Tech N9ne with Justin Melo – A MyDailyJoe Exclusive Interview
Tech N9ne is a critically acclaimed recording artist who has over a million record sales to-date. Not only is Tech N9ne a prominent and established figure in the music industry, he is also an entrepreneur and the co-owner of the prestigious record label, Strange Music. So, it is with great honor that we present Tech N9ne as our very first exclusive published interview here on MyDailyJoe.com.
Urban public-interest interviewer Justin Melo had the priviledge of speaking with Tech N9ne at the end of October to bring us this exclusive interview and we would like to extend a special thank you to Justin for bringing it to MyDailyJoe.com.
Unbeknownst to Justin, Mr. Klein has recognized the work of this young journalist over the past several months and has been very impressed by him. So we are excited to feature this Tech N9ne interview for the launch of our website.
We at MyDailyJoe.com have a gargantuan fascination with words, and there aren’t many who know how to work them better than lyricist Tech N9ne who brings a unique, intelligent and intriguing vocabulary — and plenty of metaphors – to the hip-hop culture. Word for word, here is the Tech N9ne and Justin Melo exclusive interview.
Tech N9ne with Justin Melo – A MyDailyJoe Exclusive Interview
Tech N9Ne: What’s up Justin?
Justin Melo: How are you doing Tech?
Tech N9Ne: I’m kicking it like a donkey and swinging like a monkey in the back of my tour bus. We’re just arriving in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
MyDailyJoe.com: How has the tour gone so far?
Tech N9Ne: It’s beautiful. I’m with Slaughterhouse, Steve Stone and Glasses Malone, all of us just going totally bananas. Its groups with totally different styles. It’s beautiful and it’s working with all of the fan bases. It’s beautiful.
MyDailyJoe.com: I was going to say when I think about the acts on the tour, totally different fan bases. Is everything gelling nicely?
Tech N9Ne: No fights in the crowd for real; crips and bloods here enjoying with metal heads and hardcore hip-hop fans. Everybody is here. It’s a melting pot, just like I wanted since I started. That’s what it’s supposed to be about – one nation under one groove and under one roof. To see all these different types of styles is a wonderful thing.
MyDailyJoe.com: Glasses Malone said that as the tour has been going, when it comes to your fan base, it seems they’re so underground that they didn’t even know who he was. Do you think that’s accurate?
Tech N9Ne: Yeah, a lot of my fans are underground and don’t watch TV, videos and stuff like that. It’s a beautiful thing because his fans don’t know about me (laughs).
MyDailyJoe.com: You guys get to pick up new fans from each other.
Tech N9Ne: Yeah! It’s a win-win situation.
MyDailyJoe.com: You were on the Rock the Bells tour with Slaughterhouse. Would you say the chemistry was built there?
Tech N9Ne: Totally, I think so. What we have in common is lyrics. That’s why we were on Rock the Bells together; that’s why we did the Paid Dues festival together. We all have lyrics in common. I thought that would be a great fit. Slaughterhouse, they murder. I’m a murderer in the same way. That’s why we booked it all together – we felt like it would work. Some of the fans didn’t know who they were, but after they left that stage, standing ovation.
MyDailyJoe.com: “K.O.D.” is in stores as of right now. Tell us about the contest you were running to allow fans to guess the title.
Tech N9Ne: I gave the fans a head start long time ago. I told them there was gonna’ be a contest once we released the title of the album, “K.O.D.” they’ve been trying to get it for months and months now. The people, who guessed it, sent what they thought it stood for to my Twitter. We took all the people who guessed it right, put their names in a big box and choose names. What that person gets is to bring a friend to fly wherever there from to Kansas City, Missouri on the last day of this tour, which is November 21st, and get the VIP treatment. They get to sit down with me and eat some Kansas City barbeque, they get to be on stage with me and play with me; they get to really go. Somebody won (laughs).
MyDailyJoe.com: Sounds like it was definitely something fun for the fans. Tell us why you decided to roll with that “King of Darkness” title.
Tech N9Ne: The reason why I decided to roll with “K.O.D.” was because a lot of dark things have been happening around me as of late. Mainly, my mom has been totally sick. She’s always had epilepsy since a teenager and then recently, lupus and she just recently battled pancreatitis and she was in a psychiatric ward and she’s such an angel. That’s dark all by itself with crazy stuff happening in my family, death happening in my family. My relationships are just going foul. Because of me, I feel like I’m the king of darkness. I remember Sade had a song called “King of Sorrow.” I feel the same way, there is darkness around me. Some of it is self-inflicted pain. I just woke up one day and I dreamt it, I’m the “King of Darkness.” I’ve always been into the dark side of music but the album didn’t turn into a play-play like me trying to scare you with what I say. This album turned into my actual life. When I first went into it, I thought I could freak people out with what I say like, “oh, he thinks he’s a devil worshiper” but now, I wanted to freak people out, but it turned into my real life with “Show Me a God” being the first song.
There is a song called “Low” where it says I’m shooting to the top, but at the same time, I’m feeling very low because of my personal life. Songs like that, it just turned into my real life, stuff like “The Martini.” I had no idea that I had this much negative energy that is real around me. I hope people enjoy the album because it will be the only one of its kind. I will never do another totally dark album again. It made for beautiful music, but I don’t want this kind of negative energy around me like that ever again because it affected everybody around me because of me. Enjoy it, because it’s the last one like it.
MyDailyJoe.com: You feel as if the life around you really embodies the title and content because as you said, it even affected the people around you, your mood and mindset, and all that?
Tech N9Ne: Yeah man, it did. Negative energy does that. Everybody could feel it when you walk in a room. There is a big cloud around you, no matter how much I try to smile. I’d be in the strip club with my dudes. I get off the studio at mid-night and the strip club is open until 3am. We’d get there around 12:45am, I’m sitting there and I don’t wanna’ be there, and this is what I do; I love the strip club, I love kicking it with strippers and there funny to talk too. Around that time, I didn’t wanna’ be there and would tell my dudes to leave with me. They’d be like what’s wrong with you? I don’t feel like being here. The girl sitting next to me would say “Tech your not yourself” and I say I know, bear with me baby, I’ll be out of this hole soon.
I was deep down in a hole Justin, man; like really, deep down in a hole, spiritually and everything dude. This album, when I first started it, I told all the producers that I mess with like Young Fyre, Seven, Matic Lee and so on, I told all of them, when you do these beats for me for this album, I don’t want them norm, I gave them the same instructions – I told them I want Dracula walking into a club, having a drink with Tim Burton (laughs). That’s what they gave me, a lot of dark music and it brought out all of my dark stories from the past. My future is looking a lot brighter. My mom is better now. It was ironic the day I finished the album was the day she got out of the psychiatric ward. It was weird, like a weird energy. I’m hoping people will listen to my pain and don’t let it suck you in, just learn from it. I hope they don’t let the darkness suck them in. I want everybody to stay in the light but enjoy my darkness and be careful with it.
MyDailyJoe.com: Ok, no doubt. It’s good to hear your mom is doing better. Would you say moving forward, the music is going to start becoming positive or happier?
Tech N9Ne: I want it to be but I write my life and I have no idea which turn my life is gonna’ take. I don’t know. This “Leave Me Alone” video, there telling me it’s playing every hour, on the hour on MTV. I don’t know which turn my life is going to take; for the better or for the worse. I have a lot of good things planned for my future; I’m taking my family on a cruise in early January. I finally get to be with my kids and get to take them overseas, and stuff that I‘m doing this music for anyways. I’m planning for happiness. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it buys you time to plan for happiness. You’re not stressing about paying this and that, money buys you time to plan for happiness if that’s what you want. Me working my butt off like I am allowing me to plan for happiness. I’m planning on happiness because I’m trying to get out of these clouds. It can truly bring a person all the way down into a hole.
That’s what this album is. It has three levels – the first level is anger with “Show Me a God” first. The second level is madness and starts with “Hunterish” and stuff like that. The last level is called “The Hole” where “Shadows on the Road”, “Low”, “The Martini” and “Killing You” – songs that are really wonderful but I never wanna’ gonna’ go there again. This might be my most successful album and the fans would think that would make me want to do a part two; I will not ever do a part two. I don’t care if it sells ten million. I will never do another “K.O.D.” this is the only one of it’s kind. I will never ever…I wish I could curse right now. I will never ever do another totally dark album again. I made a mistake and I lost loved ones because of it. People that love me aren’t around me anymore because of my darkness. I will never do it again. Enjoy this album because I will never go back into a totally dark hole.
MyDailyJoe.com: I like what you did with the three different levels on the album. The first single and it starts off with “Show Me a God” and now the second single, “Leave Me Alone” which is getting the spins on MTV. How do you think those two compare to each other?
Tech N9Ne: “Show Me a God” and “Leave Me Alone” are two different levels. “Show Me a God” is me being confused with the higher power that is supposed to be over us. It’s me confused because of my mom’s sickness; an angel being tormented all of her life. “Leave Me Alone” is a result of me being confused. “Leave Me Alone”, I’m confused within’ myself right now. When I come out of it, you can talk to me again. But right now, if it’s negative, please leave me alone because I have too much negativity right here with my mom, being tormented. That’s how they differ but it’s like cause and effect. “Show Me a God” taught me how to and make me want to tell people to “Leave Me Alone.” If it’s negative, envy or hatred or whatever, I’m going through too much right here questioning my spiritual beliefs, so just “Leave Me Alone” while I sort this out.
MyDailyJoe.com: You already named off many of the producers on the album. The guest appearances are mainly in-house with Krizz Kaliko, Brotha Lynch Hung and so on. Tell us what it was like hooking up with Three 6 Mafia for a record.
Tech N9Ne: It was weird. I always wanted to work with DJ Paul and Juicy J, all the time. I really love their music. I think there hit makers. I always loved their beats; they pound. When I heard “Demons”, one of my home girls gave me an idea to work with Three 6 Mafia, Pastor Troy and The Dayton Family. I was feeling that idea and wanted to do “Demons” with all of those cats. I had no idea how to get in touch with Pastor Troy, and I ran into Bootleg [of the Dayton Family] and them too late, after the album was done. I told Travis [Barker] I wanted to try and get Three 6 Mafia to see if they’ll do a song. They had already called me a couple of days before, but I was in a jam. When I came back from overseas, Amsterdam and all that stuff, I told Travis I wanted Three 6 Mafia and he had told me they called and wanted me on their album. I was like wow, it was meant to be. That’s how we got hooked up. I did a song for them called “Shots after Shots” and they did “Demons” for me. It was wonderful and I respect those brothers.
MyDailyJoe.com: Speaking of guest appearances, I had the interview to speak with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony a few days ago and they told me about the possible “Speed of Sound” collaboration with yourself and Twista on their album. What is the likelihood that will go down?
Tech N9Ne: I did it already. Its murder (laughs). I haven’t anybody else’s verse, but it was murder. They sent it to me as a blank track, (*Tech begins humming melody of the track*). A beat at that tempo, you gotta’ go (*Tech begins humming his flow on the track*). You gotta’ be able to GO, and I WENT. I hope they use it; it’s probably my fastest verse. They only needed 12 bars from me, but I murdered that 12. I think it was 12; don’t get me wrong, but I could be wrong because I know the Three 6 Mafia song was 12. It could be 12 but I’m not sure. Whatever they gave me, I murdered it (laughs). I hope they use it; I did it already.
MyDailyJoe.com: That’s good to hear. I spoke to them about it yesterday. Krizz Kaliko just put out his album before yours and you recently signed Brotha Lynch Hung. What are the plans for Strange Music next year?
Tech N9Ne: I think we’re doing another collabo’ album. I think we’re gonna’ dabble in and get that “Kabosh” album out, the rock album that we’ve been trying to do for like five years. We didn’t have enough time to assemble a band, but we’re going to try and do something else to give the people a taste of “Kabosh.” I don’t know about another Tech N9Ne album until probably this time next year. One of those compilation albums will be done. Will probably start construction on it in January when I get back from France or something – I don’t know where I‘m going (laughs). This Tech N9Ne thing is spreading like a forest fire; I’m everywhere, doing festivals and stuff. Here we go, you know?
MyDailyJoe.com: With you mentioning that and I hope you don’t take this as disrespectful, but I had a chance to kick it with you in Toronto, backstage at Rock the Bells. I felt as like your music was so different from your attitude. You seemed very humble, laid back and chilled. But when you came out to perform, I was surprised with all of the energy and the look of the fans that came to support you. Do you balance that out? Do you have some sort of equilibrium going on with that?
Tech N9Ne: No, I’m actually a really humble dude because I know what the bottom feels like. What I do on that stage, when that music comes on, it just hits me and I blank out. You might see something meaner than what you talk to; unless you say something that’s gonna’ really get me gong; you might see my face turn up or whatever. Normally though, you’ll always see something totally different up on stage. I’m totally chill if I’m just talking to you. A lot of that music is like “Psycho Bitch” or “Riot Maker.” That’s the stuff that pissed me off over the years. If I’m rapping “Psycho Bitch”, I’m not gonna’ be laid back. I might be laid back and humble, but I’ll get angry on that stage. If we’re talking about “Riot Maker”; they wouldn’t let me come to Honolulu (Hawaii) because they felt like the Samoans would get going due to “Riot Maker”, because they knew I was gonna’ tear shit up and get them going. They won’t have me there because I’ll be mad and offended. That’s what I do on stage; stuff like “Midwest Chopper.” There is no way I can get up there and be Snoop Dogg. And what I mean by Snoop Dogg is, he’s laid back and chilled but he can still rock a crowd, which is a wonderful thing. Me, I’m just the opposite. I’m mad insane on stage. This is aggression.
MyDailyJoe.com: That’s exactly what I took from hanging out with you at Rock the Bells, that angry transition to the stage. Wow, it was like two different people.
Tech N9Ne: Totally, but it’s not. What you’re talking to is me; you’re talking to me. If you see me on stage, that’s my life also. I know I’m three dimensional, but it’s all me. You have to spark that attitude in an interview to get it. If we’re talking about my mom, I’ gonna’ be sad; if we’re talking about how I feel I don’t get the respect I deserve, I’ll be mad and you’ll probably see a little bit of that clown on stage.
MyDailyJoe.com: Obviously, with such a large independent fan base, it would be appropriate to call you the largest independent artist in the world. Do you have any advice for independent, up and coming artists?
Tech N9Ne: You have to keep pushing forward first of all. You need to find the dopest cat in your circle or section when it comes to beats, because without a pulse there is no life. You can talk and spit all you want to, but if that beat ain’t moving, the masses won’t feel it. With no pulse, there’s no life. It’s hard for independent artists, especially where I am, Kansas City, Missouri where the opportunity is none when it comes to the music industry. We have to build our own, hence Strange Music – we’re all in-house. You have to keep pushing no matter how much your loved ones tell you to do something else because rap is a hobby and to get a real job. This is a real job and it employs a lot of good people who make a living off of what we’re doing. It’s a wonderful thing. Keep pushing because everybody tried to stop me; even my closest loved ones told me I needed to get a real job, and now a lot of people are calling me asking for jobs because this is a real job; this is not a hobby. Keep pushing forward – that’s what I want to tell people, no matter how hard it is, no matter how long the road is, no matter how different you are – I’m a black dude that paints his face and comes out in a Bishop’s road with a grave yard on stage…what? No matter how different you are, keep pushing forward. If you believe in it, you will achieve in it. That’s how I feel about it.
MyDailyJoe.com: Ok, no doubt. I like that advice right there. “K.O.D” is in stores right now, I urge everyone to buy themselves a copy. If there coming to a city near you, I highly recommend catching a show of Tech N9Ne, Slaughterhouse, Glasses Malone and Steve Stone. There is a lot of energy and lots of lyrics, many great artists. Do you have any last words before I let you go Tech?
Tech N9Ne: “K.O.D.” baby, “King of Darkness” is here as of October 27th. Enjoy it, but don’t get sucked into the darkness.