TSS: Eleven years ago on “The Industry Is Punks” – which was the focus of one of my very first TSS pieces, back in like 2007 – you basically guaranteed you would be “running the race” against major labels. Now, you’ve got an independently released album contending against major releases like Robin Thicke & Jay-Z and you’ve legitimized your claims. How does it feel to be able to back up bold ass statements you made over ten years ago?
Tech N9ne: (Laughs) Ahh, man. I think about it all the time, brother. Because…OK, my parents are really religious. And in the Bible, it says, “Though you think, though it is.” My mom married a Muslim when I was 12. I studied Islam from 12 to 17, before I ran away from home. The Koran says ‘Be and it is.’ Be that and it will be, you know what I’m saying? I learned that.
So, if I feel it and I speak it into existence, it will be. I was felt like I was going to be this. One thing that Islam always taught me was to be able to back up everything you say. No nonsense. Somebody’s going to ask you, ‘What do you mean by that?’ And if you don’t have an answer, you’re going to sound like a fucking idiot.
So, I’ve always been able to back up what I say. Whether I have an emotion, like I’m upset – I’ll tell you why. Or, if I feel a certain way about a certain thing, I’m going to be able to tell you why. Because, that’s what Islam taught me. So, when I said that back that then, I already knew this was going to be me. That was me on drugs. But, it was still me. The only thing that changed in me, is that I’ve been clean for over a decade almost.
Tech N9ne: Almost a decade. It’s been like nine years or something like that. Maybe, eight years, I don’t know (laughs). On the new album, on “Fortune Force Field,” I said, “We gon’ win, just a bit of waiting” And we just won, against Caribou Coffee, to do Caribou Lou. I have faith I can make these things happen…if we’re 100% right. Or, righteous. We’ve always been righteous. And, when I say ‘we,’ I mean me and Travis O’Guin. “Guaranteed to be running the race”…yes, because I knew I was going to infect everybody. I knew I had something special. And, I knew, along this path, I’m not going to conform for no amount of money. I knew it. It was already in me.
TSS: That’s an amazing feat to be able to have that type of foresight, and enough belief in yourself to achieve these things. A lot of people would see the levels to this type of success and say, ‘That’s too much work.’ Yet, you’ve brought it all together.
Tech N9ne: It’s called being Moorish. The Moors came here from Africa, and taught everybody how to build things, you know what I mean? Kings, man. So, I’m Moorish. I know how to build things. Strange Music…the snake and the bat, came from my head. All these images…I know how to build things, to get places.
They didn’t give me foreign languages in school and I wanted it. They gave me fucking gym for an hour, so I skipped it. Home economics. I don’t give a fuck about that. Woodshop class. I don’t give a fuck about that. And, I wanted to learn shit. So, I stole the books. I said, ‘OK, I want to learn foreign languages, so I can go to these places.’
Back then, on the Sway & Tech “The Anthem” – I said, “Sway and Tech heard me flow and it’s sealed, now I got Swedish women yelling ‘Tech N9ne vild!’ and it captured people out there. Just that little piece. Then when I went out there, everybody was saying ‘I remember the vild. I remember the vild.’ And, I’m like ‘Yeah, I learned it from QD3, he’s Swedish.’
So, it’s like I learn things, so I can go places. I write rhymes to travel. So, it’s like I’m a natural builder of things. I build ideas that will infect people, because I’m Moorish. I’m a Moor. It’s natural for me to feel like a king, or Godly. I can make something out of nothing, like water and bread, or fish. And, it spreads to thousands of people. Now, I can say, I write this and it will spread to hundreds of thousands of people, or more, these days. That’s Godly, we would like to think, because as men with power, we have God complexes. Like, Eminem has “Rap God.” I feel him. I feel him, because it’s like him, up there, (*Makes a mountain with his hands and motions to the top of it*), you know what I’m sayin’? I feel the God complex. I have one. We have Godly ways, that can touch people. People cry when then see me.
The only reason I don’t think I’m worth the tears that girls cry is because I’m a fuck-up. I’m a clusterfuck.
TSS: It’s all relative.
Tech N9ne: Yeah. But, they’re alike, I guess. They’re like, ‘You’ve got me through so much.’ It feels weird to me. Because, there’s a psycho dude in me that feels like I’m normal. But, my thought process is abnormal. I’m a builder, man. I build things and they spread. When I say “Why you wanna’ try and take my bill ticket, I mean real wicked, I been real livid, I been filled with it, I mean vexed”…I said “try and take my bill ticket.” So, when I say I’m going to create Caribou Lou, we’re going to fight these motherfuckers and we’re going to win. When we put it out, it’s going to take us from millionaires to billionaires. When I put out KC Tea, and everything. There’s so many things I want to build. There’s many ideas, man. So many ideas, to build. And, it feels amazing.
Something Else just came out. Almost three months ago. Still fresh. We’re still on like, our second single. We still have to shoot a video for the single that’s playing right now, “See Me,” with Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. OK. Then, after that, we have to shoot “Fragile” with Kendall Morgan and Kendrick Lamar and ¡Mayday!. Then, we have to shoot “Believe.” Then, we might have to shoot the one with Trae The Truth and Red Cafe, “With The BS.”
Now, November 5th, Therapy is coming out. As soon as Something Else came out, this Ross Robinson project was right there. ‘These are the days you can do it. Two weeks in LA. Are you cool? I know you just had an album ’ ‘Yes. Come on. This is me on Venice Beach, it’s going to be totally different. And, it is. Building ideas. It’s done already, man. (*Points to back of the bus*) I was listening to the master of it back there. I was like, ‘Wow!’ Just building, man. As it comes. Keep building. Because, if you keep building, something astronomical is going to appear right in front of you.
TSS: That’s impressive. I don’t know many people who can give themselves that type of positive reinforcement. Most people depend on others. You build your own and that’s a unique quality.
Tech N9ne: Yeah, man. But, a builder, like me? To have someone like Travis O’Guin come with capital and say ‘Let’s build these ideas together’? That’s divine (Laughs).
TSS: Right. You can’t put a finger on that shit.