‘Our Story Is Getting Bigger and Bigger By The Day’ – Tech N9ne Speaks On KLUSTERFUK, BET, and Strange Music [Interview Recap]

Mar 2 2012

Tech N9ne

You may have tuned in for Tech N9ne’s live podcast interview in which he gave a glimpse into his upcoming KLUSTERFUK EP, but in case you didn’t, here’s what you missed.

In this interview segment, Tech N9ne discusses why he chose ¡MAYDAY! to produce the entire project, the different sound you can expect on KLUSTERFUK, how it feels to finally have a video up for vote on BET’s 106 & Park, and what he loves and hates about being in this music game.

About KLUSTERFUK, when did you know that you wanted ¡MAYDAY! to produce the entire project and what made you want this?

It was All 6’s and 7’s Tour and they played me “The Noose”. They were just playing me beats and I said “Give me some beats. I wanna hear some shit because I’m about to do some music.” They came up to my bus and they were playing me something and I was like “Damn! These are hard!” Then “The Noose” came on. It had this verse on there, I was like “Wow.” When it went off it didn’t have Bernz on it yet, it just had Wrek singing. It was so atmospheric and so beautiful. I said “What is that? Who’s is that? Can I have it?” Because as soon as I heard it, it touched me. It just took me to Camp Pendleton and I’m like “Can I please have that?” And they say, “You can have whatever you want.” I said “You’re going to give me this dog? Are you fucking crazy? This is a fucking smash!”

By listening to all those beats I’m like “You know what? I’m going to do this six-song EP called KLUSTERFUK, I want you guys to do all the beats” and when I say shit like that, like back in the day when I told Krizz Kaliko “Hey, I want you to do this whole album with me, it’s called Absolute Power,” in his mind he was like “Yeah, okay. Whatever.” He was like “He talking shit” but he actually did the whole album with me. They probably thought the same thing, like “Yeah right, Tech. You got Seven, you got Fire, you got Matic,” and others, but they did! They sent me two CDs, two sets with a gang of tracks on them and I chose like six on those two CDs. We did that shit and it turned out beautifully. I was just listening to it last night like “I’m truly singing like every fucking song.” I’m singing like on four out of six – the hooks. Wrek does one called “Blur”. Krizz does one called “Can’t Stand Me”. I wanted to use a mariachi band – this is way different music. A lot of the fans may not not like it but I love it because it took me someplace else and that’s why when songs like “Can’t Stand Me” came out and when I heard it I kept saying “I hear a mariachi band on this shit.” But I only had four days to do the motherfucker.

When I was in Australia we were getting death threats from Sultana Bianca and all that kind of shit and I was kind of bummed out the whole time over there. So, because she was giving us death threats I couldn’t like kick it with other artist like I wanted to. B.o.B wanted me to get Kid Cudi for this “Strange Clouds” remix that we did but when we got those death threats my security had to move me to different hotels. So, I couldn’t really kick it with Obie Trice and them and all that kind of shit so I was already bummed out about that. We’re billed in hotels where there was no food around because we were so far away and then Travis called me in the midst of me being bummed out, because I had to be away from everybody and really on alert because Sultana Bianca had said some shit like “It’s going to be silencers in the club for you tonight” and shit like that. It was like really fucked up. Like damn, we showed her so much love – so it’s fucked up. So when Travis called and said “Tech man I just realized that when you get back there’s only four days in the studio that you have to do KLUSTERFUK.” I was suppose to say “I cant do that shit.” Plus I had to do one for ¡MAYDAY! for their album: the song “Badlands”. So it’s like I had to do seven songs in like four days and I’m Superman so I told Travis “Yeah I got it” but I didn’t think I had it. I said “I’ll just start writing it out here” but the shit I was writing out there–because of my situation out there i couldn’t really concentrate to write because we were getting death threats from a person that’s suppose to love us. It was kinda bummed out so I really couldn’t write like I wanted to.
They just don’t know we have to take precautions when that happens. We have to take everybody seriously. Even though she’s a small woman, we have to take everybody seriously because this is their town. We don’t know who she’s with. We don’t know anything so we have to move like somebody is really trying to kill us and it was bummed out. So I really couldn’t write like I wanted to so on the way back. The 14 hours back I wrote the intro to KLUSTERFUK. I’m singing the intro so fucking beautiful. I just got back and I did all the songs and I was done by Friday. I started Tuesday and I was done Friday.

You’re a pretty self-aware emcee because you’re able to recognize when you get better, do you feel that you progressed or evolved on this EP? You listen to songs like “Technicians”, “He’s A Mental Giant” and you think “We haven’t heard this before. Tech’s getting better.”

It’s just I feel the music and I just go with what it says, and it’s weird how it happens – how shit just comes out like its a freestyle and I’m just writing what comes to my head. I just did something for Stevie Stone and it’s called “808 Bending” and some of the styles and some of the pitches that are coming back from the 90s, when Tech N9ne was first getting out there. Some of those pitches I’m bringing back, with my voice and my voice inflection. It’s like it’s schizophrenic all over again. It was so weird I just didn’t know that it would come out so quick but it’s really good music.

So do you have any favorite songs on KLUSTERFUK album?

I don’t even know if I should be saying these titles but “DKNY” gotta be one of my favorite ones. It’s called “DKNY” and it stands for “Different Kinda Nigga You”: “do your thing you different kind of nigga you.”

Let’s move on to “Am I A Psycho?” being for vote on 106 & Park. Do you feel that it’s long overdue for you to be on that show?

I think it’s a long time coming because it’s been long overdue – because I been rhyming my ass off for years. I always said the real shit will always shine. No matter how weird it is, no matter how different it is, if it’s good it will hit the surface sooner that later. They just told me the video with me, Twista, and TT is on MTV Jams now, “Midwest Meltdown”. I just saw “Am I A Psycho?” last night on just on a humbug, watching MTV. Then the fact it being on 106 & Park – I’ve never been on 106 & Park with a video “new joint of the day”.

Being able to vote on it is a huge thing for me – to see my name on there – because years ago they wouldn’t play my video because my name was Tech N9ne, because of the gun. To see it now on there like I spell it, like my name – because they wanted me to change my name because they wanted me to say “N9ne” but I said “No fuck that! I’m not changing my name.” We had a little success on back then on Uncut with “Imma Tell” but that show’s like after-hours, so prime time like 106 & Park is a big thing for me. I’m like “What the fuck?”

It’s so crazy how shit changes and the video that they’re playing, I never would have thought Black Entertainment Television would play the horror flick video but it’s wonderful. It’s a mash up. I always do mash-ups, I always take the underground with the mainstream. I think that’s wonderful: me, Hopsin, with B.o.B. Me with T-Pain and Wayne, we got a song called “Fuck Food”! Just taking the underground and main and meshing it together and still making beautiful music. Me, Mint Condition, and First Degree The D.E. Mash-ups I do because I think that people do wonderful music on every level, so we shouldn’t be separated – as long as it’s good. I do wonderful mash-ups. Like you take a song with Busta Rhymes and Yelawolf and Twista and you put me on it and you put Twisted Insane on it, you put D Loc on it, you put motherfuckers from Denmark like Uso, motherfuckers from Turkey like Ceza and JL, everybody. All these would be stars, it’s like, it’s about skill and music. It shouldn’t be about what “level” you on. Fuck that, we all come together: whether you a mainstream nigga or I’m an underground nigga, we come together. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Tech N9ne, we did “The Boogieman”. That’s wonderful shit. I love mash-ups!

People don’t expect B.o.B. and Hopsin. I don’t know why, because they both have one thing in common, we’re all lyricists and it don’t matter if a motherfucker on some King Gordy shit. Nigga I would put King Gordy on a song with fuckin Kirk Franklin just to fuck with people! Naw, I wouldn’t really do that. You can’t have Jesus over here and “I fuck Jesus in the ass” over here. Naw you can’t do that but what I’m saying is I like mash-ups man. I don’t think that “levels” should matter.

What’s some of the positive changes that you think the example of your success could bring to the music business?

I think it’s open for everybody and I think my story will spark other youngsters to want to do it on their own and believe that they can keep pushing. I got shunned by my own people because I paint my face and had spiked hair and the shit that I spoke about –my religious beliefs and this that and the other. I was supposed to stop a long time ago and shoot myself in the head but I kept moving. But now that I kept moving look where I’m going!

I think it made hip hop look at us like “Whoa! Tech N9ne is creating a new lane!” Naw, it’s back to basics: touring, fucking merchandise, quality music. So it’s making hip look at us like “That’s a wonderful thing ya’ll doing over there and ya’ll don’t need a major machine to do it!” You know, I think a lot more people are starting to do that. Even T-Pain is doing it on his own and that’s a big thing cause he’s a big seller. I think it’s gonna motivate a lot of other people to want to do it themselves and motivate them to keep going man – my story. That’s what I think.

Coming out the middle of nowhere, where opportunity is none when it comes to music. We don’t have Def Jam Midwest, or Sony Midwest, or Warner Brothers Midwest, or nothing like that so what do we have? We have Strange Music motherfucker. So yeah, we sign CES Cru, yeah we sign Stevie Stone, yeah we sign ¡MAYDAY!, yeah we sign Brotha Lynch Hung, yeah we sign Prozak, fuck yeah we sign Jay Rock, and the list goes on. We’re just going to keep on moving as a record company. Our story is getting bigger and bigger by the day. It’s so many things that’s happening. What I’m about to do when I leave and go to LA tomorrow is going to fuck everybody up. I can’t really say it, but it’s for my new album and it’s a fucking milestone. It’s like the reason why I started this label now. Happening in LA in the next two days and I can’t wait until I’m able to tell everybody. Big things are happening. It’s got me scared shitless. Like I could fart right now I’m so nervous thinking about it.

Your early dealing in the music business didn’t really work out too well. Do you think that disappointment gave you the patience to come this far? Like “Anything is better than what i went through, so I’ll go back to doing shows with ten people in the audience.”

That shit helped me. It let me know what I didn’t want to do again. I wouldn’t take that shit back for the world. Those were experiences that I’ll never forget. It let me know that I really don’t like the music industry and the people in it. I really don’t like them. I love creating the music, recording it. I love performing it for my fans, showing off and putting out new music for them. I hate going to radio stations. I hate taking pictures but I do it well. I just don’t really like the business really at all. The music business: a lot of people in it are not really into music. I can’t say that for everybody because I’ve met some really good people in this music industry. Not just good because they helped a nigga out or no shit like that, but these are like genuine people that I’ve met along the way and we work with a lot of them. Still ‘til this day you find angels in this business but it’s not a lot of them. A lot of shit is artificial and we’re from Kansas City and we’re real people, so we’ll know what shit is fake. We don’t care if the shit is fake, we just recognize it, but I don’t have to like it. I like creating the music and showing off for my fans. That’s it. I don’t like nothing else.


– Interview conducted by Jeff Nelson, Senior Blog Editor (@JeffreyPNelson)


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