Next Tuesday, the Midwest King of the Independent Grind, Tech N9ne,  plans to release his new album, Something Else, the 13th studio album of his storied career.  Despite his prolificacy and the sheer volume of his output, mainstream recognition of his impact has been limited. However, fans of hardcore, underground hip-hop know the deal, and Tech has sold over a million records  independently. We at XXL felt the rest of you needed to get familiar with the man. With that in mind, XXL Presents... The 30 Most Essential Tech N9ne Songs.

“The Anthem” Ft. RZA, Eminem, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Jayo Felony, Chino XL & KRS-One

Released On: Sway & King Tech’s This Or That  (1999)

This cult classic posse cut from Sway & King Tech’s compilation This Or That features Tech N9ne trading blistering verses with the likes of Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap and a veritable who’s who of 90’s rap elite.

“The Worst” Ft.  Law & Kemani

Released On: Tech N9ne’s The Worst (2000)

The title song off of his sophomore effort features Tech N9ne melting his liquid flow into some smooth, G-Funk inspired production. This remains the best track of his early albums and an easy classic of his catalogue.

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“Psycho Bitch”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Anghellic (2001)

One of Tech’s most famous songs, “Psycho Bitch” borrows the famous piano line from the theme to John Carpenter’s horror classic, Halloween, to lace an angry rant against crazy ex-girlfriends everywhere.

“Sinister Tech”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Anghellic (2001)

On 2003’s “Sinister Tech” off Anghellic, Tech’s intricate flows and powerhouse punch lines are used to threaten the world with sinister thoughts as if he were Norman Bates.

“This Ring”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Anghellic (2001)

Despite his rap star lifestyle, one of the reoccurring themes to his music is the stress that rap can bring upon a marriage and family. On “This Ring,” Tech ponders the reality of being a rap star and staying a faithful, family man.

“Slacker”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Absolute Power (2002)

The irony of an artist as prolific as Tech N9ne dedicating a song to the lazy and shiftless ones of the world is pretty rich but “Slacker” captures the existential malaise of the useless with wit.

“Bianca’s & Beatrice’s”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Absolute Power (2002)

One of Tech’s signature features as an artist happens to be his slang. On “Bianca’s & Beatrices,” Tech takes time to educate the world on the meaning of “Bianca” and it’s plural “Beatrice.” Spoiler: It’s an unfortunate euphemism for another word for a less than desirable woman.

“I’m A Playa(Feat. Krizz Kaliko)

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Absolute Power (2002)

Why, yes? I would like to be rocked, Amadeus. Tech N9ne samples Falco’s 80s cheese pop staple to memorable effect on this classic cut from 2002’s Absolute Power.

“Imma Tell”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Absolute Power (2002)

On this signature track, Tech N9ne pens an ode to partying with killers, gorillas and clowns in his hometown of Kansas City.

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“Caribou Lou” Ft. Krizz Kaliko

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

Very few rappers can claim to have invented their own mixed drink. The list is pretty much 2Pac (Thug Passion), Nelly (Pimp Juice) and Tech N9ne who penned a titular ode to Caribou Lou, the fruity alcoholic beverage, the rapper claims to have invented. One part Barcardi 151, one part pineapple juice, one part Malibu rum. That will get your party crackin’.

“Jellysickle” Ft. E-40

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

Tech meets up with another master of insular, regional slang, E-40, on a song about the sickness that jealous haters feel in their heart.

“Come Gangsta”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

On “Come Gangsta,” Tech addresses the critics who dismiss his work on face for his colorful face paint, his penchant for weird hairstyles and his often white fanbase. An angry rebuttal for those who would dare question his gangsta.

“The Beast”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

A powerful fire starter of a cut that is perfect soundtrack to party with the apple-bottomed Jugalettes and “Diddy women with in the button ups.”

“The Rain”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

Life can often be difficult on the road for an artist and on this song, Tech discusses his trials and tribulations on tour when he’s away from his family.

“This Is Me”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

A statement of purpose from Tech N9ne about who he is and his role in rap music on this deep cut from 2006’s cult classic Everready.

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“Welcome To The Midwest” Ft. Krizz Kaliko

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

On this furious cut, Tech and his long-time collaborator, Krizz Kaliko trade blistering rhymes over a Dean Martin interpolation.

“Riot Maker” Ft. Skatterman & Snug Brim

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Everready (The Religion) (2006)

Over shredding heavy metal guitars, “Riot Maker” is another instant party starter and a good excuse to fuck shit up.

“Midwest Choppers’ Ft. D-Loc, Dalima, & Krizz Kaliko

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s Misery Loves Kompany (2007)

Whether it be Twista, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony or Tech N9ne, the Midwest is renowned for its signature, rapid-fire “Chopper” style rap. On “Midwest Choppers,” the first song in Tech’s Chopper trilogy, Tech stunts hard and shows off exactly how much of technical master he is.

“Like Yeah"

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Killer (2008)

This song is one of Tech N9ne’s most fun tracks and an unqualified banger.

“Blackboy” Ft. Brother J, Ice Cube & Krizz Kaliko

Released On: Tech N9ne’s Killer (2008)

Tech has never been shy to tackle difficult subjects head on. On “Blackboy,” he recruits Ice Cube and Brother J of X Clan to discuss racism and the difficulties of being a young black man in Amerikkka.

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“Dysfunctional” Ft. Big Scoob & Krizz Kaliko

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s Sickology 101 (2009)

One of the highlights of Tech N9ne’s catalogue is his Tech N9ne Collabo series of albums. On these records, Tech will collaborate with anybody or anything creating often daring and innovative music. The confessional “Dysfunctional” off 2009’s Sickology 101 is the best song of the entire series.

“Red Nose”

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s Sickology 101 (2009)

Despite being one of the most successful independent hip-hop acts of all-time, the rap music industry has always seemed to treat Tech N9ne as something of an outcast within the genre. To his critics, he's often seen as too “rock and roll” for BET and too “gangster” for MTV. On “Red Nose,” Tech lashes out at against those who would keep him down.

“Areola”

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s Sickology 101 (2009)

There are some songs are born to be played in concert.  “Areola,” Tech’s ode to the inner nipple seems to have an uncanny ability to always get women to take their tops when he performs it.

“Sickology 101” Ft. Crooked I & Chino XL

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s Sickology 101 (2009)

On “Sickology 101,” Tech, Crooked I and Chino XL instruct a master’s course on how to rhyme.

"O.G."

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s The Gates Mixed Plate (2010)

On the funky, bouncing “O.G.,” Tech N9ne dedicates a song to his favorite restaurant in Kansas City, the Gates Bar B.Q., their mouth-watering mixed plates and their venerable owner, Ollie Gates, who tirelessly serves the public.

“K.C. Tea”

Released On: Tech N9ne Collabo’s The Gates Mixed Plate (2010)

On this lively deep cut off of 2010’s The Gates Mixed Plate, Tech delivers another song about his love for alcoholic specialty drinks native to his hometown. The recipe for this one is Hennessey, Sprite and a dash of lemon.

“Interlude” Ft. Andre 3000

Released On: Lil Wayne’s The Carter IV

Despite it’s astronomical sales, most fans regard The Carter IV as something of a disappointment. One of the unqualified highlights of the album, though, is “Interlude,” Tech’s left-field collaboration with Andre 3000. Wayne steps out of the way to let the pair go line for line on this classic track, giving Tech a chance to shine in the mainstream.

“He’s A Mental Giant”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s 6’s And 7’s (2011)

This banger off of 2011’s 6’s And 7’s finds Tech N9ne proclaiming his mental supremacy over every other rapper in the game. It features some of Tech’s wildest punch lines.

“Worldwide Choppers” Ft. Busta Rhymes, Ceza, D-Loc, JL, Twista, Twisted Insane, U$O & Yelawolf

Released On: Tech N9ne’s 6’s And 7’s (2011)

The final installment of Tech N9ne’s “chopper trilogy” showcases Tech amongst some of the most intricate rapid-flows ever put on wax. You can almost feel yourself be swept into a global hurricane from the song.

“Am I A Pyscho?”

Released On: Tech N9ne’s 6’s And 7’s (2011)

On this single from 6’s And 7’s, Tech brings on board ATLien B.o.B and an actual possible alien, Hopsin, to trade rhymes and ponder the basic question of their sanity. The highlight of the track remains B.o.B’s verse, which has reportedly been viewed as response to the diss Tyler, the Creator laid for Bobby Ray on “Yonkers.” B.o.B proves that he can still hang.