Tech N9ne

TECH N9NE prepared his fans for his current masterpiece, K.O.D. when he dropped Sickology 101, the hottest collaboration album of the year. He announced the farewell of the TECH N9NE everyone had known. His music was getting darker, and this, he explained, was his specialty. On Oct. 27, the new TECH N9NE arrives.

With memorable features from Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia, Strange affiliates Krizz Kaliko, Brotha Lynch Hung and Kutt Calhoun, K.O.D. allows TECH N9NE to paint the most vivid pictures he's ever attempted. Powered by tracks like "Show Me A God" and "Leave Me Alone," it may be his most personal collection of songs yet.

"I've seen so much pain recently," TECH N9NE divulges, "so many dark things. I had to take those experiences and make something beautiful out of them. I couldn't let myself fall into that hole with no chance of getting out."

It was a deep despair that, regardless of his success, TECH N9NE could not shake. While touring, appearing on TV and acknowledging his support from an ever-growing fan base, his mother was waging war with her health. It's these intimate battles that pushed his music to new corners – that helped him climb out of the hole and release his anger and pain on the tracks of K.O.D.

"I know people are feeling some of the same things I am," TECH N9NE confesses, "and maybe this will let them see that everyone has those dark things they go through. Everyone can face them and be stronger in the end."

Boasting a career most rappers strive for, TECH N9NE has consistently proved himself to be one of the hardest working entertainers in the game. In 2008, he reaped the rewards of his tireless efforts: He SoundScanned over 1 million units, making him the most successful Independent Hip-Hop artist in history.

With hits like "I'm A Playa," "Caribou Lou" (which boasts 7.2 million MySpace plays), "Riotmaker," "Like Yeah" and "Everybody Move," it's no wonder he counts a total of over 4.5 million YouTube video plays and an average of 40,000 MySpace visitors each day.

Catch TECH N9NE and the rest of Strange Music on the K.O.D. Tour 2009. For more information, visit therealtechn9ne.com.

Krizz Kaliko

It's not every day a musical genius is born. On July 14, 2009, KRIZZ KALIKO will release his second solo CD, GENIUS,. Along for KRIZZ KALIKO's aurally eclectic rollercoaster ride are E-40, Kutt Calhoun, Big Scoob and, Strange's flagship artist, Tech N9ne. Powered by a fusion of funk, rap, rock, R&B and opera – a self-made style KRIZZ KALIKO calls "Funkra" – GENIUS covers the entire spectrum of genres, from the slow and seductive "Get Off" with Tech N9ne and the rock-flavored "The Chemical" to the street anthem "Back Pack" and the album's crossover single, "Misunderstood."

Stevie Stone

For Stevie Stone, the release of Rollin' Stone, his debut album on Strange Music, signals a move
beyond his past and his arrival with the premier independent rap company. "The album is all
about progression," he says. "It's about my shift from Ruthless Records over to Strange Music.
Everything about Strange is about getting out and touching the people. Everybody's in tune
with the music and with what I'm doing. I've got their undivided attention. They make sure they
know and understand their artists."
Stone backs his words up on the explosive, bass-heavy lead single "808 Bendin'," which features
a remarkable verse from Strange Music honcho, Tech N9ne. The two bonded early on regarding
their mutual love for the 808 drum machine that was a signature of many classic rap songs
created in the 1980s.
"I'm 808-driven," Stone says. "I love that pulse, that backbone. Without pulse, there is no life.
That's what Tech is always saying. I heard the beat for '808 Bendin',' did the verse and the
hook. I thought it was something way, way different for Tech."
Stone keeps the energy at a fever pitch on the confrontational "Raw Talk", featuring Hopsin and
SwizZz, the menacing "Get Buck" and the stark "Keep My Name Out Your Mouth", featuring
Kutt Calhoun.
Elsewhere, Stone showcases his storytelling abilities on the tremendous "Dollar General."
Inspired by the 2007 film, Street Thief, Stone flows with a controlled fury about robbing a series
of businesses. WillPower's somber, piano-driven beat and the whispery chorus, delivered by
Yelawolf, create a potent, otherworldly, sonic ambiance. "I put it like it was a dream," Stone
explains. "I'm not saying that I'm the one that's robbing. It's almost like I'm watching the movie
and fall asleep. It's about my dream."
Music has enabled Stone to live out his dreams and escape his problems. On the soulful "My
Remedy," he details how his problems fade away as soon as he hits the stage. Nonetheless,
music has not provided a total escape. The wistful "2 Far" reveals how Stone's love for music
has created tremendous struggle in his relationship with his woman.
Then there's the dramatic "My Life." On this emotional cut, Stone details the challenges he's
created for himself and his family by pursuing his music career. Although the emotions were
raw, the song took Stone nearly two years to write. "I was wrestling with how much I want to
give to the people," he says. "It's revealing a lot of stuff. I'm talking about my being away from
my kids, my family and loved ones. I'd been writing it for a year or two because I had the beat
for a minute, but I didn't know how much I really wanted to put out there. I just let go and let the
music take me."
Music has taken Stone on the road. Given his love for touring, it makes Stone a natural fit on
Strange Music, as one of the company's key components is its touring enterprise. Add in Stone's
bond with Tech, his high quality music and his dedication to his craft and it's no wonder Stone
is the latest addition to the Strange Music roster. It's also why Stone wrote the song "Perfect
Stranger."
"My first show ever, when I was in high school, was with Tech. Eleven years later, it comes full
circle," he says. "I'm on the label. It's something that I've always wanted. I think I'm a perfect
fit with them."
Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, Stone has been surrounded by music his entire life. His
mother was a singer and choir director who played piano and organ. One of his sisters also sang
and played instruments. While his mother favored gospel, blues and the work of Marvin Gaye,
Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross, his sisters listened to rap and R&B, providing a wide
range of sounds, styles and artistic influences.
By the time he was five, music consumed Stone. When a beat would start playing, Stone would
be instantly compelled to dance. He later started playing the piano and practicing on the drums.
Stone was simultaneously developing his basketball skills. He received an offer to play
basketball at a junior college in Des Moines, Iowa, and was going to pursue the opportunity.
A few weeks before he was slated to report to school, Stone landed a performance as an
opening act at a concert at the Fulton Fairgrounds. "When I hit that stage, I got the bug," he
recalls. "There was no doubt about it. Music was what I was going to do. I've never turned
back."
Within a few years, Stone secured a production deal in St. Louis with Fly Moves Productions,
requiring he relocate from Columbia. Stone jumped at the opportunity. "You should never be
content with where you're at," he says. "I've got the shoot-for-the-moon-end-up-in-the-stars type
of attitude."
Stone signed in 2007 with Ruthless Records, the label founded by the late gangster rap pioneer
Eazy-E and the recording home of N.W.A. While signed to the imprint, he learned the work ethic
needed in order to succeed in the music industry. He realized that an artist has to do as much as
possible for themselves and not rely on a label.
So, when Stone parted ways with Ruthless a few years later, he was poised for success. He
reconnected with Tech N9ne and Strange Music, which had developed into rap's biggest
independent success story.
Now, with Rollin' Stone about to arrive in stores, Stevie Stone realizes that his climb to success
isn't over. "After every ladder, there's another ladder. You've got to keep climbing the ladder,
keep moving. That's what I'm doing right now."

Ces Cru

Introduced to each other in late 2000, Ubiquitous and Godemis found an immediate chemistry on stage and began performing as CES CRU. Their first full-length album, Capture Enemy Soldiers, was released in 2004. Since then, they have won numerous MC battles, been nominated for three Pitch Music Awards and collaborated with local favorites, Mac Lethal, Miles Bonny and Human Cropcircles. The Playground, is available now! Hit our website www.cescru.com or just google cescru. We are on Itunes and physical copies are available at local Kansas City music outlets such as Streetside records or 7th Heaven. Keep digging and enjoy!

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