An Interview With The Indie King Tech N9ne On His Strange Music Legacy

After two decades in the game, the underground legend Tech N9ne has yet to slow down, with 13 studio albums, endless touring and a rock EP and has no intention to. Following the emcee’s sound check before his Toronto show at the Rockpile last summer, Tech relaxed on a chair beside the stage, dressed in all white, reflecting on and analyzing the industry and his place within it. This was before the madness that ensued hours later at the venue, when Tech transformed onstage into the artist that his die-hard fans came to see, this time dressed in red, with trademark paint on his face, spitting tracks from his album, Something Else. With such intense energy, on and off the stage, it is no wonder the Missouri emcee has lasted longer than many major label artists and shows no sign of going anywhere just yet.

First week sales: First week sales is just for everybody to pay attention, everybody in the industry to pay attention on who’s moving and who is moving rapidly. That is a good way to show off when you are independent and not on TV and not on radio. When you see your name up there with all these major artists and they are wondering, “How the hell did he do it?” it’s showing off. I don’t care about first week, but it’s more of a show-off thing, like “Look what we can do without the major machine!”

Strange Music: My definition of strange is something that is totally different from the norm that is not recognizable on first sight. That’s what Tech N9ne is. When they see me with the painted face and I’m black, they’re like “what the hell is that?” because it’s not the norm and what isn’t normal for some people, sometimes they fear it, they try to destroy it, but they can’t, because the force is too strong.

Longevity: It feels like I am immortal. It feels like I am Dracula. I’ve seen the rise and fall of a lot of emcees and I’m still on the incline, while they are going down. I don’t wish that on anybody, but it makes me feel supernatural.

Something Else: This album represents strength so late in life, yet so hungry and the music speaks for itself. You’re not supposed to be able to have Something Else after all these albums of being transparent. So, to say that you have something else is like the cockiest thing ever, but then you have people agree, all across the board, that’s a celebration. It represents strength, because it is showing you that we are getting bigger and better the older we get, so if this album is strong, then what’s the next one going to be? It’s going to be mutated.


Interview Previously Published in Urbanology Magazine

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