You’ve seen and read thousands of interviews with Stange Music’s main man Tech N9ne, but what you haven’t read is an interview like this. In Tech’s own words, “..This is the best interview I’ve ever done.” So, as always we bring you another exclusive, up close and in-depth interview with one of the world’s favorite rap artists.
GW: What up Tech?
TECH N9NE: Kickin’ it like a donkey, that’s what’s up! [Laughs] Do you know what that is? It’s like you’re kickin’ it so hard.
GW: What do you have going on right now? I know you’re on tour and you’re almost finished right?
TECH N9NE: Yeah, I’m on tour. Yaddamean and we’re all beat, but you can’t tell when we’re on stage because the music controls us. I have Stevie Stone out here, he brings an explosive show, Jay Rock the same, MayDay you know, wonderful and Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun. It’s like a wonderful, wonderful line up. And we’re almost done.
GW: What are you going to do after your tour?
TECH N9NE: When the tour is done we work on our calabo cd. Another calabo cd called “Strangeland” with all of us on it. All of the artist’s I have on Strange Music. Ya know what I mean; it’s going to be massive. We’re colleting beats for it as we speak, ya know what I mean, and it’s going to be beautiful.
GW: Do you consider yourself the fastest rapper?
TECH N9NE: No. I don’t care about that.
GW: You don’t care about that?
TECH N9NE: No. You know what I’m sayin’, it’s not how fast you can go, it’s how clear you can go and how many styles you can put within it, you know what I’m sayin’ to captivate fans. It’s not about [starts rapping really fast], oh he’s the fastest rapper! No, I’ve never cared about that. Personally I dislike writing fast, but I do because that’s one of my specialties. It’s extremely hard to do and it takes longer and whenever someone wants me to do a song, they want me to rap fast [Laughs] and if the beats really slow, I’m like damn! [Laughs] But you know what I mean it’s all good because I do it like no other. But I don’t clock myself. I want to make sure I’m saying everything, clear. [Starts rapping to0 fast to understand] Ya know what I mean, I want you to hear what I’m saying, and it’s about that. Now you let the fans clock me. They can clock me if they want too, but I never cared about that.
GW: Calm before the Storm, can fans expect a part 2?
TECH N9NE: Did you say Calm before the Storm Part 2? NO! The storm already came! Ya know what I’m sayin’, that was the calm before the storm back in the mid 90’s, like 90 something, I forgot when it came out. But hell no! The storm already happened; the storm is still going on. This is truly the prefect storm. The storm is now; the storm is as we speak.
GW: Which song was the hardest for you to write, in terms of difficulty and emotionally?
TECH N9NE: It was a song called Low; it’s on KOD. I ran from it, for a long time because I was already in a dark place writing that whole album. Because my mom had been sick, ya know pancreatitis, epilepsy, lupus all at the same time and thank God the pancreatitis didn’t take her away, due to some freak thing that happened, maybe it was pray, maybe it was God who knows. But Low, I ran from it because I knew I was going to be talking about what’s makin’ me low. [Starts singing] I’m sinking again, I’m drinking again. Drownin and wildin you breathin’ again, Is easy to sin when you bleeding within’, Needin the grin, cheese and recede in the spend, Lower than low, lower than low, That’s how I feel in the morning, Lower than low, Lower than low, That’s how I sound when you callin’, Lower than low, Lower than low, I’m high but feel like im falling im sorry but I feel lower than low.
I just knew how it was going to bring me deeper down in that hole and I probably wouldn’t of got out, but I wrote it. I think I just kept it at two verses because I didn’t want to go no further. Ya know what I’m sayin, I was like nu-uh, I’m going to be stuck down here and it scared the hell out of me. Ya know it’s a beautiful song; how could I been so down like this when everyone is paying attention to me and the music is going so beautiful. But I was running from that song, I missed three deadlines from running from that song.
GW: What would you be doing it you weren’t rapping?
TECH N9NE: It’s negative what I’m going to say. Okay?
GW: Okay, I’m ready.
TECH N9NE: [Laughs] Dead or in jail! Music saved my life! Everything I do, I do to the fullest. So if it was gang bangin’ I was gonna do it so the fullest. If it was gonna be dope sellin’ I was gonna do it to the fullest. Music got me away from both of those things, right in time.
GW: So you were that close to either making it or literally breaking it?
TECH N9NE: Oh hell yeah! I’m going to tell the normal rapper story, except mine is real. I’m from the ghetto [Laughs]. But that’s what makes the story even better man because we started from nothin’. All I have is my talent and it’s working. Ya know, people are recognizing the talent, that’s the Cinderella story man. We had nothing, we had roaches; you hear other rappers saying “I’m from the ghetto, we had roaches and rats…” it’s true, it’s true. Go to Kansas City do your research, they’d be like oh yeah he lived on 904 Michigan, where’s that, that’s in the projects.
GW: Did you really start painting your face to get over your fear of clowns?
TECH N9NE: Yeah yeah yeah yeah. I use to be scared of clowns when I was young. We had this thing in Kansas City, it was a myth about this guy who drove a yellow van and painted his face like a clown and wore a clown suit, and they called him the Killa Clown and he’d come kidnap kids. We never saw it, but every time we saw a yellow van we were paranoid and terrified. I use to also go to the circus when I was young and the clowns always scared the hell out of me, because I never knew what was behind that painted on smile; whether it was malicious or whatever. I wanted people to listen to my music but when I was in school rappin’ the girls would like “ooooh Aaron he’s so cute…” and was like ah shit. So I was like I’m going to paint my face and fuck up my hair, see if they listen to me then. They listen to me now and I still paint my face in honor of Brian Dennis my best friend, and they still say Aaron is so cute. [Laughs]
GW: Is there anything that you haven’t written about that you’re holding off on or just haven’t had the chance to write a song about?
TECH N9NE: There’s a lot of stuff I hold back on that I haven’t written about. That’s because if I truly let all my secrets loose too many people will be hurt by it. Some things are better off not said. I say a lot, I give my fans everything, but if they knew the deepest darkest secrets…oh my god man, people would probably hate me… fans would probably love me, that weren’t involved. But some things you can’t say man, ya know I’ll say some shit that would put me behind bars for real. [Laughs] For real man I did some shit in the past, especially when I was on them drugs. That ecstasy and shrooms, that acid, GHB , those days oh my god. I told my fans about the nights that I did it, but I don’t go into too many details about the people that were affected.
GW: With that said, [Laughs] what is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
TECH N9NE: Ah nah man! [Laughs] How you gonna ask me a question like that Tiff? [Laughs] What’s the worst thing I’ve ever done? Wow! That’s funny. I’m gonna act like I didn’t hear that. I can’t even think of anything off the top that’s suitable. [Laughs]
GW: [Laughs] That’s why GUTTA WORLD Magazine has a parental advisory. We choose not to censor our material.
TECH N9NE: That’s good, you shouldn’t. I wish I could give you something…. What’s the worst thing I’ve ever done?!?! Woooah! Like for real? Do people actually answer that question?
GW: Yes, but it’s usually bullshit.
TECH N9NE: See I’m a real dude, so none of my shit is bullshit. Ever. Let me see if I can think of one that’s okay to tell. Ummm… Okay, being high on ecstasy, being in one room with my girlfriend at the time and walking across the hall seeing two beautiful chicks on the floor doing each other. Then stepping over them into my bodyguards room, then the girls follow me into the bodyguard’s room and they both do me while my girl is in the next room. And I go back over there with my girl and just sit there. [Laughs] I wasn’t supposed to tell you that story. Because actually I don’t remember that happening, but it came out that I did it. And the girls fessed up to it, and I was like I don’t remember anything like that, but that’s what they told me happened. That’s pretty bad.
GW: Some would say that’s bad, others would say that’s cool.
TECH N9NE: Nah that’s not cool. That hurt some people.
GW: What’s been the best moment of your life so far?
TECH N9NE: What’s been the best moment of my life, [Laughs] after I told you something I wasn’t supposed to tell you?! And that’s going to resonate. Ah, I should’ve just told that story. The best thing in my life are the kids that I have, they are the love of my life. Aliyah Renee Yates, Dontez Antonio Yates and Reign Michael Yates, twelve, sixteen and sixteen man. They are the best thing ever; they make me laugh and laugh and laugh even when things are sad. They’ve got jokes, they tease me about my music, “daddy that’s whack” ya know that’s so funny. Nobody tells me stuff is whack. Like when they first hear a song they’ll be like daddy that’s whack [Laughs] I appreciate them, ya know what I’m sayin’, their just so funny. I did this song called “I’m Doin’ It” it sounds like I’m in Miami Florida with like a flower shirt on and their like daddy that’s whack! What are you doing, doing a song like that daddy?! I was like I felt that! And they tease me. [Laughs] They are the best thing that ever happened to me man. That’s why I do this music man, for their future. They are my three angels. That’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
GW: Aw, that’s sweet.
TECH N9NE: Yeah, cause how can a klusterfuck like me have such beautiful children?! Three beautiful angels, they are just so beautiful, so polite, it’s crazy.
GW: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
TECH N9NE: My biggest pet peeve, racism. I don’t like skinheads, I don’t like racists, I don’t like Nazi’s, anybody that hates a person because of the color of their skin or their culture, anything. If there is a God, I don’t think God ever wanted separation, I don’t think he ever wanted people to hate each other because their different. My biggest pet peeve, ya know what I mean, and I stand on that. I think it’s fucking ignorant, people are different you just have to adjust in a world where everyone is different. Different cultures, different things we eat, different things we listen to, don’t hate somebody for that. You have so called white supremacists, only fuck with white people. That’s cool if that’s what you do, you can have your family over there, I don’t think separation is good, but when you hate somebody else because they aren’t what you are, that’s my biggest pet peeve. Ya know what I’m sizzlin’, how can there be racism when everybody watches sports, how can there be racism when everybody loves Michael Jackson, ya know how can it be? But it is. It’s fucking stupid. And the gang banger thing. I grew up in a blood neighborhood; everybody knows those are my colors. The more I think about it, it’s like everybody is supposed to work together to get to a point in life and ya know what I’m sayin’ to where you’re comfortable. I don’t give a fuck if its crip, blood, fuckin’ folk, ya know what I’m sayin, any gang. If a motha fucka ain’t fuckin’ with your family or took your bitch or took your money, then we should be figuring out how we can make money together. The more I think about it the gang shit is just like racism. You see a mutha fuckin’ color and flip out. It just happened to us in Reno, I don’t like that shit. I encourage mutha fuckas to try, if you can, let’s link up together. Let’s think of a way we can get money together. Brotha Lynch is on my label, Strange Music, he’s blue all day. Jay Rock, he’s on my label, he’s red all day. It’s like we have to start somewhere with this bullshit that is taking away all of us at once. So while we’re busy talking about racism outside of us, it ain’t just black mutha fuckas that are gang members, it’s all types of gang members. But we as black men have a plague on all of us and especially us that belong to a certain side, and I do, but I’m trying to do something. Glasses Malone is like one of my coolest partners, crip all day. Ya know what I’m sayin’, it don’t matter that’s a real nigga right there. I love him; I’ll kill somebody for him, if they fuck with him. That’s just to the extreme right there; I hope I never have to kill nobody for anybody. That’s just telling you how much love we have for Glasses Malone and he’s from a different side. And one of his home boys named K Boy, hardcore gangsta, love that nigga, crip like a mutha fucka, it’s about us getting together and trying to make magic happen so we can take care of our children. And we killing each other over colors and shit, over territory is played the fuck out.
GW: What’s the next music video you have coming out?
TECH N9NE: World Wide Choppas. Me, Busta Rhymes and a host of other folks; Twista, Yela Wolf, we doin’ it big. It’s time to go, if I wasn’t on tour right now I’d be shooting it.
GW: Is there a date yet?
TECH N9NE: Nah, just after the tour. I know my last date is August 6th, in St. Louis so after St. Louis we’ll drive three hours to Kansas City and we’ll start work on Strangeland and try a lock in a date to lock everybody down for the video.
GW: What do you say to these people that say you’re a sell out for working with Lil Wayne, Twista, Busta Rhymes and all of these other major label artists?
TECH N9NE: The people that are saying that probably haven’t heard the album. That mutha fuckin music is from Strangeland, so if you’ve ever been to Strangeland, if you’ve ever bought a Tech N9ne album, so know what my music is going to sound like, it doesn’t matter who’s on the album. But when you hear the song with Wayne and T-Pain, which is probably the one that everyone is complaining about, that shit, is a gothic movie. That is an epic movie, that’s in Tech N9ne land. That ain’t any poppy bullshit, it’s not. And I’m not sayin’ Wayne and them do poppy bullshit, Wayne and them do wonderful music but it’s your preference. But Tech N9ne’s shit is unlike anything on television that you see. That’s what we’re trying to get on television, that other shit. Like Michael Jackson doing thriller, but hip-hop shit, gritty. That’s funny I just said poppy bullshit and named the king of pop, but fuck that I love Michael Jackson. [Laughs] But the people that say I sold out probably ain’t heard the album. I think to everyone that say I sold out can suck a big mutha fuckin dick that goes to left like me, kinda curves to the left. Ya know what I’m sayin’, my dick they can suck it! I put my heart and soul into that album and I don’t think they know one mutha fucka that can put together an album that beautiful, that they buy. I’m willing to say that, they don’t know a mutha fucka that gives his all like that and it’s all elite music. So they can suck a mutha fuckin dick if they think just because I worked with Wayne and T-Pain and Snoop Dogg and E-40, these are my mutha fuckin niggas. So when they talkin’ shit, tell them to listen to the album over and over again and if they still think I sold out they can keep suckin’ my dick and kissin’ my ass. As a matter of fact my dick is too valuable for them to suck it, so no they can take a foot up their ass from me, ya know what I’m sayin’ if their like that, but my dick is off limits. So they can’t suck my dick, I take that back, not even with a condom on it.
GW: Who’s been your favorite person that you’ve had a chance to collaborate with?
TECH N9NE: Roger Troutman. I did it years ago before he died. It was a big thing because when I was younger I use to have to shovel snow to be able to afford to go buy his record at Landing mall when they use to have Music Land there. Ya know, I’d go down to Music Land and buy his record, after I shoveled six driveways or more, in the cold as a kid. So to be able to sit in Kansas City and have him fly down to work with me and do a beautiful song with me that I did for my album Angelic, the last song on Angelic; we remade one of his songs that I loved when I was younger called “I Wanna Be Your Man”. I loved that song so much I shoveled snow until I could go down to Music Land at the Landing and buy that record. To be able to recreate that record with him and for him to hear the beats that my homie made and he okayed it, that’s the best thing man. Walking down the street with Roger Troutman, when we took a break and he tellin’ me man, your energy reminds me of Tupac man, you know what you want and you know your music. I was like really? Yeah yeah you remind me of Pac bro. I was like that’s crazy, that’s a compliment. I’ve worked with a lot of people, but that was a big one.
GW: So Tech [Laughs], do you really think some of your fans stink?
TECH N9NE: [Laughs] Yeah man it’s because… yeah it just happened to me yesterday. I gave this girl a hug and she smelled like big onions, and I’m talkin’ like big onions, like an onion patch. I’m like if her underarms smell like this how does her pussy smell? Ya know what I’m sayin. The guy that’s with her, why wouldn’t he tell her, because I gave him a hug after giving her a hug and he didn’t stink, she did. She had on a mini skirt and she smelled like onions. Ya know I meet a lot of people during the day, I might have a signing with seven hundred people or a meet and greet with a hundred people or seventy people or sometimes twenty people, but sometimes those people are taller than me and those people want to put their arm around me and their underarms are on my shoulder. If they have onion on their underarms, then they leave the onion on my shoulder, so the next person that gives me a hug is going to smell onion and they’re going to say Tech N9ne stinks. I’m known for smelling good, I smell good for my fans. What in the fuck do they do to smell like onion when they come meet me? Why wouldn’t someone say, get the onion off you before you go hug Tech N9ne, please. Most of them are girls. Dude it smelled like she had fucked like six dudes the night before and then was like oh we have to go see Tech N9ne, but on your shit and lets go, boom. I would’ve appreciated it if she would’ve said, Tech N9ne I had a party last night and there were six guys and we were drinking Caribou Lou and KCP, we were mixing it and tried the new ghettos and I got a little drunk and I did some ecstasy and I fucked all six of them. But I just woke up so sorry I stink. I’d be like damn baby you’re really kickin’ it, you smell like onion like a mutha fucka. I’d tell her. [Laughs] And I don’t like to stink. I iron my clothes. I’m about to start getting ready for a meet and greet right now, so what I’m going to do after this is; I’m going to iron my clothes, I’m going to wash my ass, I’m going to use my fuckin’ powder fresh secret, fuck anybody that says it’s for girls, it’s strong enough for a man but made for a woman, that shit works like a mutha fucka. I’m going to step out there and somebody is probably going to stink, and now what we do it block their arm. When they try to put their arm around me, I put my elbow up like uh huh no. It’s funny because we have to stop their arm from going around us. Don’t put your arm around me because your underarm might now be cool. I’ve given away my shirts before, like Tech N9ne jerseys. I was at a place eating in Kansas City and some fans were sitting across the way and they were like can she please have a picture with you. She put her arm around me and her underarm smelt like onion! She left it on my all white Tech N9ne jersey, I sat down and I was smelling’ it, it was on my right shoulder, I was like fuck I stink down. Luckily I had a t-shirt under it, I took off my jersey I gave it to her and was like here you go. She was like on my god that’s the biggest thing I have ever had, but what she doesn’t know is that I gave it to her because she stunk it up! A hundred and something’ dollar jersey, a Tech N9ne jersey, a brand new one. I have a million of them, don’t get me wrong we sell them, but I don’t like to give it away. Unless you have sex or something with me I’ll give it to you, ya know that’s a different story. I can understand if we’re at a gathering or something and we’re in the woods for like five days, yeah you can, stink I get it. Not when you’re leaving home and you’re coming to the show and you smell like you’ve been in the woods for five days. Just don’t come stinkin’ me up and shit, its embarrassing.