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The Ohio producer, and DJ, Hi-Tek turned to MCing (briefly) for his debut album in 2001, although for the most part he allows guest singers as Hip Hop performers to take the main vocal role in the recordings. A yea prior to this the Hip Hop duo, Reflection Eternal, was formed, and with the combination of himself and Talib Kweli, and from this, you see a lot more between the pair on this record, "Hi-Teknology".
1. "Scratch Rappin'" (Intro)
2. "The Sun God"
The kick this one off properly, you hear Common come through, showing that he needs a little more support from those in the Mid-West area as Chi-Town's finest joins him, and fresh off "Like Water For Chocolate" you have this one composed in light of the Jay De e collaborations (especially "The Light"), does a gentle, and light-hearted track for this one to give a big boost to get things one in the right mood before he continues.
3. "Get Back (Part II)"
I am unable to compare this one to the original, as I haven't heard it, but I expect that this one was originally a Reflection Eternal joint, as this one sees Hi-Tek work alongside Kweli, and the rhymes from the MC reflects the way he had been able to make a big impact on the game with his debut with Mos Def as part of Black Star, before doing a solo album, "Quality, in 2000, in the way that the content is politically-charged.
4. "Breakin' Bread"
This is a heavy Hip Hop track from Hi-Tek, and it just shows exactly how strong his beats are, especially when he chooses to put an Old School twist to it with extensive sampling from 'back in the day', and doing some DJ Premier-esque scratch to make up the thing. This tune is just for the underground Hip Hop heads and so if you re into this, without a doubt you will feel it.
5. "All I Need Is You"
Cormega is the MC who leads the tune, and you have Jonell taking on the female side of this song as after a short skit to give you some context on the relationship which is going on, you have the pair do a song which deals with how they are having to express to each other how much they rely on the other for support in everything they do. It is a nice little one, with a simple message to it.
6. "Where I'm From"
Jinx Da Juvy is the MC on this one, as as i had never heard him before this, I didn't know what to expect from him, but I have to say that the results of it were definitely appealing as you find him going hard on this one, and showing that he knows what is required for this album as he keeps it alterative and hard to show what this region is about. The production seems to be similar to what else you get on here, and so it is as good as ever.
7. "Tony Guitar Watson" (Lude)
8. "Round & Round"
This was the lead single from the album, and for me was the song to attract me to the album. It has Hi-Tek experimenting with a gentle groove, and from it you find Jonell singing a powerful song, with a very appealing hook about how her relationship is getting nowhere. For me, it was the best which you find here, and the way it is performed by the soulful R&B singer is definitely an influence on this appeal.
9. "Get Ta Steppin'"
Mos Def, after having Hi-Tek work with him earlier on, joins Tek for this one. The way this one begins really excites the purest Hip hop fans as Mos and Vinia Mojica do some Old School hype lines to excite you before the producer drops the groove on it, and once this happens, you can't help do get down to it. Hi-Tek really shows you how to build a track on this one as does a progressive one, which talks you through the steps of making a killer such as this one.
10. "Theme From Hi-Tek" (Lude)
The Detroit Hip Hop crew Slum Village join him on this one, and with yet more Mid-West support, you see that more great results come of it as this; one of the most well-respected Hip Hop groups of the region just comes with their typically-strong flows to work off the futuristic use of synth from Hi-Tek. It is a heavy tune, and the line-up makes it really stand out, if the wah-wah-guitar-styled synth doesn't.
This one find Donte, Main Flow MCing on top of the thing, and their appearance alone didn't really do anything for me, as I don't really know much about their music, and I have to say tha although what they did was alright, it doesn't really do anything special, and it leaves it missing something. Hi-Tek's Mafioso-styled production shows something different, but I felt it wasn't quite used in the right was.
13. "The Illest It Gets"
We are given the optimum of 'ill-ness' in this track, and I have to say that although it is a pretty raw one with Buckshot of Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik gives you lots of cold rhymes to dwell on, I wasn't really into this kind of underground stuff as it just took things a bit too far, and to a place where I couldn't really connect to his way of rhyming or the lyrical content.
14. "Hi-Teknology" (Outro)
This is a fairly good album from Hi-Tek, and if it wasn't for the odd dip in quality then it would be something which you must look out for, but I felt that at times it lacked the energy which was required to keep you engaged for a sustained period of time. The fact that Hi-Tek only actually MCs in the outro is a bit of a disappointment, but judging by the content, he didn't really have much else to offer.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Drum Beater
3 Get Back remix feat. Talib Kweli
4 Breakin Bread feat. Donte, Main Flow, Homeskillet & Crunch
5 L.T.A.H. feat. Slum Village
6 All I Need Is You feat. Cormega
7 Where I'm From feat. Jinx Da Juvy
8 Round & Round feat. Jonell
9 Git To Steppin' feat. Mos Def & Vinia Mojica
10 Theme From Hi-Tek feat. Talib Kweli
11 The Illest It Get feat. Buckshot
12 Suddenly feat. Mood