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Tech N9ne, Boiling Point EP Review

You don’t become one of Forbes’ Cash Kings―as in one of Hip-Hop’s top-20 earners―by accident. And the best part is that Aaron “Tech N9ne” Yates has managed it through a fiery dedication to his music and indie label Strange Music. A dedication that’s on equal scale to his scorching rhymes.

His third EP of 2012, Boiling Point is a flaming cocktail of frustration, pent-up rage, and midnight movie gore. From the opening track “URALYA,” Tech’s in attack mode. A screeching salvo of guitars accompanies the Killer Clown as he seemingly emerges from the gates of hell to lay waste on any “silly sucka” in the music industry. Though no clear victim is named, it’s clear Yates isn’t inviting them to his daughter’s birthday party. As sign of a botched business venture, N9ne rhymes, “You take your cake/ Hefty investments to get our shit played/ Not being straight but straight slick is your trade.” He ends the tirade by stating, “Watch who you jerk cause when jerked you get sprayed.”

On “Fire In AC,” Tech details how he would brutalize the Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes. Featuring Smackola and longtime collaborator Krizz Kaliko, the track continues the vileness of the opening track. Casting Holmes to the “depths of hell,” the song is brutal in its honesty, but is somewhat disrespectful of the massacre’s victims. While “Fire In AC”—and in many ways Boiling Point—is an exercise in dark fantasy, the three MCs spend too much time explaining how they’re real killers to Holmes, a deranged nut who actually has killed people. Trailed without a moment’s hesitation by “Should I Kill Her,” a fantasy about murdering a pregnant mistress, it doesn’t help the seven-track extended play in the department of good taste.

Though Tech is a master of pushing boundaries, somewhere throughout the evil of Boiling Point he falls over the edge. “Heavy” and “Paint On Your Pillowcase” are great-sounding tracks that mark Tech N9ne’s equal love for Slick Rick and System of a Down, but are weighed down by some of their more hokey CD fellows. “Hunger” and “Alone,” for instance, sound like parodies of themselves. Aiming for Stephen King, Boiling Point devolves too much into the realm of R.L. Stine to make a grown man shudder. —Bogar Alonso (@Blacktiles)

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