With Tech N9ne’s buzz seemingly reaching new heights every day, it is becoming more and more obvious that his craft is making an impact on the music of his fellow emcees. Seasoned veterans such as Busta Rhymes, E-40, Crooked I – and more recently, the likes of Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne – have all expressed an admiration for the undeniable talent and hustle of the Kansas City King. Music is not the only form of art that Tech influences however, and the work of proud Technician Martin Kondrat A.K.A. KontraQ is a testament to that.
“Me being an artist, my goal in life is to get my artwork and designs on everything and anything that can be considered clothes. My artistic style is partially influenced by the Kidrobot brand, and all my ideas and concepts come from either my own personal life experiences or hip hop music, mostly being Tech N9ne, cause shit..hes been through a lot and has a LOT to say.”
Martin has been drawing unique artwork his entire life, but until recently, didn’t have a solid direction to take it in. It was only two short years ago that Tech N9ne burst into his life and everything began to change.
“First time I heard Tech was in a friend’s basement. We were going over the line up for Rock the Bells ’09 and Tech N9ne was on the list. I had only heard of him but never heard his music. So my buddy played one of his most recognized songs ‘Caribou Lou’ and I really liked the track, his flow and the tip he was on. Once I saw him live at Rock The Bells I started to really listen to him. His performance was so dope! When I found out he was coming back to Toronto [the next year]..I got excited like a school girl. Of course I had to cop me one of them VIP packages.”
Within 10 months of being introduced to the sounds of Strange Music, Martin was able to experience what some Technicians all over the world have waited years to do – shake hands with the King of Darkness himself; an honor that would not go unappreciated – or be taken lightly.
“Meeting Tech N9ne…I wont front, was intimidating. I’d say I was pretty knees-deep in his music at this point and he had too-quickly climbed to the #2 spot (at that time) in my top 10 favourite artists of all time. I was nervous, but he turned out to be real down to earth and a nice dude. I remember Krizz and Scoob were there too. All three of them seemed really dope.”
Since then Martin has never looked back, and has now attended every show Tech has done in Toronto. Even on the Canuck The Industry tour, when he was unable to attend the VIP meet and greet, Martin got a chance to meet Tech again as Joe Vertigo, Krizz Kaliko, and Mr. Yates himself walked past the early-bird line–big bags of ethnic Toronto cuisine in hand, of course–and shook hands with every fan weathering the brisk Canadian air outside the empty venue before the show. The balance of incredible talent and the humble, appreciative attitude Tech N9ne displays would be an inspiration to any starving-artist, and provided Martin with just the spark he needed to set his plan for success into motion.
“Tech has influenced my grind in a big way. He sends off a lot of messages to fans as far as living your life and doing whats best for you. As far as my artwork goes, I’ve found that for every one person who doesn’t like it, ten more love it. I stick to drawing things in my own style no matter who I’m drawing for, and that person will know that before hand. I’m not trying to be like anyone else in this world other than myself. Tech’s song ‘Fuck The Industry’ is a perfect example of what I like to live by. Doing my own thing at all times, and avoiding kissing anyone’s ass to get accepted in any way.”
Adapting Tech’s never-budging attitude of always staying true to yourself is something that has no doubt affected the lives of many Technicians, artists and non-artists alike. For an artist, seeing Tech rise to monumental success with such an attitude intact is all the more sweet – giving hope that perhaps one day they may be able to do the same.
The Pledge of The Technician states that together our power is limitless, but no matter how much inspiration Tech sparks, there still seems to be one thing no Technician can do…
“My favourite album? I can’t really pick to be honest! A struggle between K.O.D., Anghellic, and maybe All 6’s and 7’s. But I really liked Killer also. I don’t know, its hard to choose! To answer it better – every album didn’t have any disappointments. I can listen to them all front to end.”
Evidently, even the artistic Technicians are no different.
Check out some of Martin’s KQ Designs below…