Tech N9ne: King of Darkness

AllHipHop Staff

Beneath the trite, one-dimensional “Rap” landscape there is a lair of darkness. The darkness should not be confused nor associated with any macabre notions. This solemn refuge is a haven for creative and lyrical Hip-Hop. At the center of this subterranean empire sets a throne. Atop that throne sits Aaron Yates, affectionately known to his loyal subjects as, Tech N9ne. Even though Tech began his ascent as a B-Boy, he became baptized in rhyme back in '85. Ever since he has been on a mission to satisfy his insatiable appetite to extend his dominion.

An unapologetic audacity is exuded from Tech as he readies himself to conquer the mainstream. The deafening chant of “F*** The Industry” is just one of his audible calling cards. Some people are unable to see past his painted face and sometimes-spiked crimson coif; however, others welcome his darkness. With his absolute diversity comes a greater perspective. There's no manufactured pretense in this MC's persona. If he's in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri or if he's abroad, this autobiographical lyricist is always approachable. is granted special access to the undulating thoughts of Tech N9ne. The self-made wordsmith discusses everything from earning his platinum status, to becoming Hip-Hop President to signing Brotha Lynch Hung. Tech N9ne isn't defying boundaries, he is opening eyes that have been blinded by the light. This afflicted angle demonstrates how one may go from the darkness to the light. Your popularity has grown over the years, in September of '08 you became the first ever indie artist to earn platinum status, to what do you contribute this feat?

Tech N9ne: I don’t know, mama. I think that we have a lot more work to do. Travis [O’Guinn, business partner] called me and said that we did that. I was cool. I was happy with it; but, it let me know that we have a lot more people to infect. We have to infect them because we are independent and we don’t have no videos or no radio. For that to happen it’s a wonderful thing.

The fact that we’re touring so much and we’re keeping it global. Day by day, tour by tour, year by year is why that happened... I’m spreading like a plague, baby. I’m just trying to get down these motherf***ers throat; because, they talk so much s*** about me— about me being a devil worshiper and all that. I’m an angel, you know what I mean— this album is the one that’s going to say f*** you, that you felt that I was a devil worshiper... I don’t give a f*** what n****s think about me; and I said that ... This is going to be the one. The fact that they we sold a million doesn’t matter; we have to sell a million more. This is the first time that we got international distribution, all over the world, n***a, on this album—it's about to be murder! [King of Darkness] is out. How do you challenge yourself to exercise your creativity with each new project?

Tech N9ne: Every album keeps getting better and better to me, lyrically. I challenge myself daily. Sometimes I’ll write a word, like, before I start to rhyme it. If I say something like—“Man, I feel it, I can’t shake it/indicates my space is a basement/ I can’t erase my abrasive encasement…” The first thing I say is, “I can't shake it...”; then I know that I can rhyme that, “ indicates that my space is a basement...”; I know that I can work around, “my space is a basement...”; then out of nowhere, something will come up like, “I can't earse my abrasive encasement”... you know what I'm saying?“I'm chasing matrix, appetite's not complacent...”; where the f*** that come from? I just sit there. I'll rhyme a word and then I'll rhyme a rhyme. Then all of a sudden they'll just all come out; like, beautiful f***ing rhymes. I challenge myself every time. The music business is inundated with affiliations and politics; why should you be elected as Hip-Hop's president?

Tech N9ne: Because, just think of it like this, I'm the number one independent artist in the world; just imagine if I was on TV and radio like the rest of these n****s, what else would I be number one at? I don't give a f*** how weird I am, I don't give a f*** that I paint my face, or nothing. I love Hip-Hop. So, just imagine if I wasn't just grinding on the streets; because, that's all we do. That's how we became, number one, independent. We just do what we do, we don't even dabble in radio or video...

That's real. If we started doing Tech N9ne like they do Lil Wayne, like they do Jay-Z, like they do all these other n****s, like they do T.I., just think of what I would be number one at. I already know that I can run for Hip-Hop president and wreck it; because of my charisma, because of my skill, because of my brain, because of my heart, my soul. I give it all. I think that that deserves the highest point of appreciation from the fans. I give it all; and not being closed-up or boxed in with my lyrics.

"Show Me A God" Would you thrive in this office? What rap laws would you abolish or repeal?

Tech N9ne: I don't really know, man. I think that all's fair in love and war. A lot of n****s be hating, just because I don't rap how they rap... I can be in the club and say, “Hop up out the bed, get my swag on/ take a look in the mirror/ say what's up/ yeah, I get money/Oh!” Come on, man. I can say that and have a good time. You're there to dance. A lot of these n****s hate 'Nah, that ain't real Hip-Hop, nah that ain't real Hip-Hop. That n**** is mesing it up.' Shut up, get your money! Leave that man alone; that's young money. I wouldn't abolish nothing. Maybe I would abolish n****s wearing these tight ass pants, that's about it. [laughs] So, lemme find out Tech doesn't wear them d*** print jeans.

Tech N9ne: Hell nah! I would abolish these n****s wearing these tight ass pants. But, these are kids, most of all. So, if that's the style with the kids then we'll laugh from afar. You know that song, “Teach Me How To Jerk” [by the New Boyz] is dope as a motherf***er... Them n****s are taking it to the floor and s***. I don't know how they hit the floor with them tight ass jeans on... But if I were to abolish anything, being Hip-Hop president, I would have them take them gaddam tight ass jeans off they ass and put them back on they woman. It's been 10 years since you partnered with Travis O'Guinn to create your imprint, Strange Music. The roster is growing; how would you describe the feeling you got once you had the ability to offer, Brotha Lynch Hung, a deal?

Tech N9ne: They see what we've been doing since we've started. Brotha Lynch been a beast for years. When he came out with 24 Deep I was a fan. I got real cool with him when I was touring the Midwest area. They've seen me come from nothing to something. So, it's like, why wouldn't they? When I offered them a deal, we were like this is what we can do, this is what we got—this s*** is wonderful, roll with us, n****. Why wouldn't they, when everybody else is on the decline, and we're on the incline.

 "They talk so much s*** about me— about me being a devil worshiper and all that. I’m an angel, you know what I mean— this album is the one that’s going to say f*** you, that you felt that I was a devil worshiper."

-Tech N9ne Is there a release date for Lynch's Dinner and a Movie?

Tech N9ne: There was a release date, it was going to be the same date as K.O.D; but he's been working—and whatever it takes to get that music out, I don't give a f***. That second single, hardcore, baby. He's so f***ing talented, lyrically, you know what I'm saying? That n**** is dope! That motherf***er is murderous. This n**** is insane; but, in a beautiful way. When I first started hearing about you I assumed you were from The Bay. It seems like I always heard you on tracks with Northern Cali artists. Are you still a member of The Regime and are y'all still working on music?

Tech N9ne: Forever, I will be a member of The Regime, all hail the Colonel, motherf***ing Yukmouth. Yeah, whenever Yukmouth hits me up and say, 'Ay, I need like two of them.' When ever he calls me it's on and cracking. I don't give a f*** what I'm doing; that's my brother. Man, he put me on back then—and didn't have to; because, he loved my talent. He a real n****! Let's go back to Anghellic, On “Cursed,” you mentioned Tupac. Did you have the opportunity to work with him before he passed?

Tech N9ne: Not before he passed; we were planning to work while he was here. QD3 did my music and he did Pac's music. He did “To Live & Die in L.A.” QD3, Quincy Jones the third; yadada, we were planning to do a song together—then he passed. A couple of months after he passed, QD3 said, 'Ay man, do you still want to do that song with Pac?' I'm like, “What do you mean?” He was like, '” left a verse open for you on this one song.” I'm like, Sure. And he sent it to me and I did it. 

“Thugs Get Lonely Too,” [I'm on] the first one, on Makaveli 5, “thugs get lonely too/ thugs get lonely too/ it don't matter what you do/ thugs get lonely too...” It was the very first one, not the one that Eminem remixed, with Nate Dogg and them, not that one. They took my verse off that one. Yeah, the s***'s off the hinges; I'm honored.