With over 20 albums, Tech N9ne has been renowned for decades due to his ability to reinvent himself in some of the most creative ways possible. Starting with cold-blooded bars about his come up and shifting towards creating mystical worlds, the 48-year-old Missouri legend has had one of the most prolific artistic evolutions in all of hip hop. Entering the new decade, Tech’s next statement needed to be something bolder than ever, and we certainly got that with his chillingly horrifying Fear series. Bringing us into his new world with Aprils Enterfear and raising the stakes on August’s More Fear, the Strange Music leader looks to tie loose ends and exit this world with the trilogies final installment Fear Exodus. With one of his most intriguing concepts ever, will the grand finale to this amazing era leave fans satisfied?
Being complied of throwaways from the previous two installments, Tech teaches the industry the importance of vaulting c-sides. The main problem is derived from the conceptual shift, which comprises torture and tremor for bland braggadocious anthems like “Sprocket” and “Becoming Too Famous”. Lacking direction and depth, the only thing that makes this worse is Tech’s flow and lyrics, which are disappointingly watered down. “Tech’s Mex” is the ultimate low point as N9na’s attempt to use the soup of the same name as a metaphor for his skill on the microphone miserably fails as it’s way too corny. Already wastings its core moments, the covid-19 crazed “Epod”, and the horrifying ending to the entire series “Making a Killin’ (I Ain’t Scared of Sh*t)” tragically lose their power due to the mess between them. “I Think” is the records definite highlight as Tech assembles Wrekonize, Bernz, Godemis, UBI, Jehry Robinson, Maez301, King Iso, Joey Cool, Stevie Stone, Krizz Kaliko, and JL for an intense posse cut showing off the past, present, and future of his label Strange Music. While his legacy is already solidified, Tech N9ne’s lackluster performance still manages to leave a stain on his resume.
Behind the boards, the production loses its grit and flare, trading it off for some low-budget trap beats. Just as bland as the lyrics embedded in them, “Sprocket”, “Tech’s Mex”, and “Becoming Too Famous” all suffer from sounding like anything off the top charts. While this isn’t out of the ordinary for many of the mainstream guys, seeing an all-time legend half-heartedly ride this trend is brutally painful to accept. Even with its low points, the electro based “Epod” and tripped out “Making a Killin’ (I Ain’t Scared of Sh*t)” deserve some recognition for at least being sonically integral. Attempting to achieve some sort of conceptual depth, the skits “(Intro) Rally the Troops” and “Exodus” represent this series way better than any of the songs do. Taking no sonic risks and lacking creativity on almost all fronts, Fear Exodus feels like your everyday disposable hip hop record.
While being a conceptual and directional mess, Fear Exodus is easily Tech N9ne’s worst project to date as he goes against everything that has gotten him this far. Whether its corny lines, awkward singing or just straight out terrible song structure, there’s little to nothing worth remembering this record for. The most unfortunate part about this project is that it has tarnished the previous two albums in this otherwise stellar series. Leaving the record, I wouldn’t write off Tech N9ne or even say he’s fallen off as an MC, all I’d say is to take time on your art because when it is rushed, you end up with lousy forgettable offerings like this.
- Strange Music’s future’s in good hands
- Lack of new ideas
- Steers away from the past two projects concepts
- Comprises themes for genric materialism and braggadocious bars
- Tech N9ne’s artistry takes a major downgrade
- Weird flows/tones
- Bland production
- Conry lines
- Little to nothing good to remember
Written By: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator, owner and founder of Fantastic Hip Hop