interview TECH N9NE (PART 1) (July 2008) | Interview By: Nima Etminan

Dubcnn reached out to Kansas City's own Tech N9ne for an in-depth 2-part interview to get the full scoop on his new album "Killer" as well as everything else surrounding Tecca Nina. In Part 1, we discuss the making of "Killer" along with the stories behind some of the tracks. Tech tells us why he wants to get his music to a broader audience, talks about the industry, getting his respect and what he thinks of rappers complaining about the state of Hip-Hop.

We also talk about a possible Nnutt Howze project, Brotha Lynch Hung, Stamina 2, QD3 and his wildest drug escapades.

Be on the look out for Part 2 where we talk about 2Pac, Crooked I, Chino XL, Don Juan, The Regime, Twista, Krayzie Bone and lots of ther people Tech N9ne has ha dealings with.

As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: nima@dubcnn.com
Interview was done in July 2008.

Questions Asked By :
Nima Etminan

Tech N9ne Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here

Related Media:

Tech N9ne - Everybody Move
Tech N9ne - Why You Ain't Call Me?
Dubcnn: We're right here with the one and only Tech N9ne on dubcnn. Kansas City is in the house, what's going on Tech?

I'm kickin' it like a donkey man, you know? Getting ready for the release of "Killer" man, I can't wait!

Dubcnn: You usually got some pretty trippy album covers, from "Anghellic" to "Absolute Power".


Dubcnn: Now the new "Killer" cover is right up there with them. Who came up with the "Thriller" concept or even the title for the album?

I do man, I come up with all the concepts for my music and all the concepts for the album, artwork, all that, you know what I'm sizzlin? What I was trying to say was, I wanted to use Michael Jackson's "Thriller" cause it was the highest top selling album in the history, 50 million copies, so I was just trying to say that "Killer" was going to be my highest selling rap album.

Dubcnn: I recently read that with "Killer", you will most likely be breaking the 1 million records sold mark, independently. How do you feel about that?

It's gonna happen, it's inevitable! My fans are with me, they're loyal. It's gonna happen sooner than later. It's a wonderful thing, I got real high hopes for "Killer" album, I put all of me into it. For "Everready" I put a lot of me into it too, but I think it's even better than that. It just keeps on getting better. When you think of "Everready" you think of "The Rain", you think of "My World" with Brotha Lynch Hung, you think of "Come Gangsta", "Welcome To The Mid-West". There's no way that it can get better than that, but this time, we did it again! I got songs like "Why U Ain't Call Me", "One Good Time", "Hope For A Higher Power", "Cry Baby", "Like Yeah", "Everybody Move", it's going man! So we're gonna hit that million sold mark sooner than later, bro.

Dubcnn: I take it the rumours of "Killer" being your last album are complete bullshit right?


Dubcnn: I mean I heard the Intro and I was tripping for a second but then...

That's what it was supposed to do! It was supposed to make people trip out who love my music, but in actuality it's a scary thought because that's where my head is at! But rap being in my bones like that and in my blood, I don't think I can just leave like that and leave everybody hanging, cause a lot of people are still being turned on by Tech N9ne and a lot of people don't know, because they don't see me on TV everyday, they don't hear me on the radio everyday or at all.

A lot of people who ain't never got a whiff of Tech N9ne don't even know they're Tech N9ne fans, so I gotta do everything in my power to get the world on Tech N9ne and not just 400,000 people. It's got to be more, we gotta get the rest of the world. So this being my last album truly I wish I could just chill with my children on an island somewhere, but time won't permit that, I gotta keep moving. That's what it is.

Dubcnn: What made you want to turn the new album into a double disc?

Because it's like, I've been doing a whole lot of living and I write about my life man. I write my life and I had to tell everything, from beginning to end. Travis kept feeding me beats and initially I had 19 beats chosen. When I got through those, Travis sent me new beats! I was like "Dude, you can't keep giving me hot shit! I'ma keep writing!" This is my life, I got a lot to say homie! He gave me 32 tracks, so I did 32 tracks! I ain't just writing songs to be writing them, I'm writing real scheisse here homie. What can I do if the nigga gave me 32 tracks, I gotta spit that! That's how it happened. He kept feeding them to me so I had to keep executing them.

Dubcnn: It seems like you really touch on everything on this record, from paryting, to self reflecting music to just hardcore rhyming. What situations in life influenced you to write the songs on the new album?

I wrote "Psycho Bitch 2". The first "Psycho Bitch" came out 2001 on "Anghellic" so it's like, for me to write "Psycho Bitch 2", that means I'm still dealing with psycho bitches! Now I'm girl crazy, so I'm dealing with women, that's what I do. Then dealing with women, you encounter psycho bitches, you know what I'm sizzlin'? Therefore, I'm gonna write about them and situations make me write. I tell people that I don't believe in writer's block, I think the key to overcome writer's block is to read something or have something happen to your ass. Go out and do something, have something happen to your ass. I got a lot of shit happening to me, so that's what I write!

Dubcnn: Is the song "Love You But Fuck You" based on a true story?

All of it! It's true situations! My third verse is about my wife.

Dubcnn: Yeah I was just listening to that like is that for real?

Yeah, man. It's for real like a muthafucka! She ain't heard it yet but she ain't gonna like it too much. But I got love for her, we just went through a real bad time last Christmas and I had to write it! The second verse is about fans, a father and a daughter, that followed my tour but they wasn't really father and daughter they was boyfriend and girlfriend. Crazy shit man going on around me. The first verse is about Kutt Calhoun's ex-girlfriend, she's my sister. We had a disagreement because she felt like... it's a long story man, but it's all true stories. Everything I write is not fabricated, I don't put it on steroids or nothing, it's the reality, it's my life.

Dubcnn: One of my favorites on the album is "Why You Ain't Call Me?". What pushed you to make that record?

Oh my god! That's one of my favorites too, cause I've been wanting to say it for a long time! Being an independent artist that tours a lot, you run into a lot of mainstream artists. You might have to do a summer jam with Twista or you might have to do shows with Ludacris or be on a Jay-Z tour, or...

Dubcnn: T.I. and Keyshia Cole.

Exactly, exactly! So that being said, you encounter some people and a lot of them are cool as hell and they know that you got the heat! Album after album, they come out and nobody ever calls you. Like damn, they come up to you while you on the tour like "I love your music bla bla bla", and it's like "Okay nigga, show me! Put me on one them tracks, nigga! One of them big hits that you got!" You gotta look at it this way, they got niggas that's just getting out of jail, they ain't trying to help no other nigga they don't know from Kansas City. But at the same time, it's just me asking as a MC, "Why you ain't call me?", I'm cool now but it would have been easier for me in the past. I ain't bitching or crying, I'm just asking like nigga why you ain't call me? You know I got the heat! That's all I was saying.

Dubcnn: So your problem is more with the artists and the industry not paying you the respect you deserve, rather than with the fans?

Totally man. The fans pay a lot of respect. I've come in contact with a lot of MC's on many levels and all of them showed me love for real, so I ain't really salty at all. But I just had to let them know that it was on my mind, cause I speak my mind. So if I tour with Jay-Z for 27 shows, I'm thinking that after that maybe you'll hit a nigga up like "Tech, I got this idea, let's do a song!" Just shit like that man, but I ain't really on nothing for real, I'm just letting niggas know what's on my mind.

Dubcnn: Then on the song "Crybaby", you make fun of all the rappers complaining about the state of Hip-Hop, saying you love the state of Hip-Hop right now. Where does that fit in with you saying you don't get the props you deserve?

I'm not talking me, I'm talking about cats that's already out here crying about Soulja Boy, crying about Shawty Lo, crying about all the cats they see and hear on TV or on the radio. That ain't got nothing to do with me, I'm on the outside looking in, I ain't in their world. I'm saying that I'm listening to all these niggas crying about what's on the radio, and it's funny cause if that was me in the same position as some of the multi million dollar rap acts, I wouldn't even speak bad on nobody like Soulja Boy, I wouldn't!

I'd be proud that a young black brother is making it out of the ghetto, that's what I would be proud about! His kids are gonna be rich and maybe their kids are gonna be rich! I congratulate, I know that a lot of rappers don't do what I do, so it's like I ain't gonna go cry about it like "Oh they can't outrap me and I'm not even on TV or on the radio!" I ain't gonna do that! That's what "Cry Baby" is about, nigga stop crying, go get your money, it's money out here for all of us!

Dubcnn: I feel you. You were saying that with this album, you're trying to get even bigger. But is breaking into the mainstream even something that you'd want to achieve? I mean you have a loyal fanbase that supports your every move, do you really need bandwagon fans who'd hop on for an album or two before moving on to something else?

Let me tell you something about me. The thing about Tech N9ne is, since I've started I've been getting my music to the rest of the world. The reason why we say "Fuck the industry" is because the industry won't take chances with new music, people like myself. The object is to get the music to the rest of the world, not just who got it right now. My music is supposed to be for everybody, so when they say mainstream, they talk about it like it's a bad thing! But why would it be a bad thing for somebody as raw and real as myself and as pure as myself to offer myself? So that's what it's all about.

When we say "Fuck the industry", we're talking about the people who run the machine, the machine that dictates what's on TV and what's on the radio. So that's what it's all about. It's about Tech N9ne getting to the rest of the world, the object is to get me everywhere, because I am something that's pure. They say "Oh Tech N9ne is probably gonna go mainstream", but what would the mainstream be with a bit of Tech N9ne, a bit of pure, raw, uncut talent?

Not saying that it ain't pure, raw, uncut talent out there, cause you got Eminem out there, you got Kanye out there and so on and so forth, but this is even different than that. This is me being all the way inside out, not hiding anything from anybody, speaking what I know 100%. I can stand behind that 130%. So it's about getting it to the rest of the world. Yeah my fans are loyal, but my fans, all of them don't even know that they know about me, because Tech N9ne is for the world, not just for the 400,000 people that listen to me at this moment. It's for them and it's for billions more that don't even know.

Dubcnn: Could you see yourself signing to a major label?

*laughs* I mean, we're Strange Music, they're gonna have to offer me and Travis a whole bunch of money before I sign, I'll tell you that! What we built is priceless. You might have to ask Travis O'Guin that question, because nigga I'm talking about they're gonna have to offer us sooo much money! Cause what we've built thus far, I can't even tell you! So I gotta laugh at that, we're good where we are right now and until somebody starts talking billions, then maybe we'll start talking about that.

Dubcnn: Can we expect a video off "Killer"?

Totally. We're first shooting "Everybody Move", then we're gonna shoot "Like Yeah", then we're gonna shoot "One Good Time" and then we're gonna see what we're gonna shoot after that!

Dubcnn: You have a couple of legends featured on the album, Ice Cube, Scarface and Brotha J. Let's start with Ice Cube, how did you connect with him and Brother J for "Black Boy"?

Oh my god! I've been a fan of Ice Cube for years. I'm talking about like I patterned my first rhyme after him, I've been a Ice Cube fan for years. To be able to hook up with Robert Redd over there at Lench Mob Records and have him hook us up with Ice Cube like that man, it was a blessing. And having Ron Spaulding and the people over at Fontana hook me up with Scarface, it was blessing, I've been a Scarface fan since day one, since the Geto Boys. It's like, to have both of those pioneers on my album meant a lot to me, that they respected my music enough to take the time out of their busy schedules to do that for me. I adore them for hat forever and I'm forever indebted to them.

Dubcnn: On "Killer", you bring us the second chapter to "Psycho Bitch. I had heard that Brotha Lynch Hung was supposed to be featured on it, what happened to that?

I guess Brotha Lynch got real busy man. We sent it to him and he got it, but I think he's been going through a lot of legal stuff back home, I don't know the story. But as you know, us at Strange Music, we gotta move! So when we send something, we only got a certain amount of time to wait. I did this whole album in a month!

Dubcnn: 32 tracks in a month?

Yes man, I don't know how I did it but we did it in a month! So if somebody gets too busy and can't send it back, we gotta keep moving to the next thing. I really love Brotha Lynch Hung and his skill, I think his skills can't be fuckin' matched, that boy is sick with it, that boy is.. man I have no words! I know when a nigga can rap, I know when a nigga can go, like T-Nutty or any of them cats, I'm talking about real go with verbal play, wordplay. Lynch Hung, that boy is nuts! I would have loved to have him on "Psycho Bitch 2" cause that would have surprised the hell out of my fans cause they love us together!

Dubcnn: How about a Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch album?

Yeah man. I want him to do Nnutt Howze with me! This is my wish list for Nnutt Howze: Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch, Eminem and a female rapper by the name of Sundae. She's from Atlanta but resides in Kansas City. I haven't seen her in years but that would be my wish list man, for us to do a group called Nnutt Howze. That's like four crazy muthafuckas together, Lynch Hung is one of the ones that could pull it off, I know he can! I know Eminem could pull it off, and I know Sundae could! A lot of ya'll probably don't know who Sundae is, look her up she's sick!

Dubcnn: If you were to recreate Nnutt Howze, would it involve your old partner IcyRoc?

Ahh, I don't know! I don't know man. The only way IcyRoc would be involved is if he can give me the sound that I'm looking for. That's nothing personal, but Nnutt Howze is gonna have to be something astronomical! Usually, when niggas have astronomical beats, I'm working with them. If niggas can't show me something astronomical that can move me, Nnutt Howze wise, I don't give a fuck if you helped come up with the name or was a part of the group Nnutt Howze. If you ain't up to par, nigga I'm not fucking with it. Love it or hate it!

It's not about a friend thing or a family thing when it comes to me working with music, it has something to do with talent. IcyRoc got talent, if he can get me some more "This Ring", "It's Alive" and "T9X"'s, we can possibly do some more music. But until anybody from my past shows me that they got the heat, then it's beyond this world, because the shit that I choose beat-wise, if you listen to "Everybody Move", "Like Yeah", "One Good Time", "Cry Baby" and all that, all the beats I chose them! That's what I feel is the scheisse right now. It's like, you got to have it, especially doing something called Nnutt Howze. If you got a name like Nnutt Howze, it can't be vintage! It could be vintage mixed with a lot of futuristic shit, but it's got to be something that people ain't never heard before. So if IcyRoc got that, then we'll work. If not, we won't.

Dubcnn: I heard you were also planning on re-doing "Stamina", is that something that you're still planning?

Nah. I was gonna do "Stamina Part 2" but it makes no sense! I tried it a long time ago, it was stupid! *raps Stamina* Nothing would be better than "Stamina, I'll be damn, If I'll ever be, Took away by the demons, I'll never be what 's the weather, When I bust a rhythm I come, With the heater cleverly, Nigga nothin' will never be, So killa , flowzilla, gorilla, If flow was a felony I'de be, In a line hella doing time, For the (click, click) TECH N9NE!" I don't give a fuck even if I just went super fast *raps super fast* No, man! It's just stupid! I tried it and it wasn't right. I tried to do it for "Absolute Power" and I was like "Nah, this ain't right". You can hear hints of it in "Like Yeah" with the beat and shit like that. You just gotta catch it! But I don't think I'll be doing "Stamina 2", I tried it and it was wack!

Dubcnn: Did the early leakage of the album piss you off? I know you've been very vocal about supporting downloading, because good music is going to sell anyway. How did you feel about "Killer" leaking online?

Man, I didn't give a fuck! Travis and them did, and I understand why they got upset, but for real, my fans love my music and I got a lot to offer. We give a lot on purpose. All these muthafuckas that downloaded my shit, they're gonna buy it man! They're gonna wanna know who's on the song, they're gonna wanna know what the rest of the artwork looks like and all that kinda shit. And they gonna wanna buy the 3 songs that didn't go on it that we had to give to retail! The title track "Killer" is not on the album, we took it off to give it to Best Buy, FYE or whatever. Another song called "Get Your Attention" that's a club hit like a muthafucka ain't on there, and "Smoke Something", which we released earlier. They're gonna want those. I wasn't pissed at all when it leaked, they loved my shit and I love them for loving it.

Dubcnn: Man I wanna go back in time with you for a minute. The first time I heard your music was on the "Gang Related" soundtrack on the QD3 produced track "Questions". How did you end up being on that soundtrack?

That was because I did a deal with Quincy Jones in 1997, and in '98 they hooked me up with Suge Knight and Death Row, QD3 did. Suge Knight and the people at Death Row heard the song that me and QD3 did called "Questions" and they remastered the album. The album was already mastered ready to go out without my song on it! Then they heard my song and Suge made them remaster it. From jail, too! So they remastered it to put our song on it, I loved big Suge for that! That's how people got to know me worldwide for the first time.

Dubcnn: What about QD3, is there any chance of hearing you on some smooth QD3 beats again in future?

I hope so! I hope so, I hope so.

Dubcnn: I'd like to know how you first got into making music. Obviously, it's something that's in your heart as your music is truly original. However, who were your music influences when you were coming up?

Ice Cube, anything NWA was my influence back in the day. Public Enemy, Mantronix, Just Ice, Eric B and Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, KRS One, the old school man! I'm a old school head and they taught me how to do power music!

Dubcnn: You've done a lot of songs about all kinds of different drugs. How different do you think your music would be if you never took any drugs?

I think I wouldn't have touched a lot of people man. My imperfections, they touch a lot of people. When I was doing Ecstasy and I almost died... I mean maybe they didn't try to do 15 pills, but I did, and I almost died. I spoke about it and I told them don't try this at home. I was just a part of my life that I had to speak about. But without it, I probably wouldn't have touched a lot of my hippie ass fans!

Dubcnn: I was about to ask you what the wildest shit was that you experienced while under the influence but I think you just gave it away. *laughs*

*laughs* Hahaaa!

Dubcnn: I don't think you could top that.

Man, come on. Fuckin' in the hotel lobbies and shit, getting kicked out of hotels for fuckin' in the sauna and shit like that. I was a bad boy man. You're liable to get off the elevator on my floor and see me in the middle of the hallway having sex with a bitch, when I got a bed in there! What sense does that make? I was going all out man, and the fire escapes in the hotel rooms! I'm talking about for real man, giving bitches rug burns and shit.

Dubcnn: I get the picture. Something that's always brought up when talking about Tech N9ne is the 2Pac song "Thugs Get Lonely Too". What's the correct story behind that track? From what I heard, 'Pac had asked QD3 to put you on the song before he died?

      To find out the answer to this question and for the rest of the interview, look out for Part 2!


Tech N9ne Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here


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