Tech N9ne and his Strange Music camp are work-horses. They tour for two-thirds of the year, and still manage to find time to release many quality albums. Strange Music put out 13 projects in 2013 alone.
Tech N9ne made a stop at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz for a sold out show on Sunday, June 1. The Independent Grind Tour 2014 has over 70 stops and includes opening acts from Psych Ward Druggies, Jarren Benton, and Freddie Gibbs; Tech N9ne is joined by Krizz Kaliko on stage for his set.
The Psych Ward Druggies began the night, Sunday, with a very energetic set. They bring an interesting dynamic with several MCs on stage, as well as a live band. Their performance was a good way to get the crowd going. Jarren Benton, of the Funk Volume label, was up next. Benton was just named to the 2014 XXL Freshman List. The crowd seemed to really enjoy his performance. The Atlanta native’s style incorporates elements of the hip-hop from his home town with influence from Eminem, Wu-Tang Clan, as well as artists from other genres such as Nine Inch Nails. The final opener was Freddie Gibbs, accompanied by his ESGN affiliate G-Wiz. Gibbs’ has been releasing music for about ten years, but his career is now at its highest point following the release of his critically acclaimed collaborative album with Madlib, titled Piñata. The set was going well, but Gibbs really won over the crowd when he rapped a verse his song “Rob Me a N***a” completely accapella. It was interesting he chose not to perform any of his songs from Piñata, but his other work is still very hype. Following Gibbs’ performance, the stage was set up in an interesting fashion, with props laid out across it. Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko came out together wearing all white, Tech N9ne with his face painted. The performance was very theatrical, as Tech and Krizz are very animated in the way they perform and there were many special effects incorporated in the set. The audience absolutely loved it; there was so much energy in the Catalyst that night.