Friday, December 07, 2007

Freak-A-Leak Week: Hi Tek's "Hi-Teknology Vol. 3"

Going a little different on the Freak-A-Leak reviews, I'm giving a track by track breakdown for the final installment of "Freak-A-Leak" Week. For this one, we'll break down producer Hi-Tek's "Hi-Teknology 3: The Underground."
Life to Me ft. Estelle: Estelle is a young London-based R&B/Hip-hop artist. On here, she opens the set with a blast. Hi-Tek wanted to use this album as a platform for new artists, and he nails it with this opener.
Play My Piano ft. Dion, Raekwon and Ghostface Killa: Hi-Tek spits some nice lines, while Rae and Ghost come through and blast lyrical shots. Dion sounds like a damn sample, very tight, with muted guitars and lite drums filtering the beat.
God's Plan ft. Outlaws and Young Buck: Outlaw's give a eulogy to Pac, they keep asking me is Pac alive/ i say hell yeah, n----, u can see it in my eyes. Young Buck comes on with a more reserved flow, but no less passionate. he gives props to soldiers, while saying bush is just drinking grey goose, and pays homage to his 22 yo cousin who is serving life. Buck sounds better on here than he did on Buck the World. the track uses brevity
Ohio All-Stars: Introduces a fleet of talented street rappers, with a chest-thumping, Hi-Tek synth beat, complete with a deep "Ohio" bark punctuating each verse. This is the most distinct Hi-Tek sounding track, similar to his work with 50 Cent on The Massacre.
Back on the Grind ft. Riz, Kurupt and Dion: A g-funk, lowrider groove. Kurupt lays down his gangbanger drawl on a song that laments the lifestyle of crime and bad living that plagues the average hustler. Newcomer Riz sounds like a younger, more energetic Fabolous. Dion's hook is hypnotic only in its pronunciation: sometimes his singing sounds lazy.
I'm Back ft. Rem Dog: Rem Dog is an A-town affiliate, Jeezy - lite. He has a relaxed drawl, his style yells A-Town. Lots of violent gangster posturing, which is kind of played. Hi-Tek gives him a syrupy pimp track to get his gangster on, but Rem Dog is only interested in redoing tired gangsta dujour. His hook includes "These n----- don't want no problems," channeling another A-town rapper, Lil Scrappy.
Kill You ft. Push Montana: Push Montana knows how to have fun on a killer track. Even when he's threatening to kill you, and detailing how he's going to do it, he does it like he's in on the joke. lines like "I'mma introduce this loud n---- to the silencer" I put it in, everybody know/he was in the pen, he shoulda gotta know/" Hi-Tek gives him some eerie blues to mess with.
Handling My Bizness: Hi-Tek gets dangerously close to two-step/lean wit it rock wit it snap tracks on this one. M-1 shows up and gets his g-roll on.
Come Get It ft. T-Pain: T-Pain shows up on a smoky, wind chimey instrumental track that is absolutely gorgeous. Hi-Tek has the musical inhibitions of DJ Quick, able to fill in beats with charismatic piano sprinkles and data-processed digital melodies. This has him sounding like Roger Troutman as well.
Step Ya Game Up ft. Little Brother and Dion: Tek hooks up with underground stalwarts Little Brother, harkening to the producer's underground hip-hop pedigree. Dion gets his Al B. Sure on and steals the show, sounding more relaxed and sexy by finding the pocket on his solo. It's clear to see that him and Tek have a good chemistry when they get beyond hook singing. Dion needs an EP of Hi-Tek music (not sure if he could carry a whole album).
Know Me ft. Jonell: Jonell, the star of the original Hi-Teknology hit "Round and Round," gets her solo. As good as Tek is producing rappers, he absolutely kills it when he's coupled with a talented female. Know me doesn't have the sonic contagiousness of "Round and Round," but Jonell knows how to sink into the tracks. Tek really needs to produce for more female R&B acts. Amerie, Nina Sky or Mya would sound right on a Hi-Tek joint.
Time ft. Talib Kweli and Dion: Tek and Kwe reunite for some of that Reflection Eternal steez. This is a nice funk track, but someone needs to kidnap these two and lock them in a room underneath the Hoover Dam or something. It's been way too long.

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