One Good Time – Letter From the Editor

Image shot by F. Scott Schafer

Tired of T.I. yet? Hope not! Who knew he was gonna go on the press run of his life to sell, um, nothing. Wasn’t the plan we had in mind, but whatever. Our memory runs long. But Tip sure made his sensitive power statement in that soft-pink shirt on Larry King Live. Bet you didn’t know it was Akoo. Or did you, and I’m clueless? My boy Sherlen Archibald, from our friends at The Chamber Group, had the same shirt on recently at an Akoo lunch. The line has some nice items. Where is this going? Check the bottom of page 12 in the new issue.

I have always been against the idea of a king, a best, a greatest. The self-proclaimed King of the South disagrees with me. I agree to disagree. Isn’t it all relative? What makes someone the best if, as a fan, I think someone else is just as good or better? And can there really only be just one of whatever someone is claiming they are? This is a conversation I have in my head with Tip (while we smoke blunts and shoot pool in the back bar of his Club Crucial), not actually in person. Because I’m not trying to send him back to jail with a dirty urine. But also, if I try for a moment to stand in his shoes, I can understand how some artists might have to give themselves that sense of entitlement with a title in order to have the confidence necessary to make you believe. It worked for Lil Wayne, right?

With Tip back on the scene, after seven months in jail and then three months in a halfway house, he’s ready to return to his rap throne. He told Ben Detrick (page 48), “‘King of the South’ did not exist before me. The term cannot be passed along unless I choose to pass it along.”

July is here, and with that brought July 4th, our country’s Independence Day. In honor of going indie in hip-hop, we put together a special package featuring dope stories including one on NYC’s Duck Down Records, and KCMO’s Strange Music.

Okay, so let’s have the Tech N9ne convo. This one I did have with T.I., and he looked at me like I was crazy (“Cry Baby,” “Why You Ain’t Call Me”). Anyone who has visited the @XXLStaff office lately knows that Matt Barone and I became Tech Stans after taking a trip to Kansas City, Missouri a couple of months ago. I don’t really know what happened to us out there (between the intensely huge BBQ meal, hours and hours at a bizarre strip club, and a ridiculous rap show), but we discovered (that’s so disrespectful) this crew called Strange Music and this rapper who paints his face, named Tech N9ne (get over the paint, people!), and we fell in love (@XXLStaff just said “pause” in my brain). Neither coast, nor down bottom are really up on SM (this blows my mind now), but they got the Middle on lock.

I had heard about Tech and some of his music for years, but never paid too much attention (shame on ignorant me), so @XXLMatt and I went to KCMO to check out the scene. When they say a picture is worth a thousand words, well, check out the shots starting on page 56 and see what we saw. Like, really look at the pictures, and understand the indie movement Tech and Travis O’Guin have built out there. (Then read the killer piece.) Then, come back to and check out the gallery of extra shots from the Strange Music story. (I cannot explain how impressive their business is.) While you’re on the Internet, you might really wanna go to YouTube and look up “Come Gangsta Tech N9ne Live,” and click on the first link that comes up (orange jumpsuit in chair). I’m thinking, after that, you might wanna find out when Tecca Nina is performing in your town (he probably is soon), and go to the show. Because, if you’re a real hip-hop fan, there is no way you aren’t gonna be into his performance with Kutt Calhoun and Krizz Kaliko (@VSattenXXL with feedback, please).

Does that all sound like a heavy co-sign? Yes. Was that the intended purpose, and do
I care? No and no. (Shout-out to Stevie Stone and Irv Da Phenom!) Between all the Tech music, I’m catching up on and Eminem’s Recovery. I’m so stuck in the Midwest right now that my face is painted and I’ve been regularly speaking a mile a minute, in rhyme form.

With that, Tecca Nessa is off to meet the @XXLStaff and plan next month’s 13th-anniversary issue!

It don’t stop ’til my hip don’t hop anymore,

Vanessa Satten

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  • Casey

    Tech will always be technically gifted, but too gimmicky to really enjoy

    • TUNED2IT

      Fall back on that gimmick ish son… if you really listen to the music then you would know that he is the polar opposite of your comment. TECH fans (my self included) have been awaiting the day when STRANGE MUSIC and KCMO get the proper shine that we (KCMO) have been working so hard for. Peace to TECH and STRANGE MUSIC and thank you for all your hard work. one oh an STAY TUNED2IT

    • Dustin

      gimmicky my ass unless realness is a gimmick

  • Midwest Bangers

    Yall been sleepin for way to long on Tech and he aint on no mainstream bullshit. The Source been puttin their ads in the mag for years now.

  • Jamal7Mile

    Tech and Strange Music fit the definition of GRINDING to a tee. They may very well be one of the smartest and hardworking group in Hip-Hop. Nothing but admiration and respect from me.

    @Casey – He’s working on the gimmicky part. He got rid of the red hair, lol!

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Not hatin, but T.I. sux……….

  • Anonymous

    Tech N9ne is hands down the greatest rapper of all time / alive !!!!

    I have been a true fan for over ten years and now I promote out in new jersey for him & the rest of the very talented strange music crew!!

  • Jon Dog

    Well, it kills me to say this, but Vanessa Satten, I fuckin’ agree with you, FOR ONCE!!! I’ve seen Tech and Kali twice now. I actually got to meet them (and Scoob) in Edmonton when they came up. Their show is, by far, the best show in hip hop, hands down. I don’t give two shits who ya seen, and who ya think has the best show, take it from me (and Ms. Satten). these dude’s will put your favorite rapper(s) to shame, NO SHIT!!

  • http://Imonallthesocialsitesfuckaz Big ZenZ

    Tech received 2 (yes TWO) mics in the Source (back when that mattered to some). I bought that shit 1st day it came out after acquiring “The Calm Before the Storm”, and “The Worst” from the internets because that was the only way to cop those older joints. They’re simply incredible.

    When I had a little pull in the Rapid City, SD music scene, I convinced a local promoter to bring Tech in right after “Absolute Power” dropped. He’s since performed there 5 or 6 times I believe.

    My point is that regardless of what print media and reviewers who don’t know a gotdamnd thang about music say. Once you see Tech, and really listen to his incredible lyricism and wordplay… How could you NOT love this music?

  • Big ZenZ

    We even booked him for an in-store signing the night of their first show. And out of love, they did that! If you can find tracks like “Kansas City King” and “Biank Zone”, more props to ya. They hard as shit to find, but worth it. Word

  • swype-matic

    Tech N9ne should be a lot more known than he is now. I been listenin’ to him since ’02 (INDUSTRY IS PUNKS), and he’s been spittin’ fire the whole time. Glad he got rid of the red hair too.

  • Zoom LeBron 3

    Never really got into tech.

  • Aaron Sohl

    Finally, some props for the REAL King of the MidWest. Tech N9ne is one of the highest talents in the game period! I’m from Nebraska and have been following Tech’s career since ’99 and no1 represents harder for the MidWest then Tech. His music has always gone against the grain, while always staying true to his fans and his home. Like you said, his live show is what will really make you a believer. Recently I saw him and Slaughterhouse opened. Don’t get me wrong SH tore it down, but when “Stamina” comes on and you hear why his name is “Tech N9ne” the whole building knows “Who You Came to See.”

  • mikel

    tech nine is fuckin lame. he redid “amadeus amadeus” as “im a playa im a playa.” that’s all that really needs to be said

    • Rob81

      and who do you listen to wacka? gucci? get out of here lame. you must have no taste in music jabroni.

  • big scoob

    tech’s show, while still excellent, has declined over the last few years but he still hit the stage grab the mic and blow em all away

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  • Tye

    Its amazing that he isn’t as popular as some of these artists..he has more talent then a lot of them. I have seen his show three times and it is more like a party then a concert. The energy that those guys bring to the stage is amazing especially considering that they are touring a large portion of the year.



  • Harra$$dadon

    Yeah tech okay, But that nigga T-rock goes 10 x times harder! come on son! V let me knw you dnt know nuthin bout rock! “pushin” and “laugh” go hard. Guess you gotta buy alot of adds before xxl will admit you da chit in your city! Ha! oh well! your loss V! guess it aint really bout the music!

  • chef

    thank you xxl for finally giving independent artist their dues tech and strange music are by far one of the best out there and tech shows are the shit. was also glad to see the homie murs get his props. but i am dissapointed by one thing though how can you recognize independent artist and not mention rhymesayers? slug of atmosphere is by far one of the best song writers as far as hip hop goes and has been putting in work for over a decade. as well as others on the lable such as brother ali and the newley signed freeway. please give slug the credit he’s always deserved

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