The track, featuring Smackola and Krizz Kaliko, deals with the tragic Aurora,CO shootings and each emcee’s feelings towards the victims and the shooter himself. Grim and emotional, “Fire In AC” re-imagined the events of that night in an effort to prevent the horrific act.
Following our exclusive interview with Tech N9ne, we sat down with Smackola of Dirty Wormz to get his perspective on “Fire In AC” and the emotions tied into the recording.
You’re featured on Tech N9ne’s latest project, the Boiling Point EP, on a song called “Fire in AC”. This song has a pretty dark tone, and the project in general deals a lot with evil and the battle we have with inner demons. I noticed that your lyrics contain a lot of that same kind of subject matter, is that something you think you and Tech kind of bond through?
Yeah, I think that’s kinda something we have in common. So I think it makes good for when we’re doing music, and also just our normal conversations with each other. Like I know[Tech N9ne] originally wanted me on “URALYA”…he wanted me on that, but since that was gonna be his first single, we couldn’t do that. So I went with “Fire In AC” and it was cool cause we were in the studio and he was like, “Yeah man, it’s gonna be dark. Juts go there, just go there.” And I was like, “Alright, I can turn it on?” And he was like, “Yeah let’s go!”
So we did it, but it felt comfortable cause even in my own music I have that same dark twisted fantasy, kinda like things I’ve dealt with, things I think of. I think we just say things people won’t necessarily say. They wanna say em, but they won’t, so I think we definitely have that in common.
This song addresses your, Tech, and Krizz’s somewhat aggressive feelings about the tragic shooting in Aurora, CO. Are you a believer in the theory that just talking a tragedy like this out and kind of addressing it within the context of your own life is a necessary or helpful way to deal with the pain? And maybe even lets the memory and energy of those victims live on a little bit?
The way I always deal with stuff like that, if something affects me like that, I like to release it or talk about it… but since I do music, I can actually make a song about it. So when I make songs like that or do verses like that, it kinda lets it out for me, cause it’s kinda built up in me. I mean you look at the news and you see everything that’s happening…stuff like kids missin’ and crazy stuff, and you have this outlet as a musician to wanna let it out so when I can it’s like a therapy to me. So I think it’s a way to just express it cause I mean other people have felt it too.
I know the families of the victims, they feel it, but we also feel it too – from a different angle, nah’mean? So I definitely think saying something about it and just letting that out is like, “Ahhhh, I let it out, now I don’t have to carry it on me as much.” Cause when you think about everything that happens, everyone has something to say, something they would have done different or whatever. When we were in the studio, you could tell with Tech’s passion, like he was really passionate about it and he really…. it was weird, you could tell it really had stuck with him, and I felt him on that and I was like, ” Lets do it.” I didn’t have a chance to hear Krizz do his verse, but i’m sure it’s the same with him, just through my conversations with him.
Has music been the biggest thing that’s helped you through life? And if not, what has been?
Music has definitely been that. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do this much, I can’t think of anything else I wanted to do. Like, my homeboys will be like, “Man the games are on!” And I’m like “Man, fuck that game!” I just…I’m into sports and stuff, but the music is just way more in me. I don’t really care about anything else, that comes before EVERYTHING. I’ll lose sleep behind it, I’ll lose money behind it, it’s the one thing that I have. So it’s definitely a release, like I have a lot of songs out there [that deal with] relationships, and the pain of losing my son and different things, so when I made those songs it just released it. It released it outta me, and I have to go through the pain of hearin’ the song myself, so when I’m hearing the song back and people go, “Oh, that’s a great song” or when I perform it, I still have that pain, you’re reminded, but it slowly starts to ease it. Almost like talkin’ about it – I don’t have anyone else to talk about it with – hearin’ the song myself and listening to it playing is kinda like therapy for myself. I dunno, I’m not a doctor but I think that’s kinda how it works. It’s a release, ya know?
Definitely. Does it give you some sort of comfort to know that there are tons of fans out there that hear your stuff and relate and might get what you’re going through? Is that a release as well?
Oh yeah, it is! Cause I hear from fans all the time who send me emails, or talk to me at shows or when they see me at like the airport or something, and they’ll be telling me these things they’re going through…these stories, and I’ll be like, “Dang, I thought I was havin’ a bad day”, ya know? And they’ll tell me how much they appreciated me just sharin’ that with them.
You know for the first time in my life…I never ever felt like I would kill myself or nothin’ like that, but I was havin’ weird thoughts about it, and so I made a song and I addressed it like, “Okay, if I was to do it, what would I do?” So I kinda went into that dark world, but it was good therapy. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s what it did for me.
Word. To me, Boiling Point is also kind of a self-acceptance of Tech’s inner darkness, do you think that’s an important thing to do? I don’t necessarily mean to condone those darker parts of you, but to accept that they’re human and learn how to work with them?
Yeah, I think that’s the only way you can fix yourself. I mean, a lot of people walk around with things they don’t talk about, and they don’t share with anyone until it’s too late. I think that by him doing that… he has a lot of it in him, and by him talking about it, I think it helps him stay grounded. ‘Cause it’s almost like he could be like, a ticking time bomb. And by him doing that he releases it a little bit. I think if he didn’t have a release for it like music, I think we’d know a different Tech N9ne, he could be somethin’ else.
It’s the same with a lot of artists that are able to talk about their inner dark parts, ’cause we all know with Tech he has different sides: like there’s the party Tech, the dark Tech, etc. So, he releases all those sides and I think it’s great. I think it helps artists like me that do the same thing to have it be accepted. And I really wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one that spawns a lot of…well…let me take that back. I’ve already seen it spawning with other artists cause I’ve seen places that are very influenced by him, and they’re comin’ out and telling their stories and I already see it. He’s got that cult following, he’s very iconic. I just see [his influence] spreading to all these younger artists that are coming up and sharing stories that you wouldn’t normally hear from a rap artist. You never really heard that from the hip hop audience as much as now. Back in the day you did a little, but not at this level. Tech has definitely opened that gate of just “let it all out, share it”, and I think it’s great!
I agree completely. So to end this on KIND OF a lighter note, this project was released right before Halloween, Tech’s favorite holiday. What’s the craziest Halloween costume you’ve seen recently?
Well you know, I’m here in Austin, Texas, and 6th street is known for Halloween parties. I mean people go out specifically just to stand on the side of the road and watch people walk about 12 blocks in a circle in all these different Halloween costumes. So I’ve seen everything from the most elaborate costume to the most outrageous theme of like…I mean…every year I’m surprised like, “Wow”, but if i had to pick one….I think there was one time there was a guy out there and he actually had like a jet pack.
Yeah,I think he really like hovered off the ground for a minute, too! I thought that was pretty dope. But since I’m more into horror movies, I’ve seen some people out there doing The Human Centipede. Like the chicks were walkin’ around on the ground with mouth to ass and I thought, “Wow, they’re really into that”…Man, like it looked so real, I don’t even know how they did that, or who connected them or what, but it was pretty exact to the movie if you’ve seen it. I remember walking by being like, “Wow, her mouth is really on her ass…and her mouth on her ass…”, and the one in the front had to do all the talkin’, haha! I thought that was crazy cause like…that’s called commitment. Like they couldn’t have no Mexican food before they went out like, “Alright, we’re gonna go eat and then go get in our costume and do this!”
Ya know? I thought that was pretty crazy.
– Interview by Brent Bradley, Strange Music Social Media Dept.
Let us know in the comments section below!