The process of healing the soldier’s soul with his song “The Noose” has also given rise to an anger within Tech N9ne that is beyond anything he could have anticipated.
In this special Memorial Day interview with Tech N9ne, we discuss “The Noose” and what’s in store for the sequel to one of the most important songs in his career.
Being that the necklace that Tech N9ne received while on the Hostile Takeover 2012 tour has made a special appearance in the “E.B.A.H.” music video, we have updated this post to make it topical to this special moment.
“The Noose”, one of the biggest standouts from Welcome To Strangeland: what do I ask you about this song? Everything that it’s about is pretty much on the song.
Ask me about how it’s going out here on the road. Ask me about Jacob Wells and how he gave me his stripes on his necklace that I wear every day that have the beads from his ripcord on his parachute. What the beads represent and what the .50 cal represents and all that he went through to give it away. Ask me about how all the soldiers are bringing me their personal coats with their rank on it and everything and how the soldiers are coming dressed in their soldier attire saying “Thank you so much for ‘The Noose’.” Ask me about how it’s going so beautiful out here because when I wrote that song I thought my honesty was going to piss the soldiers off. Like “Giving my one and only soul for you? That’s a helluva job description. I don’t know if my God’s with this one.” I didn’t know how they were going to feel about that but I had to say what was in my heart and to go over there and find out that everybody feels that way, even the Master Chiefs, oh my God. It’s just the response is overwhelming. That’s why I did that song “Overwhelming” – this. Thank God for ¡MAYDAY! for inspiring me to write that. They had Wrek’s singing verse on it already, they had the music by Plex and everybody on it already and they presented it to me and it’s taken me so many places. The things that are happening on the road, soldier-wise, because of our attire on stage is in honor of them. Our backdrops and everything, our props on stage are in honor of the soldiers and the troops. You can tell that they’re receiving it well out here. It’s so beautiful.
Before you ever wrote “The Noose” you’ve been playing for troops and the appreciation back and forth keeps reciprocating. What is it about the troops? I think we all have a soft spot for someone who’s ballsy enough and puts their life on earth on the line for something greater.
You just said what I was going to say. I just love brave motherfuckers. I’m a brave motherfucker. It shows in my music. It shows in my music that I’m brave. I don’t give a fuck what people think or what people say, I’m just going forward. I fight forward lyrically. They fight forward in a different way. People say that “Your flag is backwards, the patch on your arm.” I say “No it’s not.” “The stars are on the wrong side.” “No, it means fight forward.” That’s how they do it when they go into battle. I adore the brave and I went over there and found out that they were just good people that want to go home and be with their families and that just made it even worse for me, like “Damn, I have to speak on this.” Now I’m about to speak on, how it’s on the news that these motherfuckers can’t get no jobs when they come back, and it’s a proven fact because I’ve talked to Jacob Wells on the phone a lot. Not as much as I’d like to because I’m busy but when I do talk with Jake: “It’s hard out here.” What I wear around my neck, if you knew what he did, what this means around my neck, for what he did – oh my God! The government is supposed to have them somewhere for something astronomical. He is not a dumb brother, from St. Louis, no he’s not. He’s in Arizona right now…not a dumb brother – very intelligent. A lot of these soldiers that I see on the news, they go “Well, when you get back, you have to start all over or pick up where you left off with the job you were at.” It’s like nothing out there, so my anger is building now. Because if you’re giving your “one and only soul for U.S.A.”, like I say on “The Noose”, “That’s a hell of a job description” and it’s been going on ever since Vietnam. You see them out on the streets and everything and I’m like “What the fuck?” You feel me? Anger.
You would think that these are the one people that the country is going to make sure have a good transition.
What the fuck?! So that’s what’s coming next – my anger. Like “Oh really? They’re missing limbs? They’re getting shit blown off? You’re giving them a motherfucking medal?” “Nigga I need to live! Motherfucker I got babies! There’s gotta be something you know if I’m over there for two years or more and I come back in and I have to try to start my job back up. Somebody’s probably got my position by now! And I’m fucking crazy as fuck because of the shock over there. What the fuck am I going to do? What the fuck you’ve got for me man?” I say that shit.
Tell us about Jacob Wells. How did you guys hook up?
I was doing a wonderful show for the first time thanks to Mercedez in Arizona, she’s been trying to get us in this place for decades. The Celebrity, bigger than the Marquee. We’ve been filling up the Marquee for awhile. It’s a beautiful thing, beautiful place–we love the Marquee. So The Celebrity was even bigger and we had a big ass show there. The venue is just so crazy. It’s like you’re in a gladiator hole. It’s a circle. Everybody’s around you. You perform in a circle. It’s crazy. I went over to him on what side he was on. I saw a black guy, he looked like a young brother, 25 or 26. He was real strong about what he was saying to me in the crowd. If you weren’t hip to what was going on with your fans you’d think he was tripping like “Fuck you, nigga!” Like he’s looking at you like that but he was looking at me like “I love you nigga! You got me through with this music nigga! Fuck this shit! This shit is wonderful! This is my outlet! Thank you Tech.”
That’s what he was saying and he had this necklace in his hand with .50 cal bullet on it, with the beads and everything and he was pointing to me with it and I said “are you giving this to me?” And he said “I can’t” and he pulled it back. I said “Oh I’m sorry bro I’m on the mic. All these people, sold out crowd” and he said “Tech, gimme the mic.” I don’t give nobody my mic. I gave it to him. I could tell he was a soldier by what he had in his hand. His voice was hoarse I guess from all that yelling. I called him up there and he said “Man you got me through this shit. I couldn’t of made it through that and to you, I’m giving this to you.” And if I knew what it was at the time, I would’ve ne’er put it in my pocket – I would have put it on immediately. I didn’t know what it was. I gave him the mic more than once. I held his hand through “The Noose”. It was real emotional man. I held his hand while I was doing it and when I said “Give my one and only soul for you? That’s a hell of a job description.” He started yanking my hand like he really felt it. After I got off stage they brought me to my bus and I took the necklace out of my pocket. I think Prozak came and told me what he said. He was outside I guess. He told me what it was and I don’t really want to say what it was. It’s sacred. It touched me. I’m like “Oh my goodness. I’m not supposed to have this.” I didn’t feel like I should be wearing it. I was wearing it and I said “I’m faking. These aren’t my stripes. I didn’t put in this work!” I said it on Twitter and Mercedez hooked me up with him I said “Give him my number man.” On the phone he told me why I should keep it. I got him through that. I am the reason that he made it through that hell and I wear that motherfucker everyday. That’s my dude man. He calls me every once and awhile, put some other people on the phone. Tell me they appreciate it. I don’t do that to people. I don’t let niggas call me and put people on the phone – that nigga I do. “There’s a very select few I let do that. “Tech, I got some people with me that want to talk to you.” Very select people I do that for. People try it all the time. That’s a real nigga right there a real brother right there man. I told him “I don’t know why we met but it will show in later years. If I can get you doing anything for Strange music I’d love to bro. ” Because it’s hard out there for him.
When you look back at your whole catalogue, how important is “The Noose” to you?
Oh my God. It gave me a chance to express my feelings. That’s what I do! I let you know how I feel and I do it every night on that stage. I get down on my knees and I close my eyes and I hold on to one of the fan’s hands, every night. Because it’s real real sentimental to me man. It’s real spiritual. I’m thanking God that it came out of me and I’m thanking ¡MAYDAY! for bringing that out of me. Thank you guys! That’s why I reach for different types of music because these people are going to pull something out of me that I never had pulled out of me. Klusterfuk came out of me because of ¡MAYDAY! “The Noose” came out of me because of ¡MAYDAY! “808 Bendin” came out of me because of Stevie Stone. “Kill Shit” came out of me because of Krizz Kaliko and so on and so forth. Things I do with Brotha Lynch Hung – “Takin’ Online Orders”. C’mon dude, that shit cold blooded. That’s because Lynch brought it out in me. It’s like, thank you to all of my artists that inspire me to get better and better and make this beautiful music that’s going to last forever man. It’s not just a phase and that you forget these songs in two years or a year. No! “The Noose” is going to last forever. Thank you God, Jesus, whatever for giving me the gift to soothe savage beasts. Thank you for giving me the power to make music that will last forever. “Einstein” will be here forever man. When I do “Einstein” every night, it’s like one of the hypest songs. When you see people arms up. You can hear the crowd saying “If you got scratch nigga get the fuck up! Throw your hands up if you’re hella fucked up!” I don’t even need to do that part if I don’t want to and I do! “Riot Maker” is going to last forever! That power music! Thank you God for it man. That is so Tech N9ne.
– Interview conducted by Jeff Nelson, Blog Editor (@JeffreyPNelson)
WATCH: “THE NOOSE” MUSIC VIDEO
WATCH “E.B.A.H.” Music Video
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