Tech N9ne Found Inspiration in an Instagram Comment

Tech N9ne | Myth | Saturday, November 22
Kansas City's Tech N9ne is perhaps the biggest indie MC in the world. Like seemingly every year, 2014's been a big year for Tech as he released a new collaboration album, aptly titled Strangeulation, and even got some national TV time by being behind home plate for the first game of the World Series.

Before Saturday's show at Myth, Gimme Noise spoke to Tech about how his fanbase has changed following recent high profile collaborations with the likes of Lil Wayne, as well as how much his fans impact his music.


First of all, happy belated birthday! You celebrated in Denver this year, correct?

Thank you man, I'm still celebrating. Oh my God, it was such a wonderful show. Over 4,000 people there, everybody showed up, it was just amazing.

In all your years on Earth, what's one piece of advice you've found correct that everyone should know?

Everyone should know respect is good in any language. You give respect, you get respect. I've learned in my 43 years of living that you get what you give, and that's one thing I know to be true. To disrespect somebody is a bad thing, respect goes a long way. I've had a skinhead come up to me in Germany and say, "I don't listen to rap, but I love your music." He said, "you came in and shook my hand earlier, nobody shakes hands here, they're so stuck up." Respect is going in any language.

Do you find you hear some variant of "I don't listen to rap, but I love your music" very often?

I get it everywhere I go. You think of me being the only hip-hop artist who performed at Knotfest with Slipknot. They say, "I don't really like hip-hop, but I love your music." But it is hip-hop, hardcore hip-hop.

Does that ever rub you the wrong way, or is it something you embrace?

Whatever way I can get you into my music, I'm all for it. I think music should be for everybody, there shouldn't be any barriers. That's why you can hear me on Carter IV with Lil Wayne and you can hear me on a song with Serj Tankian. Why you can hear me on songs with T-Pain and then hear me on a song with the Deftones. Why you can hear me on a song with Snoop Dogg and E-40 and then hear me on the Five Finger Death Punch album. When people say "you got me into hip-hop," that's a beautiful thing.

You've attributed your prolific output to always wanting to create new music to reach your fans. Has a song of yours ever been directly inspired from a fan's interaction?

All the time man, all the time. I look at YouTube comments, I look at Instagram comments, Twitter comments. I have a song on my new album "Dyin' Flyin'," it's about my fans. Some of my fans don't want me to get as big as I'm getting. They don't want to see me on "Jimmy Kimmel" or hear "Fragile" on the radio, which I have no idea why.

I wrote this song off of a fan on Instagram who said "ever since 2010 he hasn't been doing any good music." I wrote this song about how I'm flying high as hell, but I'm dying at the same time because some people don't want me to get as big as I'm getting. Because of that guy, one of the lines in the second verse is "how the hell are you saying that all the records I'm playin' since 2010, I'm not obeying the Strange Law, remain raw." If he hadn't said that, I wouldn't have written it. I'm always in tune with the fans and always inspired by the fans. Whoever said that is gonna know, "Wow, he's talking to me."

Your fanbase has really increased. Have you noticed any demographic shift in recent years?

Yes man, they're getting younger and younger. As I'm getting older, they're getting younger. It's a wonderful problem to have. They're never gonna let me stop rapping.

How was the response to your national television appearance behind the plate for your Kansas City Royals' first game in this year's World Series?

Such a beautiful experience. I had no idea that the whole world would see me. As soon as we sat down, I got a call from Lil Wayne. He said, "I see you nigga." I said "What? You see me?" "I see you on TV." After that, everybody was hitting me up. So because of that, while I was on tour a couple games after that, I hit Wayne and said, "Do you want my seat for tomorrow's game?" He did, but couldn't make it, so we gave it to E-40.

Tech N9ne. 7 p.m., Saturday, November 22 at Myth. Tickets.


The 10 Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
The Best New Minnesota Musicians of 2014
53 things you might not know about Prince
73 things you might not know about Bob Dylan