Beat-Town is proud to present an exclusive interview with one of Hip Hop’s greatests, Tech N9ne. The American rapper chatted with us about the new Strange Music’s album “Dominion”, his future plans and many other interesting things. Check out the whole interview below.
Beat-Town: First of all, we want to say that it’s an honor for our website to have you featured here for an interview. Strange Music’s roster just released a new album “Dominion”. Are you happy from the final output? What should the fans expect from this project?
Tech N9ne: From Dominion, you got to expect all different types of styles of music. There’s metal, R&B, hip hop, darkness, partying. There’s everything. We did it different this time. We let the artists emit the ideas instead of me starting out the ideas, so it turned out really wonderful with a lot of variety.
BT: What else are your plans for the rest of the year?
TN: I’m going to be touring until mid-June and then I’m going to go home and finish my record called “Planet”, which will be my new LP. Then I’m going to go to Canada in September to do my Canadian tour and I don’t know what after that.
BT: We’ve read in a recent interview you gave that you are listening to the song you’ve recorded, even after the mastering, a dozen times. Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? If yes, would you say that this helped you out throughout your career?
TN: Yes, about being a perfectionist…I won’t just put it out. If there’s any floss, if there is anything off beat, it will not go past the studio. Even this late in my career, I still feel like I have so much to prove lyrically and musically and I haven’t got to the plateau that I’m talking about. I want world domination, that’s why every record you hear sounds even more hungry, even more processed, because I’m still trying to impress all the fans and all the people.
BT: You have collaborated with almost every Hip-Hop artist that’s currently available out there, so I am wondering which one would you say was the most important collaborations when you look back at your career? You can name of course more than one.
TN: The most important collaborations…The Eminem collaboration, for “Speedom” was really long awaited. I’m glad I got that done. The song with Jonathan Davis of Korn “Starting To Turn”, the one with Corey Taylor of Slipknot “Wither”. It’s a lot that I’ve done. The one that I did with The Doors. I get a lot of my dreams out, but those are just to name a few. The ones that really stand out.
BT: Is there any other artist that you would like to work with, but you didn’t manage to do it until now?
TN: I’ve been trying to work with Jay-Z for a long time. I would like me and Krizz (Kaliko) to work with Outkast. Something like that.
BT: Talking about working with other artists: Over the last two years it’s very common to see two artists working together on a joint album. If someone checks your Twitter page, he would see many tweets asking for a collaboration album with other artists. Have you ever thought of making a joint album with another rapper?
TN: I don’t really like doing that. I’ve been asked to do collaboration albums for a long time, but some might not make sense. I don’t know. I’m a different type of dude. It’s hard to me to really connect with a lot of people for a whole album. I might go off the deep end and they might not agree. I’m a little bit crazy (laughs). It will have to be a nuthouse project with a couple of people like me, Eminem, Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
BT: How do you feel about the Hip-Hop game in general? Mainstream and underground. Is there any artists that you like listening to at this period?
TN: I like Chance The Rapper a lot, I listen to Travis Garland, the whole bunch, while chilling. I’m listening to a lot of Slipknot, a lot of System Of A Down, a lot of Avenged Sevenfold.
There is a lot of underground hip hop and a lot of underground hip hop. There is ISO and Twisted Insane. There are so many underground artists that are still killing everything. Everything changes, but people have a wide idea of hip hop now, because of what they call mumble rap, but if you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen to it. Kendrick Lamar just came out with a beautiful album, J. Cole just came out with a beautiful album, Rick Ross just came out with a beautiful album. Tech N9ne is always coming out with a beautiful albums, so there are out there for you. There are options. There is Dizzy Wright, there is Strange Music. It’s out there and it doesn’t matter that people think it changed for the better or for the worst. The only thing that it worse, is that the artists aren’t getting paid properly for their crap, because people pretty do music for free. That’s all.
BT: When an artist or rapper does not break through after starting strong, do you think that it’s solely because he didn’t work as hard as he should, or are also other factors that play a major part in the music business?
TN: It’s been a long time that I broke through and I’m still breaking through. Sometimes singles don’t work, sometimes it’s not a single that kinda pulls an artist. Singles can do that, “Fragile” did it for me, “Hood Go Crazy” did, “Caribou Lou” did. I got a lot of people listening to them, but back in the day there were songs that never were singles, but they got popular. Many songs off my past music weren’t on the radio. It don’t matter. If you got good music, it will spread.
BT: What would you say to young artists who want to start a professional rap career?
TN: To be good, don’t be whack, even though some whack people make it through. Be the best that you can be at your crap, practice it and then let people hear, so people will start to agree that it was good. Without knowing it, people will start banging this shit. So, be good at it.
BT: After so many years in the game, what motivates you to keep going on constant releases?
TN: I have a plateau I’m trying to reach. There are places I haven’t even been to touch people musically. Like, where are you from?
BT: I’m from Athens, Greece
TN: I’ve never been to Greece and I can’t wait to come. So that is what it motivates me. I’m still writing my rhymes, I’ve got more to say and do, so that is what it motivates me to keep going.
BT: You are probably the most successful independent artist out there. What is the secret to this success? Was it easy turning down big major deals?
I had major deals before and they didn’t work, so this happens to be my best bet and nothing is promised, so we roll the dice with a black dude, with painted face and red spiked hair with bishop’s worts. That probably wouldn’t go well with a lot of people, because a lot of people don’t look like that. Nobody looks like that. So it was hard for me. I knew had something special, so had to push it and no matter how weird I was to people, they couldn’t deny that I can rap my ass off. And they still can’t deny it, no matter what they think about my image. I think that what we built is amazing. We have to show people who didn’t know what to do with a guy like me. In the music industry, the major labels didn’t know what to do with me, so we showed them and we turned up to be the number one independent label in the world and that’s a big accomplishment for pushing something like Tech N9ne, that’s way different.
BT: How do you spend your free time when you’re not working in the studio?
TN: I like to go to the movies, I like to eat. I like to go to the movies and eat (laughs). I’m so busy, I’m always working on records and shooting music videos, so when I get down the studio, I get my chick on it to go to see a movie, like just go and see “Get Out”, let’s go and see “King Kong”, let’s just go and see a movie. I don’t care what it is. Let’s go and see “31”, just go (laughs)!
BT: How did it feel to have Anonymous contact you after you gave them a shout out in “Aw Yeah?”?
TN: Oh (laughs). I’m still in contact with Anonymous. When I’m trying to work on something, but I’m so busy. I’m going to see them on this tour, secretly. I feel like those are good friends to have on your side, you don’t want them as your enemies.
BT: We really want to thank you for doing this with us and we hope we will see you someday in Greece for a live event. Any final words for your Greek audience?
TN: I got some partners that rap from Houston, they come to Greece all the time. I hope that one day, I will come to Greece with them and do a show (laughs). I think one of their brothers plays basketball up there in Greece. They are really talented dudes and they always tell me how beautiful Greece is and I’m like “Man I got to get there”! I hope that we will find some people in Greece to have the rhymemaker to do a show there.
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Hosted By: Panagiotis Christoulakis & Hektor Apostolopoulos