Tech N9ne: Blood Sweat ‘N’ Gears [Full Story From the June 2011 Issue]
You got labeled a devil worshipper?
Yeah, from a rapper here, Mel Bacardi. He was a rival rapper. One day he said, “The difference between me and Tech is that I worship God and he worships Satan.” And I’m the nigga with red hair, with spiked hair. You see the picture of me, and you’re like, “Yup.” It wasn’t hard. Rapping backwards and shit. Everywhere. Now people are coming back to it. Wayne said, “They say that about me, too.”
Some of your own fans have expressed concern about your working with so many different artists on the new album. They’re worried you’ll change.
I brought everybody into my world, but it’s still that Tech N9ne shit. I think that’s what my fans were worried about with Wayne, that I would go mainstream. “Please don’t do it, Tech.” “Don’t do it.” “He’s mainstream, you’re underground, it don’t mix.” But I’m on some Wayne shit, and he’s on some Tech N9ne shit, and if they can’t accept that, fuck ’em. My fans are never going to agree, because there’s so many different fans: metal heads, gangbangers, the college kids, Juggalos and Juggalettes, Cottonmouth Kings and Queens. All of ’em like a certain thing I do. A lot of Juggalos don’t like the sexual songs. I don’t know why; maybe they don’t get pussy. But I love pussy. I don’t understand people who don’t like fucking.
They’re worried that you’re going to do a song like “BedRock.” But if you think about all the sexual songs that I do, is “BedRock” wrong for me to be on? It might sound real poppy because Lloyd is singing, but the topic is the same.
People call your fans a “cult audience.” When did you first hear that?
Recently, when people started finding out about me. When XXL did that story on me, everybody started finding out, and everybody started finding out about my fans, like, “Whoa, look at the picture of them! Some of them paint their face. That’s on some cult shit!” When I did that pledge, that’s when everybody started saying it.
So you don’t see it as a negative thing.
Hell, no! Not when I’m talking about love. Love for music. What am I preaching? We’re going to share this shit and spread this shit to the rest of the world. They’ll buy 10 CDs and pass them to their friends, like, “Listen to this.” Why they do it for me? I have no idea. But I love ’em for it. So I just bring us closer together with a pledge, and if they do say it, it’s a cult. They’re going to wait until somebody dies or something. Like somebody’ll say, “Okay, this person said this person is a Technician, and they got beat up.” Then that will be bad. But that’s just in the hands of bad people getting my message. When my message is about love. And if they listened to me, it’s all about love. I’m giving you this music. I’m giving you my heart. That’s why fans stands for “forever accepting N9ne’s soul.” People say, “That’s cultish, muthafucka.” Yeah! I pour out my soul onto paper, and you accepted it and passed it around to people and believed in it. I love you for it. Let’s keep doing it.
When you hear the term “crossing over,” do you hate it or love it?
I love it. My music is supposed to be for everybody. I don’t feel like I got to suck dick to fuckin’ cross over, to get everybody to love my shit. I got shit for everybody. People are saying that I’m going to cross over to Black folks because all the White folks listen to my music already. So be it. I been chasing my Black folks for the longest, because a lot of them think I was a devil worshipper. So by Wayne saying my name, he don’t know how big that is, for him to be the reason that the other crowd over there, that’s the same color as me, is giving me a listen. He’s probably going to be the reason why they listen. That’s a big thing. It means a lot to me to give to people that never heard it or won’t hear it because of the imagery—the imagery is too insane for them, or it looks too spooky. I want this album to be for everybody. That’s how I do for all my albums. I don’t mind them saying “cross over.” Fuck it, let it cross over. It already crossed over overseas. Everybody should pay attention to real rhymes, to real lyricists. Why not? I might not look like Gucci Mane, I might not look like Waka Flocka, but I can appreciate what they do, even though what I do is different. [Sings] This is hip-hop, there’s country, jazz and R&B, and it’s pop, there’s rock ’n’ roll… It’s everything. It’s your preference. —Additional reporting by Mark Lewinwalla