Tech N9ne: Fully Loaded

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, Missouri’s 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,” Tech’s 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. 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 ain’t better than Absolute Power [or] Anghellic!” I’m 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 ain’t one of those artists that do, like 50 songs, and then choose, like, 12 from that. If I record 20 songs, we’re gonna use those 20 ‘cause I’m talking about what I’m going through. Even when I’m partying with b***hes or whatever I’m doing, I’m gonna tell ya how I’m kicking it with b***hes. If I’m 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 can’t have Tech N9ne because the Samoans are so unruly, (and) that he has riot music, and we can’t do that,” I’m 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 – [it ’s] wonderful. 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 don’t know nothing better. Nobody knows me better than me, so why not rap, and why not tell you about me? I don’t want to tell you a fabricated me. I don’t want to tell you a false-hood me. I ain’t got that. I don’t know that, ‘cause that s**t can be found in the future. [Like,] “You said this, but you don’t 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 that’s one thing I do in my rhymes. Although you’ve managed to maintain your relevancy as an MC amongst your friends, fans and peers in the business, for some odd reason you haven’t technically garnered that crossover appeal -– What do you feel has really been the key to your ongoing success?

Tech N9ne: That’s 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: it’s 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 ain’t got Scarface? How many n***as you know ain’t 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, you’ll 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 can’t 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,” you’re like, “Put on your f**k ‘em girl dress, f*ck ‘em girl, f*ck ‘em,” They’re 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, I’m gonna go out, I’m gonna party, and I’m gonna f**k somebody else.” That’s what it’s all about. You write that, man, and that’s the key to longevity –- being you, being true. 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 don’t want to take chances with new music, and make music go to another level to inspire the next man to do something even greater. They’d rather…When Young Jeezy came out, they’d rather make 10 more Young Jeezys and keep us right there. Young Jeezy’s 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 he’s supposed to take it to another level. And, then Young Dro comes out, and he’s supposed to take it to another level. You ain’t supposed to just keep it down here. Rick Ross, he’s supposed to take it to another level right there. See, but they’ll try to make 10 more of those artists, and you almost gotta feel ‘em because they want their money right now. They want what’s 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 what’s hot right now, and then when that’s over, they’re done with that.” They won’t take chances with new music, man, and that’s why I feel like the industry is punks still to this day. 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. That’s what I wanted to do this for. I wanted to make my music to travel, and to show my kids that there’s something more than just Kansas City, or something more than just L.A., there’s something more than just New York. There are other places where we can go, and kick it like donkeys. So, if I’m not doing music, if I ever get a break, and I doubt it [laughs] but if I ever get a break, you’ll 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 that’s 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 don’t 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, don’t turn down s**t but your collar, punk! 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, I’m becoming the savage beast -- which is bad. But, I’m a little piece of love in a pit full of demons, which means I’m 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, [I’m] 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. That’s why these b***hes be coming out these clothes because they love what I do, and I don’t think that that’s groupie s**t either. I think that’s overwhelming to a woman. Some of these n***as though you gotta be careful ‘cause they’ll say, “Tech, man, we love you, man, and my wife really wants to sleep with you!” You gotta tell ‘em, “Hey, don’t ever auction your wife off like that ‘cause she won’t come back!” And, it’s, like, I’m 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 ain’t nothing I can do when I’m married to my fans, ya dig? But, my fans are the reason why I can take care of them [my family], so I’m gridlocked!! So, I’m put here to soothe the savage beast, but I’m becoming the savage beast, and you know what? I like it.