From the days of running up to the Wake Up Show to drop freestyles to their most recent meeting on The RICANstruction, Tech N9ne and Chino XL have maintained a mutual respect over the years that goes deeper than music.
Beloved for their raw lyricism, both emcees have accumulated strong followings within the indie circuit and have continued to excel in a class all their own. It was only a matter of time then before Chino XL called upon Tech for the gritty and downright lyrical beatdown that is “Hell Song”.
Just after the release of The RICANstruction, Chino XL joined us live on Strange Music Podcast to discuss the album and his long career in music. In this interview segment, Chino XL recalled putting together “Hell Song” and expressed his admiration for the Kansas City King.
In case you missed it, see what Chino XL had to say!
What was the motivation behind “Hell Song”?
Well, first of all let me say that, and I hope this is taken the right way, when I was asked about it, when I was asked “How is it?”, and I said, “He didn’t do the double time on it.” I like that because to me, his double time is incredible. He’s innovated ways to do that. But when he winds outside of the double time, to me, is when you really hear how meticulous his flow is. You get what I mean? Sometimes you have to see somebody a little bit ordinary to really realize how extraordinary it is. When he sent that verse dude, I could hear every single timing change. You know what I mean? Every single piece of the pocket that he found. And I was just proud that he rocked like that on my joint.
You know, once I did “Sickology 101”, the funny story about that is I was in Hawaii doing shows or whatever, and we got the call that Tech wanted me on the joint that was gonna be me, him, and Crook. And then I literally had, I think, 14 hours to get it to him, and like 8 of those were taken up by the plane. And when I got it to him on time he was so appreciative. Not that I ever thought there was a question that if I needed anything from him that I couldn’t get it. I mean, we’ve been workin’ forever, but he was like , “Yo, whenever you need me,” and I just thought that this was the project that I really wanted him on. And then I just kind of felt with the imagery and everything, you know, it’s like hell on one song, dude. And I like it with the cuts. DJ Romes put the cuts in there from M.O.P., I’m proud of it. It sounds great. The mix is great, and it’s good. Sometimes you hear that two artists are working together and you’re excited, and then the song doesn’t really build up to the hype, and it just kind of feels like – on “The Anthem”, me and Tech workin’ together, it exceeded the hype. I feel like “Sickology 101” with me and him and Crooked I, nobody saw that comin’ and it exceeded the hype. And with “Hell Song”, from the reactions that we’ve been getting or whatever – love working with Tech.
I’m so glad that you brought up the double time thing, because you’re absolutely right. When Tech goes outside of that double time flow, that’s when you really hear what he can do. And I was so glad he did that.
Yeah. I feel like he’s less deniable then. I feel like when he does the double time thing, people when they’re talking about his music, they can say, “Oh man, he’s great at” you get what I mean? They try to put it in a box, “Oh man, at that fast thing he’s great”. No, no, no. As a strong writer, as an artist and as a human being, you know you could tell. He’s great at all three of those things.
You’re obviously someone who’s known Tech for a long time.
Yeah, man! [Laughs]
As a peer of his, what is it like to see the things he’s doing today?
It’s funny. I was afforded the gracious thing of presenting him with an achievement award recently. And it wasn’t planned or anything. I just was in the place and they were about to get somebody else to do it, and this guy was like “Chino, do you wanna give him the award?” and Violet was like, “I think it would be cool” and I was like, “Yeah, I’ll give it to him”. But it’s funny since you’re looking at somebody, of course, that everybody knows as Tech N9ne, and of course I know him not only as Tech N9ne, but as his government name, as he knows mine, and it’s kind of like I’m looking at him as just two grown men who just wanted to be heard. And to be able to give him this thing and say, “Listen, man. You are a trend setter as far as underground music goes.”. Of course (unintelligible), but it’s so genuine for anybody who knows his work that when he started rockin’, it might have been 9 people there. He’d go back again fearlessly and there’d be 90, till it was 900, till it was 9,000, till it’s 90,000. He set litmus on how, and a pattern that somebody can use, a young kid can use, as far as underground music goes. How to promote it, how to distribute it, and how to believe in it when no one else does. I’m extremely proud of him, dude. And this is not because I’m on Strange Music podcast, my dude. Everybody knows that that’s my G.
-Interview conducted by Victor Sandoval, Strange Music Social Media Dept.
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