In this humorous interview, Tech N9ne tells us about the enormous success of his latest album, working with high profile artists, hooking up with Hopsin, picking producers he works with, signing Brotha Lynch Hung and Jay Rock and possibly making a sequel to "The Rain" with his kids.
Krizz Kaliko tells us about his first meeting Tech N9ne and paying him to do a song and how they ended up becoming the incredible team they are today. He also details his solo ventures and how artists he admires, such as Cee-Lo, influence and inspire him.
Jay Rock, who's highly anticipated album "Follow Me Home" dropped today, explains the process that lead to his signing with Strange Music and his admiration for Tech N9n'es work ethic. He tells us about his album and why it is a modern West Coast classic.
We hope you enjoy this interview and make sure to pick up "All 6's & 7's" and "Follow Me Home" if you haven't done so yet!
Read on and enjoy. As always feel free to hit up
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Dubcnn right here in San Francisco with Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko and Jay Rock. We're here for the "All 6's and 7's" tour, Tech how does it feel to get an album out again?
Tech N9ne: It's beautiful man, because the response is enormously good. It hit #4 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 Rap & R&B, #1 independent, #1 in internet sales, so it's a beautiful response. I just wanted to touch everybody and I wanted how good it is to spread to everybody and I think that's what's happening.
Dubcnn: Is this the point you were working towards your whole career?
Tech N9ne: That's what I do on every album, for real. Every album is the same way to me, K.O.D. was the same way, I just think this one is bigger, because the beats are enormous, my style is better and more polished and I got a lot of star features on it like Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, E-40, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Yelawolf, B.o.B., Hopsin, Mint Conditioni, Deftones, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, everybody. We all came together to make something epic and it's humongous.
Dubcnn: So when you go back and listen to songs like "Why U Ain't Call Me", they don't make no sense no more?
Tech N9ne: It don't make no sense no more, because right when I made that song everybody started calling me, it's crazy. That's a beautiful song, I still listen to it. But really, the people I was talking about still ain't called me, like Jay-Z or Luda…
Tech N9ne: We were going to do something with Eminem on this one, but he just didn't have the time. But yeah some of those people on the song still ain't called me so I guess it's still kind of relevant.
Dubcnn: You got a song called "Am I A Psycho" with B.o.B. and Hopsin. We've been supporting Hopsin on dubcnn for a minute and I was happy to see him on your album, cause I always thought you guys' sound would fit together. How did you hook up with him?
Tech N9ne: They came down to Strange Music, him and his people from Funk Volume. We had a meeting, it was cool as hell. I already dug his flow, from watching his videos I already knew he had flow, and I wanted to get him on something. He was in cahoots with one of my homeboys Stevie Stone, they both were on Ruthless Records, so we made that connection. It was a wonderful connection I might add, because he's a lyrical murderer, such as everybody else on strange.
Dubcnn: Something I always noticed about you is that you find up and coming producers and then you stick to them, such as Ronz from Berlin or Seven. How do you go about finding producers?
Tech N9ne: Wherever they might come from, they might be sending me beats and if they're beautiful I don't care if they're all the way at the bottom or all the way at the top! Like Pharrell just hit me and said do I want some beats and I said yeah! *laughs* If Ronz called me right now and said "Tech I got some beats", I wanna hear them and if they're good I'm using them!
Dubcnn: I hit him up a while back I don't think he's making music right now.
Tech N9ne: I know, I heard he was working or something. They have to over there or something.
Dubcnn: Well he's always going to have his legacy with you.
Tech N9ne: He's so talented man, he bought all that equipment for the music we were doing, I'd love to hear him again. He did "Trapped In A Psycho's Body" for me, that was a big one. I haven't heard that sound again since.
Dubcnn: For people who have been following your career from the beginning, one person that's always been on your side and has always been a part of the Tech sound is sitting right here: Krizz Kaliko. I wanna go back in time real quick. Krizz, how did you and Tech meet and when did you know that you two were meant to make music together?
Krizz Kaliko: We met through a mutual friend named DJ Icy Roc, who formed Nnutthowze back in the day with Tech. He was a producer and DJ and he happened to be live in my neighborhood, he was my sister's ex-boyfriend. As Tech was kind of venturing off, getting his deal with Quincy Jones, I kind of became Roc's new protege. When Tech came back to Kansas City in a different situation, I paid him to do a song with me! I guess he was impressed and he asked me to help him with one song where he had somebody else singing on it.
Tech N9ne: Yeah they was whack on there!
Krizz Kaliko: It was some girl singing on the song called "Who U Came To See", Tech was actually singing it and was not quite satisfied with it, so we worked on that. From there, one song turned into album after album after album. Our chemistry is just great, he can give me an idea and I'll run with it or vice versa. Our styles just compliment each other. I rap too, but I think our best chemistry is when he raps and I do the chorus.
Tech N9ne: But when he raps and I do the chorus…! *laughs* *starts singing*
Krizz Kaliko: *laughs* Yeah! I be trying to get him to sing more, because he knows music really well, he's not just a rapper!
Tech N9ne: *singing*
Krizz Kaliko: But he don't wanna do it on stage *laughs* But yeah our chemistry is just good, we're going on 2012, it will be our 12th year together.
Dubcnn: You really expanded your solo career in the last couple of years, that song "Misunderstood" single was the one that had me like "Okay, he can actually do his thing as a solo artist on a major scale". It kind of had that Cee-Lo Green feeling to it, I'm sure you've heard that before.
Krizz Kaliko: Oh yeah. I admire him man. I hear Tech say in a lot of interviews that Lauryn Hill said music is supposed to inspire. I've been inspired by Cee-Lo man, I would love to work with him. We actually almost worked together on this album, but he was doing that show, The Voice. So he was busy with that.
When I'm influenced by stuff, I'm not biting. But I will take some elements of what I am influenced by and mix it together. I'm influenced by Tech, so you're going to hear some Tech influence in my music, you know? I'm influenced by Outkast, Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes. You're going to hear these influences on my music.
Dubcnn: Now Tech, last year or the year before you signed Brotha Lynch Hung to Strange, and as a Brotha Lynch fan since back in the day, it was really good to see him finding a home where his music could be heard and his vision could be realized the way it needed to be.
Tech N9ne: I think it was perfect for him to be with Strange Music, for Madesicc to collide with Strange in a wonderful way musically. The nigga can really fucking bust rhymes, I hear patterns I've never heard - and I'm a pattern type of guy! I go after the MC's, I want hardcore MC's on my team. He's one of them.
Dubcnn: Is that what made you want to get Jay Rock on the team?
Tech N9ne: He's a muthafuckin' MC! I heard that! I heard him on the set of my "Like Yeah" video. I was sitting at home and saw a video of his and was like "That shit is dope! That's the nigga that was at my video shoot!" I think my publicist Richie had given me like a mixtape or something and I heard niggas on there.
I remember I ran into Jay Rock and was like "Who is that dude on there rapping with you?" I think that was how I met Kendrick Lamar. But seeing Jay Rock's video was enough for me, I knew he was a MC and that he rolled with MC's like Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar - Black Hippy. That's the new N.W.A. to me. I'm trying to get my money up so I can get them all over here! *laughs*
Dubcnn: We've got the man right here! Jay Rock! You've got quite a history already, you had your trials and tribulations on Warner and then you were doing the independent thing. When Tech approached you about Strange, did you know right away that this was the move to make?
Jay Rock: Yeah I knew this was the right move to make, because what I learned by signing to Strange is that it's all about the fans. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about and we've been stressing that since day one. That's why I'm doing this music thing - the fans. And I saw how Tech was connecting with his fans and I was like "Man, that's amazing."
What's crazy for me the first time I went on the road with him is that a lot of his fans already knew who I was and my music. I didn't even know! I was like "Man this is a whole new world for me!" For his fans to come up to me like "Your song All My Life that's real, that got me through the day!" That just gave me more inspiration to keep going, that's what it's about. That's why I felt that this was the best move. I told bro "Thank you for the opportunity." That was my first run right off the bat and it was amazing. I'm still overwhelmed.
Dubcnn: Is it hard to keep up with Tech's tour schedule?
Jay Rock: Oh nah, man this is the grind! I'm hustling like I'm broke, I'm still going hard. Go hard or go home and that's what this dude does, he goes hard! No sleep!
Dubcnn: So July 26th is when the album is coming out?
Jay Rock: Yeah, July 26th, Follow Me Home baby! I got Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko on the album, I got Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Black Hippy on the album. I got Rick Ross and Chris Brown on the album it's amazing. Real West Coast classic, make sure to tell them!
Dubcnn: Tech, we're in the Bay Area right now. I was introduced to your music through The Regime, which consisted of a lot of Bay Area artists. Are you still in touch with Yukmouth and The Regime?
Tech N9ne: Oh yeah! He's coming up to Sacramento so I can shoot the video to this song I did with him and The Grouch called "Go Nuts". We're still connected, we're gonna be connected for life, he helped me out. I was just telling Krizz Kaliko that I don't feel like I've repaid him yet for everything he's done. We're still moving. I told him the other day: "Give me a minute, I'm working on it!" *laughs* Whatever that may be.
Dubcnn: Before we get out of here man, one of my personal favorite songs of yours is "The Rain" where you have your kids rapping on it. Have you ever thought about making a sequel to it?
Tech N9ne: Yeah my daughter Aaliyah, the one who did most of the rapping on it, she's 16 now and Rainbow is 12 and she's like "Daddy I want my 16 bars" so I said "Okay, wait a second." I'll have to do it again cause I'm still missing them, they called me, I wasn't there on father's day and they were like "What do we get you daddy? We can't buy you anything you already have everything!" I was like "No I don't! I don't have yawl as much as I would like."
Dubcnn: Do they watch and follow everything that you're doing music-wise?
Tech N9ne: Oh yeah! My kids do. My wife.. Nah. She's doing her poetry, spoken word poetry. She's doing well at it too. I gotta tell her "You ain't seen my new song?" She says "No, the kids have but I haven't." *laughs*
Dubcnn: Alright man I really appreciate you guys' time. Before we get out of here is there anything else you wanna let everybody know?
Tech N9ne: Together we are a powerful force, as one mind, body and soul. Let no evil enter nor attempt to reduce us because of the beliefs we hold. And with this love combined with our strength, we ward off pain and stress. Technician I am, wholeheartedly in life and in death!