For someone who doesn’t listen to rap music, I find that I have interviewed many a hip hop artists. (Is this my past “rap career” coming back to bite me in the ass?). The latest to join my list of interviewees is one Tech N9ne. His latest album “Something Else” is his 13th release. Clearly he is an accomplished artist and businessman. Yet, I have two minds about.
Like I have found so many rap artists before him (namely Wiz Khalifa), I did find Tech a little bit on the arrogant side. His ego seems rather large and he seems somewhat boastful about about his career accomplishments. For example, he named his album “Something Else” because he felt he was some different, newer, better than his previously 12 records. There is nothing inherently wrong with thinking this, and many artists to strive to achieve this. I think for me, it was his attitude towards it all. A little holier-than-thou. On the flip side however, Tech is also wildly intellectual with a keen interest in things such as numerology. The n9ne part of his name refers to the fact that in numerology the number nine often means completion. Coupled with Tech, his moniker could roughly be said to mean complete technique or complete rhyme. (Although, it should be noted that when the name Tech was bestowed on him by a fellow rapper, it was a shortened version of the Tech 9 handgun – this was due to his “chopping” style of rapping – not the best way to eliminate the stereotype of rappers).
Regardless of where of his name came from, his attitude about himself or his music, and his general overall personality, it is clear that Tech N9ne is an intelligent man. This is compounded by the fact that on “Something Else”, track 20 “Strange Music 2013″, features the three surviving members of The Doors – including one of the last recordings of Ray Manzarek before he passed away in June. More so than any other artist, The Doors were a big influence on Tech. Other collaborators featured on the album are Kendrick Lamar, Cee Lo Green, Game, Krizz Kaliko, and the aforementioned Wiz Khalifa. It seems that hip hop more than any other music genre, is a very collaborative experience. While Tech may not fully agree with this statement, he believes that it might be due to the closeness of the rap community and the respect shared among the artists. Tech N9ne and his album “Something Else” epitomize that sentiment.