulation album of Tech N9ne’s Collabo saga, on top of all the other incredible albums they’ve released in 2015. Hype has added to its greatness, but coming into it cold will reveal a spectacular lyrical magic show by a clan of top tier emcees supported by Strange’s foundational producer Seven. Out Nov. 20, Strangeulation Vol. II is an appropriate celebration for the label and an absolutely awesome way for them to cap off a hugely successful year. So much more than a little horrorcore and a bunch of rough-up raps, the LP lavishly offers up real lyrical expertise and perfectly stylish execution on a wide variety of relevant topics over music that is techie, tetchy and booming, but very powerful to be plain.
Tech N9ne opens it all by crushing the track relentlessly and remorselessly in “Cypher I,” at one point becoming critical of his own critical fans. Obviously, he’s taking no outside input. He already knows everything he has to do and implies it confidently. CES Cru (Godemis and Ubiquitous) then join Tech in “PBSA” to “play ball and slay all.” The Southern raised Rittz rightly picks on trap singers within the madness of “Slow To Me,” and Prozak, Brotha Lynch Hung and Tyler Lyon take time to discuss the fake evil constructs of the sinister side of the human conscience in “Tell Me If I’m Trippin.” Post-“Cypher III,” the theme is intimacy, with a twist. Stevie Stone and Darrein Safron cut it off with a bad ‘bad bitch’ in “Fired,” the loving and caring “Real with Yourself” plots to destroy women-takers, and “Chilly Rub” gets it up for a new style of love making. One has to wonder then why “Muah,” about sex involving the mouth, is pushed further down the tracklist away from the previous three, but it probably has to do with taste and balance, a wise artistic decision really.
There’s more though. “Wake and Bake” with Krizz Kaliko and the Mayday crew is just a rocking good weed song, and then the almighty MURS and Ubiquitous vent on all their various problems in “Blunt and a Ho,” and they don’t even sound like they’re bitching and moaning, not once! “Actin Like You Know” speaks for itself, and “Torrid,” the finale, is both dark and metaphorical and casts a light on the pain of intense relationship love. While it does get very close to perfection, Strangeulation Vol. II does have a few chinks in its armor. “We Just Wanna Party” with its Chris Brownish pop vocals is not particularly strong, and some of the album’s manic rhyme verses have no other mission than to simply be manic rhyme verses. The best things about this album though are that the guys do not hold back and they do not care what anybody thinks. It’s big, wild, entertaining and further reason why Tech N9ne and the new roster of Strange Music should be feared by everyone else in the game.