Tech N9ne has held the crown for King of Independent Hip Hop for some time now, but with his emerging popularity, has that title come into question?
Tech N9ne addresses that and much more in this very thorough interview with Urbanology. For fans of Tech N9ne and the Snake and Bat, many of whom have tattoos to display their undying affection for the emcee and the label, Tech N9ne has always represented an alternative to the low-quality mush that is often served on the radio. If Tech N9ne gets played on the radio, does that render his movement ineffective? Let’s hear Tech speak it.
THE RESTRICTION OF BEING UNDERGROUND COMES WITH FANS THAT WANT YOU TO STAY ONE WAY OR ELSE YOU’RE SELLING OUT. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT INNOVATING YOURSELF WHILE MAINTAINING YOUR IDENTITY?
I got shit from fans for working with [Lil] Wayne and everything. But I fight, I’m the king of me, I can do whatever the fuck I wanna do at work or with whoever I want to. It’s like the people want to keep you to themselves because it’s their personal secret. Now it’s bleeding over to the mainstream. Them saying, ‘No, don’t do it, 2 Chainz is not on your level,’ but I have many levels. Do I not have a party level? That’s where 2 Chainz fits. Do I not have an elite level? That’s where Eminem fits. Do I not have a level where it’s super thugged out? Yeah, that’s where T.I. fits. A metal level? Do I not have an EDM level? Yes, many levels, there’s levels to this shit. Good music is always going to shine man and that’s why it’s bleeding over into the mainstream. I want it to, I want it to affect everybody and that’s how it’s been from day one. We didn’t just wake up one day and say, ‘You know what, we want to go for mainstream.’ Fuck no. It came at us. Because we kept moving, kept doing features with people, kept doing all this shit. It was just coming to us because the music just kept getting better and better and it’s always been good. The only difference in [Welcome to] Strangeland is that the mainstream artists were starting to take notice. That’s new to the fans, ‘Dang man, 2 Chainz?’ Yes, 2 Chainz. Even Lil Wayne, I’m on stage and people are booing when I said I had Wayne. [I] had to tell them to hold up, that’s my family. You can have your opinion about Wayne, but don’t do that. Visited him in Rikers and found that out, he’s a good brotha. It might not be what you like, but millions of others motherfuckers do … Hov will be next and then Drake … I do wonderful music with people that I love listening to and again, there’s levels to this shit.
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