Hip-Hop’s growing pains are

a necessary part of its living legacy. Today there are too many expiration-date

rappers who only spew Dr. Seuss rhymes. Thankfully there are still MCs,

like Tech N9ne, who are committed to preserving the craft. He is one

of Hip-Hop’s heroes; his lyricism cripples time’s exacting hands.

Just as Tupac and Biggie have been placed into’s Top

5 Dead Or Alive Hall of Fame, Tech N9ne offers his opinion of Hip-Hop’s

top wordsmiths.

Big L

Tech N9ne: He had style, he wasn’t just rapping [and] he flipped it often. He really had flow and he really had style; I love style. I love n****s that can get on there and style and show you that they can flip it; but, still rap. L was hard. I heard a lot of his freestyles. I heard him through Grant Rice [a Kansas City, MO MC]. What he played me made me say, ‘Gaddam, I wish I had got a song with this n****!’ You know what I’m saying, there aren’t too many motherf*****s that can make me say that. This n**** had flow. I heard a lot of his freestyles on some mixtapes that were coming out of New York. I was like, gaddam! Not too many motherfuckers can do that. 


Tech N9ne: His wordplay can’t be matched. If you listen to him; it’s sick! It’s ill, it has cancer [and] it has AIDS; that’s how sick it is! 

Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne: I love Tech N9ne; because, Tech N9ne is everything combined! It’s f***ing filled with sadness, gladness, everything combined! It’s confused, it’s sexual, it’s sing-songy [and] it’s hardcore. It’s not apologetic.

What one track would you recommend to a Tech N9ne novice?

Tech N9ne: If it was

back then I would tell them “This Ring.” But, if it’s right now,

I would tell them on the second CD of Killer, there’s a song

called “Can’t Shake It.” In that song you’d understand Tech

and that he has flow as an MC. You can hear it, you know what I’m

saying, Tech N9ne is incredible to me; because, it’s like it’s not

even me. But it is. I’ll listen to the music and be like, wow, where

did that come from?



Tech N9ne: D.O.C. was f***ing dope! D.O.C. was the final nail in the coffin that [made me say] okay I’m going to rap. There was always Public Enemy and NWA and BDP [Boogie Down Productions] and Rakim and all of them; but [after listening to] D.O.C. I said, ‘Yes, I got to do me some mother***ing music!’ He’s a lyricist. He even wrote for Snoop, on his album [Doggystyle]; because, he [D.O.C.]

didn’t have his voice anymore. Go get his first album No One Can

Do It Better. So, D.O.C.’s my fourth. 

Brotha Lynch Hung

Tech N9ne: My last one gotta be Brotha Lynch. Swear to God, if you listen to Dinner

And A Movie first release on Strange Music you’ll see why. That boy’s a gaddam lyricist! I don’t give a f**k how many people he’s eaten, how many abdomens he’s torn out, how many hostages he’s taken, the boy cannot be f***ed with, lyrically. He does it like no other. 


The Sidebar How do

you feel about ghost-writing within Hip-Hop? 

Tech N9ne: I don’t

like it! I mean, you know, maybe for R&B and stuff like that, or

Pop, yeah! Go ahead and do what you like; but, rappers and s***—if

you can’t write it, maybe you shouldn’t do it. I don’t know. I

mean, it works for some people; but, it wouldn’t work for me. If you

can’t write it maybe you shouldn’t do it!