MC explains the face paint and reveals a tour with Lil Wayne.
In Part I of BET.com's interview with the underground legend from the Midwest, Tech N9ne spoke about the success of fellow independent Macklemore, a possible collaboration with Alanis Morissette and why now, more than ever, it's good to be strange.
Here, in part two, "Technician #1" details how he plans to continue "breaking into colored houses" and reveals an upcoming tour with Lil Wayne, what it was like working with The Doors and the one collaboration that he's still hoping to get.
You made the song "B.I.T.C.H." with T-Pain and you mentioned in the track you've gained a lot more black fans in the last few years. Do you think that had to do with Lil Wayne mentioning the bond you two have in that interview he did a few years back?
I think it was right before that — the BET cypher. [After that] I started seeing a lot more black folks at my shows, still not enough though. I made a song years ago called "Message to the Black Man," where I was like, "You're missing good music. I'm not a devil worshiper. Please f--k wit me!" So now I'm mad, so I'm breaking into your muthaf----n' house! With my face paint on. I'm not taking it off to conform or fit in with y'all. You're gonna see it. Now [my song] "See Me" with B.O.B. and Wiz Khalifa is on radio as we speak, "Fragile" with me, Kendrick Lamar, ¡Mayday! and Kendall Morgan is on the radio as we speak. I'm gonna break through no matter what, so if I gotta weasel my way into the back room at the BET Awards or 106 & Park, I'm gonna keep seeping through and they're gonna be at my show. They don't know Wayne and his people are trying to get us on tour together soon. So I'm breaking into colored houses, man. I'm tired of bangin' on my people's doors and they're not answering and I go to a Jeezy show and they're all there, or I go to Waka Flocka's show and they're all there.
But your style is a little different than theirs. You use more elements of other types of music.
I know I'm different than what you see on TV. I'm a black dude whose face is painted. I love my face, there ain't nothin' wrong with that. My homeboy Brian Dennis, who painted my face years ago, got killed, so I'm still the clown in honor of him. I'm not taking it off. I wish I could have it on everywhere I went. I'ma get it to where I'm taking my face paint dude everywhere I go, 'cause I just don't feel 100% me without it. Something about me putting that mask on makes me feel empowered. Behind the mask, you do things you wouldn't regularly do and I feel like a superhero. I'll say things that I wouldn't say in a regular conversation. I get on that mic, I get super vulgar and super forceful and mean and killer-like! But in a good way, like lyrically.
You've been puttin' it down through various eras in hip hop. What era is your favorite?
I just love wonderful music. I just say I love the era then, and I love that I've become a teacher now, that I'm respected by all these people who are doing it humongous, even more humongous than I am, and they love me and respect me and do almost anything for me. Like if anybody's in a town I'm in, like if Kendrick Lamar is overseas and my people overseas say, "Hey no more tickets, can I go?" I can call him and say "no more tickets, can I get two people on the list?" [He'll say], "I got you, Tech." All over the world. Everywhere man, it's love, it's camaraderie. I love that I've gained that respect from being a student all these years, and now I'm a professor.
You're known for giving the fans their money's worth on your live show. Who's your favorite live show in hip hop?
In hip hop, there's old school and new school. Old school probably would win it 'cause the new school in general ain't that good of performers. Wayne has done wonderfully, I ain't just sayin' that 'cause he's my homeboy, but they really know how to put together a show, they've got a live band and the f----n' backdrop is amazing and it's something to see man. It's loud, it's wild, it's actually a show man. Busta Rhymes and Spliff, too, they kill it.
How was it working with Fred Wreck on "Strange 2013" with The Doors?
Fred Wreck made The Doors happen. He did the beat and they came and played on top of it, you know, Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger and Jon Densmore, and we got the permission to put Jim [Morrison] on the chorus. Fred Wreck made all that happen. Made my dream come true!
You've collaborated with so many people in your career. Who is the one person you haven't got down with yet but you're hoping to?
I ain't done a song with Dre yet. I've done a song with Ice Cube. I've done a song with Ren. I've done a song with Snoop. Done a song with Pac. I've done a song with Eminem. Still ain't done nothin' with Dr. Dre yet. I want to. He f---s with the greats and I feel like I'm one of 'em. I've worked with Kendrick, I've worked with everybody he f----d with for real, you know what I'm saying? I've done shows with Knoc-turn'al. Dre's the only one I never met. I even met Eazy back in the day, Jack The Rapper '92, but definitely would love to do something with Dre!
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(Photo: Jerod Harris/WireImage)