For hardcore rapper Tech N9ne, it’s all a numbers game
By Alex Distefano
Refusing to conform into the mainstream of hip-hop, underground rapper Tech N9ne has never compromised his raw, urgent, at times dark and forceful music. Focused on setting new trends, rather than following old ones, this rapper has seen an upsurge in his success, selling tens of thousands of his new album, All 6’s and 7’s, and even making the Top 5 Billboard artists charts among giants like Lady Gaga.
Tech N9ne spoke with CULTURE about the new album’s guest appearance and exactly how much cannabis this guy’s consumed over the years.
Tell us about your new album All 6’s and & 7’s. You have a lot of guest appearances from artists like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg—but how did you end up working with Chino Moreno and Stephen Carpenter from the Deftones?
I heard that those guys liked my music, and decided to get a hold of them to collaborate on a song. It ended [up] a perfect piece; it was one of my favorite songs on the album because it was so personal. It’s a very emotional song, and it was made for the love of family, and my love for my kids. It was such a great experience to work with the Deftones; I want to thank them very much.
But I’ve always had that rock energy in my music. On my album KOD, I wrote a song with Corey Taylor from Slipknot. I’m down with lots of metal bands; it’s always been part of me.
I’ve always reached out to the rock side of things, and am a fan of bands like Slayer. I love System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold and anything fast, dark, heavy and loud, really. That’s what I go for! For me, working with the Deftones was definitely a step in the right direction
You have sold more than 55,000 records the first week your new album came out. Tell us a little about the early success of this new record and how some major labels are now starting to pay attention to your music
I get all the stats and listings of our music sales because aside from being a rapper, I’m also the president of my company, Strange Music. It’s an amazing feat to be No. 4 among Lady Gaga as an underground artist with virtually no video and no major radio airplay . . . The hard work we put in will pay off.
What are your thoughts/opinions on why marijuana should be legalized?
If they legalize marijuana everywhere, we wouldn’t have the deficit problem we have. If they taxed it, everyone would be happy. It’s a no-brainer. The tax revenue alone should be enough of a reason for the government to legalize and regulate it already! Personally, I stopped smoking weed in ’98 but I still uplift and support the motherf@#*ers that use herb for medical and recreational [reasons].
In your career, have you ever been in any legal trouble over cannabis?
No, not really, because when I was a smoker, with all the heads I hung out with, we all just always had it. We never had to buy it off the streets, we just always had it, and so it caused no problems from the outside. But, it was just an ungodly amount of weed. Twenty blunts a day turned to 40.
Mouse in the Hizzouse!
What—a hardcore, no-compromise, anti-mainstream rapper can’t give Mickey Mouse some love? Think again, playa! Check out what Tech N9ne’s planning for the rest of the year and into 2012: “I intend on taking some time off, [to be] with family, and I’m taking my kids on a vacation to Disneyworld!” It’s a small world after all.