Having already garnered an extensive fan base worldwide, an impressive catalog of recordings, and amassed individual album sales far beyond the 500,000 mark, Kansas City, Missouris own reigning rap champ, Tech N9ne, unbelievably, is still not quite a household name yet. Although He has continually toured around the globe, been featured on platinum soundtracks, and worked extensively with Sway & Tech on The Anthem, Techs sales for his latest, Universal-distributed Everready: The Religion remain under the 50,000 mark, the artist who never quits doing spot dates makes a convincing case for just how real he keeps it. With a Quincy Jones cosign, Tech N9ne is fully loaded and quick to jam.
AllHipHop.com: How does Everready measure up to some of your previous efforts?
Tech N9ne: I know, and this is a big statement, this is my best album. Now every artist might say that, and you listen to it like, Naw, it aint better than Absolute Power [or] Anghellic! Im gonna tell you this, this music is a perfect blend of the personal stuff from Anghellic, and the party-feel from Absolute Power, and then more. I just write my life as I go. I aint one of those artists that do, like 50 songs, and then choose, like, 12 from that. If I record 20 songs, were gonna use those 20 cause Im talking about what Im going through. Even when Im partying with b***hes or whatever Im doing, Im gonna tell ya how Im kicking it with b***hes. If Im trying to go over to Hawaii with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and all them, and then the promoters call back from Hawaii and say, We cant have Tech N9ne because the Samoans are so unruly, (and) that he has riot music, and we cant do that, Im gonna write [about] that. [Tech starts reciting, in his rapid-fire delivery, that exact rhyme from Riot Maker] I write my life, no matter what it is [its] wonderful.
AllHipHop.com: What do you feel is the driving force behind your intense lyricism?
Tech N9ne: Everyday life experiences. Quincy Jones told me in 97, Quincy Jones, and when he talks, you listen, he said, Tech, rap what you know [cause] if you do that, people will forever feel you. And, he was right cause I dont know nothing better. Nobody knows me better than me, so why not rap, and why not tell you about me? I dont want to tell you a fabricated me. I dont want to tell you a false-hood me. I aint got that. I dont know that, cause that s**t can be found in the future. [Like,] You said this, but you dont really do this. And, soon as they find out about you, nobody wants to f**k with you no more. That will never happen [with me]. One thing, I was raised a Christian, my mama married a Muslim when I was 12, from 12 to 17, Islam taught me always be able to back up stuff that you say cause people will bring it back and say, You said this. You gotta be able to back it up, and thats one thing I do in my rhymes.
AllHipHop.com: Although youve managed to maintain your relevancy as an MC amongst your friends, fans and peers in the business, for some odd reason you havent technically garnered that crossover appeal - What do you feel has really been the key to your ongoing success?
Tech N9ne: Thats crazy that you asked me that right after what we just said, because that is the very thing that is the key to my longevity: its to be you, at all costs. We are all in the same realm. We all watch the same movies. How many n***as you know that aint got Scarface? How many n***as you know aint seen Friday and Friday After Next, and all that. We all watch the same s**t and we all go do the same things. We all eat, drink, s**t the same, so if you keep that as real as possible, youll have millions of people that feel you, cause they can relate. If I do a song called Psycho B***h [from Anghellic], you know how many dudes can relate to that? Or, if I do a song called This Ring [from Anghellic], talking about trying to balance being a star, with being a faithful husband, and how I cant do that. [Laughs] You know how many married dudes that can relate to that? Or, if I do a song on Everready called F**k Em Girl, youre like, Put on your f**k em girl dress, f*ck em girl, f*ck em, Theyre gonna resort back to Martin Lawrence where I got it. You know how many women can relate to that? Like, F**k that n***a, Im gonna go out, Im gonna party, and Im gonna f**k somebody else. Thats what its all about. You write that, man, and thats the key to longevity - being you, being true.
AllHipHop.com: On a more serious, are you still harboring ill feelings towards the music industry in general?
Tech N9ne: Totally! I still feel like the industry is punks!! F.T.I. - F**k The Industry for life! And, the reason why I say that, why I still stand on it strong, is because the people who are driving this machine, this music, they dont want to take chances with new music, and make music go to another level to inspire the next man to do something even greater. Theyd rather When Young Jeezy came out, theyd rather make 10 more Young Jeezys and keep us right there. Young Jeezys supposed to keep us right there and Young Jeezy supposed to take it to another level on his next album. Then, Yung Joc comes, and hes supposed to take it to another level. And, then Young Dro comes out, and hes supposed to take it to another level. You aint supposed to just keep it down here. Rick Ross, hes supposed to take it to another level right there. See, but theyll try to make 10 more of those artists, and you almost gotta feel em because they want their money right now. They want whats hot right now. When you think about the major labels, you almost gotta feel em like, Okay, they just doing that because they want to do whats hot right now, and then when thats over, theyre done with that. They wont take chances with new music, man, and thats why I feel like the industry is punks still to this day.
AllHipHop.com: Because you spend so much time on the road, what do you enjoy doing when you come back home?
Tech N9ne: What I always wanted to do is to be able to take my children to an island, somewhere, like, Hawaii or something, or Fiji, and show them other places, man. Thats what I wanted to do this for. I wanted to make my music to travel, and to show my kids that theres something more than just Kansas City, or something more than just L.A., theres something more than just New York. There are other places where we can go, and kick it like donkeys. So, if Im not doing music, if I ever get a break, and I doubt it [laughs] but if I ever get a break, youll find me on a muthaf**kin island somewhere, kickin it with my family, baby, or kickin it with my friends, enjoying the fruits of my labor. And, I love the fans, man, and thats why I show em so much love. I never understood how a muthaf**ker can have a fan come up to em, and ask em for their goddamn John Hancock, or ask em for an autograph, and these muthaf**kers say no. I dont give a f**k what you doing, n***a, these people are the reason why you could do everything. These people are the reason why you can have these muthaf**kin shoes on your feet, and your kids can be spoiled brats. Your fans do that! So, dont turn down s**t but your collar, punk!
AllHipHop.com: Predicting ahead, where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
Tech N9ne: Five to 10 years from now, man an executive, mayn, in this music – executive, and rich ass muthaf**ker. I feel like God put me here for a reason to do this. I was put here to do music. I was put here to soothe the savage beast. They say music soothes the savage beast, so I was put here to soothe the savage beast. And, guess what? In the midst of it, Im becoming the savage beast — which is bad. But, Im a little piece of love in a pit full of demons, which means Im a worldly angel. Meaning an angel, a big hearted cat that has adapted to the ways of the world because you gotta adapt to the ways of the world in order to survive. So, how could I not pick up demon-like traits? But, [Im] more angel than anything. So, I was put here to soothe the savage beast, and I love that. I do music, and I soothe the savage beast. Thats why these b***hes be coming out these clothes because they love what I do, and I dont think that thats groupie s**t either. I think thats overwhelming to a woman. Some of these n***as though you gotta be careful cause theyll say, Tech, man, we love you, man, and my wife really wants to sleep with you! You gotta tell em, Hey, dont ever auction your wife off like that cause she wont come back! And, its, like, Im becoming the savage beast. I done lost my wife two years ago on Christmas Eve. She said she wanted to separate because a woman needs love, a woman needs time, and that aint nothing I can do when Im married to my fans, ya dig? But, my fans are the reason why I can take care of them [my family], so Im gridlocked!! So, Im put here to soothe the savage beast, but Im becoming the savage beast, and you know what? I like it.