Tech N9ne Speaks on Mental Health, Self-Acceptance, and ‘I Caught Crazy (4Ever)’

Apr 18 2019

From fun party songs to riveting storytelling, Tech is a master of many styles and subjects, but some of his best work comes when he taps into his inner thoughts, feelings, and demons because it resonates so deeply with those who share in a similar struggle.  Tech’s discography is loaded with powerful, deeply emotional  cuts, with the latest example being “I Caught Crazy (4Ever).”

In a little over a month, “I Caught Crazy” has already racked up over a million streams, a testament to Tech’s ability to connect with fans on a deep emotional level.

With such a powerful message, we sat down with Tech to really unpack the song, resulting in a deep, unflinchingly honest conversation about mental health and what catching your crazy really means.

How did you develop the idea for “I Caught Crazy” and the powerful message?

When I first got the beat from Seven, the lady’s voice was already in it. At first, I was going to rap about how I’m going to reign forever in music and be the best forever, but that’s just so typical. They already know that. They already know that I can rap. They know I’ve been rapping my head off for decades. Why am I going to keep making songs about how good I can rap?

So, I started tapping into my body and thoughts, my soul and everything what makes me different, what makes me the ‘lord of weird.’ What makes me is life experiences and mistakes and the will to do crazy shit and risk your life doing ignorant shit and realizing that you caught crazy a long time ago and knowing that you’re comfortable with it. Then I thought about how many people can relate to that.

I’m afraid to say it out loud because the first step is admitting your crazy in some kind of way. It can be girl crazy, crazy for money, it can be a mental illness in some kind of way. The way to embrace it is to treat it, the best way to treat it is to speak it out loud for people to interpret. It just hit me one day, “I Caught Crazy” and it’s gonna be that way forever.  “I Caught Crazy” is just a realization that I caught it and I’m gonna use it to help people. I thought that that could be cathartic for the fans.

Self-acceptance is a huge step. Was there a specific moment where you came to accept it?

Nah, just mistakes. Mistakes make you wanna fix them. When people say that you’re one way, and a lot of people say it, you start to pay attention, like, “okay, this hurts people, that hurts people, how can I help people?” My music helps people, I wanna do music. I caught crazy, but I’m not crazy enough to die on you. So I’m gonna share this with the people. If your crazy is hurting somebody right now then stop it, and reverse it. My crazy is helping. What’s your crazy doing?

How do you balance accepting your crazy and letting it fuel you, but not letting it take over?

Depression is a different level, depression can kill…and it has. You need people around you cause you can’t be alone in this shit. Thinking we all macho, thinking we can be alone. People need to be together. People need each other but they’re caught up on this bullshit, color bullshit, or bullshit levels of life. People higher than other people, if you’re high up, then help people. We create jobs at Strange Music. We help people up, we wanna continue to help people up.

When depression hits, I had to get around someone that was brighter. You have to have people around you, cause if it’s the drugs that are your friend, your gone. When I was doing all of that Molly and Ecstasy, that shit will eat up your serotonin levels and when you come down its depression. It’s just a natural thing that happens to you. You have to be around people that can help bring you back up. Now the people I was around pulled me back down by putting more drugs in me because I wanted to keep it going, I didn’t want to stop. It made me feel like nothing mattered. That’s what drugs are supposed to do, so when you come out of it you can fuck everything up. Enjoy it while you can but just understand when you put drugs mixed with depression, death is right around the corner.

I try to fight everything that’s negative that comes in my head with something positive. I always look on the bright side when everything seems dark. Your heart hurts when shit happens, but you gotta pull yourself out of the darkness and keep on going towards the bright. If you lay in it, it’s gonna eat you alive. Thank god for music.

Has your perspective on your own crazy changed since you’ve made this track?

Nah, this is for everybody else. This is something I’ve lived with for decades by myself. It’s how Tech N9ne effects people and if I’m hurting people, then how can I fix this. So this is me just putting it out there for the people. All of the bad things I did in my life I know them, and I wanted to repair all that darkness damage. The first step is accepting it.

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My fans over the past few years been lightweight complaining about my feature heavy records! Not sayin they didn't dig the features, but I read a lot of comments saying they wanna just hear me rather than others on my music like an album with me doing alot of the hooks and verses! So I did it! They want N9NA? Then they got #N9NA! It's all me for real with the exception of 5 or 6 features out of like 21! Ha Ha! I listen to my fans so I gave them N9NA! It's also a re-introduction for all the new fans coming in daily in Hordes! I'm rappin like I never ate on this! Like I ain't rich, like I ain't sold not a NARE record platinum and nare gold! • • @itunes @applemusic pre order available now! Link in bio – you get all 8 previously released songs as instant downloads! T9!

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