The industry must be puzzled. How did this independent label from Kansas City take the world by storm? How do they keep consistently pulling big numbers without millions upon millions being put into radio?
With Tech N9ne Collabos – Strangeulation flying off the racks at an alarming rate, we talked to the brainchild behind the collaborative effort and got Tech N9ne to call in for a live podcast.
What did we learn from our interview? That this is just the beginning.
We are on the line with Tech N9ne, welcome to another edition of the Strange Music Podcasts. We’re going to talk about Tech N9ne Collabos – Strangeulation, the Independent Grind Tour 2014 and last but not least see what we can get out of the General about his next solo album, Special Effects. So without further ado, how are you doing today Tech?
I’m kicking it, laying in my bed on the tour bus, staring at my big ass TV that I never turn on. The only time I turn it on is when I get dressed for the meet and greets I listen to Strangeulation.
One thing I’ve always wanted to ask you is that I’ve seen you listening to your own stuff and it almost seems like you’re listening to someone else.
Yeah, I am. I’m listening to that guy within me. That’s the crazy thing about me and I think it will explain a lot of the things I do, like get in fights with people on Twitter. Something in me feels normal, but I have an abnormal thought process. I try to do normal things, but being this abnormal guy that everybody knows and I said it in “Pinocchiho”, “I just wanna be a normal boy.” That’s just how I see myself. I think that’s crazy and when I listen to my music it’s like I’m listening in awe every day.
Like when I listen to my verse on “American Horror Story” [spits] I’m just like damn, that’s so dope! That’s how I wanted my rapper to sound, like when I was younger. I wanted to be everything and when I listen to me and hear a song like “Make Waves” then go straight to “Fear” it’s something totally different. I’m listening in awe, like a fan. It’s a crazy, creative part of my brain that just pushes the line every time and I’m so thankful for it. I really, really love that dude Tech N9ne. He saved my life.
You were talking about the growing chip on your shoulder and on Strangeulation I hear a lot of the FTI sentiment even though it’s not so explicit, it’s definitely there. And to me it changed since the beginning where it was more of the underdog thing –
Yeah, it’s like growing pains. Like we see what we do every night on late night television yet we haven’t done it on an awards show. We start looking at how much we put into it and how much thought goes into the artwork and the music and the lyrics and what we give to our fans and everything. And we see how easy it is for most motherfuckers and I’m tired of these motherfuckers because we are the truth. Ask Jay-Z, Eminem, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Andre 3000, Busta Rhymes, Russell Simmons, Jimmy Iovine and Quincy Jones what they think about Tech N9ne. Ask any of these motherfuckers what they think about Tech N9ne.
That’s where the growing pains come in because we know we have what it takes to go global and it’s happening. We’ve been pushing and we’re going to keep pushing and that’s why we keep showing out on records because new people are coming in every day. We know that we have something special and we want the world to know it. It’s constant energy struggles trying to push to the rest of the world because this ain’t no flash in the pan bullshit, this is our hearts and our lives. And to be able to do it for people every night and have sold out shows is a fucking blessing! But – it’s arena time, motherfucker, arena time.
Most of the album was produced by Seven and you even give him a special shout out in the album notes. Can you just describe your trust in him and how that has grown over the years?
Man, I am so blessed to have a producer of that magnitude. It’s hard to please me when it comes to beats – hard. Motherfuckers give me 40 beats and probably I won’t choose one. Motherfuckers give me 80 beats and I’m like, “Ehh…” There was a time around K.O.D. when Seven was giving me shit that didn’t work, but then it just started happening. It’s like everything he plays me I’m like, “What the fuck!?” And they all sound different. Seven and N9ne, we’re just something. That’s why the Strangeulation Cypher beat meant so much to me because I rapped on a Seven beat back then during the 50 MC’s when DJ Fresh put it out I didn’t even know Seven. When they said here’s the song we want you on, it’s called “Ready for the Meat Wagon” that was my first Seven beat and I was like, “Who did the beat?” A white boy from Wichita named Seven? “Oh, okay.”
And after me and Seven actually landed something on Everready, which was “Come Gangsta” it was a fucking milestone because that song is just a stamp. This is what we do, this is everything, this Tech N9ne and everything we do in one song, just like “This Ring”. Since then he would give me some every once in a while but it’s gotten to the point now we’re so in tune with each other, it’s hard for anybody else to get in. It’s getting real brutal.
He just sent me two beats within the last week for Special Effects and I’m fucking floored. It’s like here we go again, pushing the line. And some of the Special Effects stuff was seeping in on Strangeulation. Travis asked me if I really wanted to do that he said, “This is album shit.” And it is! But I can’t do anything less. I won’t slouch and I have to pick up where I left off.
I think you’ve signed 10,000 preorder booklets or something like that for this album – what does that tell you about what you’re doing?
I told Travis when we did All 6’s and 7’s and I signed 7,000 and I messed up my right shoulder I said, “I can’t do this anymore, we’re getting too popular.” This time the preorder was so immense that I ended up doing 10,000 of them! I said I’d never do 7,000 again and it just tells me that it is growing. This is the most preorders we’ve ever gotten and that’s including my solo releases. I was like, “Whoa!” We shot so many videos for this CD and now it looks like we need to shoot more! And it’s a wonderful album and I can’t believe it’s growing like that. I just got an offer to do this really big festival from some people that I admire and it’s like, “Here we go!” Where I’ve been trying to go, they finally called me… Wait ‘til you find out what it is!
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