When I was first getting into the Midwestern rapper Tech N9ne, I got my hands on everything I could find to do with him. I listened to every of his albums and his label, Strange Music. “Celcius” was one of the last CDs I discovered, and when I did, I immediately thought: this isn’t Tech N9ne. I mean sure, it’s his voice, his flow, and his delivery, but the album as a whole just isn’t him. Then I?learned that “Celcius” isn’t really Tech’s album in the first place; it’s Don Juan’s. After Tech left his label, Midwestside Records, Don Juan decided he hadn’t gotten enough money out of Mr. N9ne, so he released this album under Tech’s name as a cash grab.
A glance at the cover will show that this isn’t the Tech we know. There are cars, diamonds – flashy stuff he has never been about.
You’re not going to find much of anything Tech is about here. None of his classic psycho demeanor, intense beats, and lyrical content, nothing that sets him apart from the herd of commercial rappers, like his previous album, “Anghellic.”
“Celcius” is boring, trite, and basically everything his fans wouldn’t expect from him. However, Tech’s performance isn’t watered down. His flow is easily the best part of the album. On some songs, like “Mizery” and “Be Warned,” you still see glimpses of the real Tech. The beat in “Be Warned” is as cheesy and uninteresting as the rest, but Tech is bringing his A-game in terms of the rapid-fire lyricism he’s known for. No other song on the album is as interesting or entertaining.
Otherwise there are no standouts. They’re either trying to go hard and failing (“Boss Doggs”) or trying to be smooth and failing (“Call Girlz”). The production is irritating, and the same can be said for the choruses. They range from average to awful, mostly awful.
The repetition on this album is mind-numbing, especially on “Shoot Tha Sh*t,” which is just about half-hook. Tech’s flow is the only source of creativity to be found on “Celcius,” and even that’s not consistent. These lyrics sure aren’t supplying any inspiration. The content is exactly what you’d expect from an album with the sole purpose of making money: sex and bragging. It’s not like Tech can’t make that work, but apparently this was done before he knew how. Predictable rhymes and generic schemes make for a painfully boring listening experience.
It makes sense that Tech’s worst release isn’t even his own album. He isn’t even in three of the songs! Even so, he did what he could to spice up an otherwise awful album, but it just wasn’t enough to save “Celcius” from extreme mediocrity.
I doubt even hardcore Tech N9ne fans will enjoy this (aside from “Be Warned,” of course). He’s not his usual insane self. In fact, he exhibited one of the most sane choices of his career: he didn’t want this album released.