If you’ve been frequenting the Tech N9ne blog for the last eight months or so (and why wouldn’t you?) then you have probably seen one of TechNIXian816’s astounding fan covers – whether it’s him spitting “Worldwide Choppers” at double (!) speed or posting a cover less than an HOUR after the track was released, TechNIXian816 never disappoints.
Strange Music caught up with this ‘Master of Covers’ over the weekend, one Mr. Robert Nix, 21, from Poway, California, and had this conversation.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your aspirations.
I was born in California, grew up in Las Vegas, and moved to Poway in ninth grade. I joined the Marine Corps in 2008, got out in 2011, and currently I live at home with my mother, two brothers, and my sister. Right now I‘m looking into going to school for music production, as I’ve always been infatuated with entertaining people – I’ve always been the class clown, the guy that just lived to make people laugh. I would probably die without music, so I want to get a career somewhere in the industry, I would love to be able to work with Tech and the rest of Strange in one way or another.
How did you get into Strange Music?
I used to have a passionate hatred for hip-hop. I was, and still am, a die-hard Slipknot fan, and one day a friend of mine played “Breathe” when we were hanging out, and right off the bat I couldn’t help but be astonished by what I was hearing. It was in that moment that Tech quickly showed me that hip-hop was capable of being more than “snap your fingers – do your step” and all that crap.
I will argue with anyone to the death that Strange Music is the greatest and realest label out, there is not one artist on Strange that is whack – they are all lyrical geniuses. Kind of like Crooked I says on “Sickology 101“, “The English language gotta do whatever my verse say!” – that applies to all the Strange artists, they force the English language into submission with every bar.
What was your first cover?
My first cover was honestly not even a Strange song; it was actually “Good Morning SwizZzle” by SwizZz.
What inspired you to do Strange covers, as well as just covers in general?
Like I said, my first cover wasn’t even a Strange song, and I did it because someone said posting me doing a cover was something they didn’t think I had the balls to do, and after I did it I was so pleased with the final product that I wanted to do more. When All 6’s And 7’s came out and I heard “Am I A Psycho?”, I was so pumped for Hopsin, and I loved one particular part of his verse, when he says, “With the wicked wreckage I contain, I could probably jeopardize your name, no lovey-dovey let’s ignite the flame, if you’re lucky you’ll survive the pain.” because that was THE LINE that made me feel I could handle doing something like “Worldwide Choppers”, and it was all history from there.
What is your favorite cover you have done?
Honestly I don’t know that I could pick just one. I love “Midwest Choppers” simply because I think Krizz Kaliko’s verse is the BEST featured verse on ANY of the Chopper songs, so I would say it’s between that one, and the cover I just posted a few weeks ago of Mayday’s “June” – simply because I never thought I could sing, but I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the cover. Ok sorry, I have to throw the “Kill Shit” cover in there too, haha, I mean, hell, I covered the verse the same day the song came out simply because of how much Tech just floored me with that verse. I just thought “I need to do this verse!!!” so I made it happen after about an hour or so of trying to figure out what the hell Tech was saying, haha.
What cover took the longest to master? What was the quickest?
The longest cover would probably have to be “Welcome To The Midwest” – just getting the part down where Tech and Krizz go back and forth was difficult as I had to get the breath control down perfectly for it. The fastest was “Kill Shit” – like I said it took me an hour to figure out the lyrics, and after that it was easy enough after a few listens to perfect the flow of it.
What advice do you have for anybody else who wants to do covers?
I’m a huge believer in this theory I remember hearing a long time ago – “Once you repeat something eighteen times, then it’s committed to memory.” It also helps a lot if you learn the lyrics slowly on your own, then practice it “acapella” so to speak. Once you have that down, try doing it with the song playing.
Is it different to listen to a track after you have covered it?
Definitely. Now when I listen to new Strange tracks, or anyone for that matter that chops, whether it’s Tech, Krizz, Godemis, MGK, Wrek, anyone, I sometimes find myself playing tracks for friends and asking them, “Does this sound fast?” – because now that I’ve been doing this, I can keep up on a first listen, so I’m not really sure how quick what I’m listening to is. I even find myself saying shit too fast for people to understand just when I’m talking, it may sound like a displeasing thing I guess, but I love it – it makes it even easier for me to appreciate the lyrics the first or second go round.
What are your favorite Strange Music tracks?
What are your plans for the future?
I would really like to get into the music industry one way or another as I said, even if I’m just part of the road crew. If I was part of road crew for Strange Music, that would be completely OK with me.
In closing, do you have any words for the world of Technicians?
Honestly I have a little bit of a “beef” with Technicians right now. I’m tired of so many sleeping on everyone else on Strange Music because they think Tech is the only talented one, or the only one they care to take time out to listen to. With artists like Kutt, Krizz, Stevie, Brotha Lynch, Mayday!, and everyone else, they all should be just as hyped up as Tech. I truly believe that if we all get behind all the other artists and hard as everyone is behind Tech, Strange Music could easily take over the mainstream, the only other labels I feel are even on Strange Music’s radar honestly are, Funk Volume, Aftermath, Top Dawg, and MGK by himself. I’m also a huge MGK fan. I’ll be laced up until I die.
Basically all I’m trying to say is give the rest of Strange, and really just other artists in general a shot.
I just want to thank Tech for everything – his amazing music, giving me the amazing story of rapping “Worldwide Choppers” with him at the Lost Cities Tour show, and loving all us fans so much.
Stay Strange and lace the fuck up!
Subscribe to TechNIXian816’s YouTube channel here and keep up with all of his covers.
– Jason Ours, Strange Music contributor @JasonIsSTRANGE