On July 20, 2012, the nation’s attention turned to the city of Aurora, Colorado as tragedy struck late in the night. During a midnight viewing of the highly-anticipated film, The Dark Knight Rises, a lone gunman entered theater no. 9 inside the Century 16 multiplex and opened fire on an unsuspecting audience.
The suspect was apprehended by police outside of the theater minutes after the shooting, but not before killing 12 and injuring 58 others. The shooting left an entire country in mourning as fear also began to spread.
The thought of a larger-than-life hero appearing on the big screen while innocent people suffered was enough to make anyone feel helpless.
That same helpless feeling could be the reason why Tech N9ne felt a need to speak out for the victims and families of Aurora, CO with “Fire In AC” from his Boiling Point EP. The collaboration that includes Krizz Kaliko and Smackola of Dirty Wormz takes vengeance for the victims of the shooting and offers its deepest condolences to the families still mourning.
With Colorado known for being the biggest area of support for Strange Music, Tech N9ne penned a tribute to those fallen and expressed his anger with the individual responsible for such a despicable act.
We spoke with Tech N9ne recently as he explained why the shooting hit so close to home and why it was necessary to record “Fire In AC”.
What went through your head when you first saw that headline?
First thing that went through my head was that I have people that live right on that block, in Aurora, that I’ve been connected to for fuckin’ years. It scared the shit out of me. I called Cooney, who did I call – I called everybody. I checked and made sure their kids weren’t there. Cooney is my OG in Denver, Colorado, but I know he’s got family that lives in that area. My call is to make sure that everyone is still okay, but still hurtin’ for the ones that are there. My homeboy Deon from Denver – he has family that were in that theater, that got hit. We got a homeboy whose family got hit. So, it hurt me man. Kutt Calhoun, I think, went up to Denver to do a benefit for that. Zach from Magic Art Werx in Boise, he made shirts – Colorado shirts with the Batman Snake and Bat or whatever, you know.
My heart goes out to the famlies of the victims of the aurora co. theater shooting! I was up till damn near 6am checking on fam!
— Tech N9ne (@TechN9ne) July 20, 2012
Condolences to the families for the lost. I wanted to create – when I heard the beat, it just compelled me to write as if I was the student that sat right next to him. He supposedly told a student, “I like to kill people”, and nobody said anything. I read that he threatened a couple of professors, and still nobody said nothin’. It was boiling. So, in my brain, I was like, “I’m a college student sittin’ next to James Holmes, his mental light ain’t on and the love in him ain’t shown, so I gotta invite him to study at my strange home, cause he needs to be flame thrown and repeatedly banged on.”
I created this story to catch him before he did that in theater number nine. He killed those people – went in the last showing of the night of Batman, it hurt me man. So I had to create something that stops him before he did that – committed that heinous crime. I even said, “I wished this woulda happened like it happened in my mind, instead of what occurred in theater number nine, my condolences to the families that mourn, all humanity was torn for what he damaged see some horns mutherfucker.” You know, that’s how I feel. Now the spirits are gonna have to get him or muthafuckas gonna get him in jail, I don’t fuckin’ know, but whatever he gets he deserves for doing something that crazy.
So that song, even Smackola – he’s a psychopath that murders psychopaths acting bad in his verse. He says ,” Mister Yates, let him in, close the gate, this is the date for his fate, there will be no escape, duct tape, zip ’em up, strap ’em down, he’s graduatin’ here give ’em his cap ‘n gown.” He about to go to another place. We about to send this muthafucka to another place because we know he’s sick. Krizz Kaliko comes in and just murders it. He said he’ll call up Brotha Lynch and tell him to go eat. He said, “James, your brain will be dangling from strings if the Strangers could change it at yourself you would aim” – or something like that, “I wish a nigga would, run up the movies while I’m in there with my kids and my boo, I would be popping them back at you” – I don’t know everything he says, but we’ve created a story that stops him from killing people.
We love Colorado, so that was just our love going out to Colorado. This muthafucka is “gone baby gone, never made the dawn” – like never see the sun again. “Never had a chance to turn crazy on” – you know because he never had a chance to turn crazy on. “My fire in AC it stopped a shotta , Aurora, Colorado I got ya.” That’s love, you know? I just wish it would happen like it happened cuz if I was a student in that school, I probably woulda got him.
I imagine you must have had a conversation with the label as to whether or not you would release this track.
I didn’t. I told Travis, “You’re gonna fuckin’ flip when you hear it.” When I write, I don’t question – I don’t really write about shit that will be offensive to people. This is me on the side of Colorado. Maybe there might be some people that are offended, but this is my heart, giving it to Aurora.
There was no conversations like, “Travis, you think I should say this?” I KNEW I should say this.
-Interview by Victor Sandoval, Strange Music Social Media Dept.
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