Tech N9ne: Success -vs- Sacrifice

Each time his voice molds the wax, Tech N9ne shares his soul with the world.  He poetically transforms his mental sonnets into audible sixteens. Perhaps, it is his destiny, to lyrically manifest across every inch of the entire globe. In the relentless pursuit of achieving his dream, the already hitched MC, became a polygamist; he […]

Each time his voice molds the wax, Tech N9ne shares his soul with the world.  He poetically transforms his mental sonnets into audible sixteens. Perhaps, it is his destiny, to lyrically manifest across every inch of the entire globe. In the relentless pursuit of achieving his dream, the already hitched MC, became a polygamist; he got married to his music. Unable to nourish the core requirements of these two demanding relationships, Tech’s marriage eventually withered. While in the midst of juggling these competing relationships, Tech was granted a glimpse into his future. It was cruel in its clarity. Possessed by his muse,  his prophetic pen summoned the end of his marriage. “This Ring” flaunts a tormentingly complex yet simplistic premonition: “What/Can a n**** do/When he makes ends/Add more to the time they spend/While he make ends/Everything else breaking/And the bond at the house/May end/And your wifey/ steady yelling/’bout quality time/And you think/With all the fame and fortune/S*** ought to be fine/But what happens/When the divorce papers/Just gotta be signed/And you lose half/And your children/Cause you gotta be N9NE…”The ink has dried on the divorce decree; but, he is still making music. Among other things, Tech N9ne discusses with his perception of success versus sacrifice; his sobriety; and his thoughts on the commercial success female MCs.  I want to delve into your perception of success verses sacrifice. In respect to your profession and your personal life, what will it take for Aaron Yates and Tech N9ne to be fulfilled? Tech N9ne: For the whole world to know my story. If I’m walking through the mall, if b###### ain’t falling to the floor—Michael Jackson style— then that means, I ain’t doing my job 100%. That means I got more people to infect…It’s supposed to be like that everywhere I go. I ain’t supposed to be able to walk into a mall and shop without being stopped. I get stopped a lot, baby; don’t get me wrong. I’m spreading; but, not as much as I need to be. It needs to be to where I can’t go nowhere, to where I’m the Beatles…  How much are you willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of success? Tech N9ne: I’ve sacrificed everything; my wife is gone because of this music. I don’t get to see my kids because of this music. I’m always on the road working for their future. That’s all I give a f*** about—that’s why I’m working. I love my kids, my family and my fans. That’s what keeps me going.  I got Hip-Hop in my bones, in my blood, in my soul—that’s what I work for. So, I lost what I was working for; but, God still gives me a glance…  I sacrificed everything—But the things that I can do with them—it’s not just all the s*** that I can do material-wise—I’m just saying that when we do kick it, we go all the way, it’s for them. It’s about them I do this for them; so, they can have whatever the f*** they want. Because daddy ain’t there to take them on the first day of school. Daddy ain’t there to go to their teacher conferences, mommy has to do it all. Daddy’s out here grinding for their future. Do you think that the money is capable of replacing the time that you’re not being  able to spend with them? Tech N9ne: F*** no, money can’t make up for none of that s***. Money, this is what money does, money buys you time. What I mean by that, money buys you time to plan for happiness. Because I got money, I already booked a  Caribbean cruise for us January 3rd and they can’t wait. I’m taking them to St. Thomas, St. Martin, all that, Bahamas, all that on the Royal Caribbean. Money buys you time to plan for happiness. If you don’t have money you can’t plan for nothing, you can just plan to be on your ass. I know that because I been there. The only thing that money does, it will never make up for the time that I missed. I didn’t miss the first steps of every motherf***er; because, I wasn’t always successful, gaddamit. I was a bum having these m############ kids. I saw the first steps and I heard the first words. From the school age and when they started growing up a little bit; I missed a lot of s***. I missed some birthdays, I’ve done blew that. Money will never make up for that time. But, money buys me time to plan for happiness with my children. It buys you time; that’s all it does. It doesn’t buy you the time that you missed. But, it buys you time to plan for happiness in the future.  Are you at peace with the things that you’ve sacrificed thus far in order to reach your ultimate goal of success?  Tech N9ne: No, I’m not; because, I’m still sacrificing. They need me; but, I’m still gone. Nah, I ain’t at peace, I ain’t at ease. I’m just on a constant grind. I know that if I stop that all they s*** stop. That beautiful school that I gotta pay for, the braces that they need for their teeth, you know what I’m sizzling, health care. All that s*** stops. I gotta keep going; this ain’t it. I ain’t living the life. I ain’t Jay-Z; but, I’m getting there. Sometimes a life in the limelight will lead folks to indulge in excess. Do you recall what compelled you to start experimenting with drugs? Tech N9ne: Yeah, I was running from life. Life was f***ed up. Ecstasy made me feel like I was on my own planet. I was sexing b****es all around me. I’m a Scorpion male; so, I’m girl crazy. When I was on Ecstasy I had women around me. I had six chicks in my bed, sleeping, a lot of the time, trying to recover from the night before… I was running from a life of not succeeding, not having the money that I wanted to have or needed. I didn’t want to go home because the wifey kept b****ing about it. I took ecstasy to run and I almost got stuck in the sky. I took 15 pills in one night, I wouldn’t stop. I almost stopped my heart.  In what ways is sobriety affecting your creativity? Tech N9ne: I mean, when I listen to Anghellic, and my fans are going to hate me when I say this; because, they don’t understand. When I listen to Anghellic and when I listen to Absolute Power. To me a lot of that s*** is raggedy.  Raggedy? How dare you! Tech N9ne: Yeah, don’t get me wrong. The s*** is dope, it’s really dope, m############ “God Complex” dope! But it’s raggedy than a m###########, the drums and s*** be off beat. What I’ve noticed is that [now] I’m more precise with my s***, with my technique. Back then I was a little loose. My fans appreciate it, they don’t understand, I’m real technical, yaddamean…. When I listen to a lot of my older s***, a lot of that s*** is loose, baby. It ain’t totally cool; but, it’s monumental s***. You can’t talk bad about “This Ring” or “God Complex.”  I just dissect it. The albums got better when I was the highest, going from Anghellic to Absolute Power. But a lot got to do with the angel inside of me also got better. But, how do I keep going? As I get more sober I get more sharp. I could never rap drunk or none of that s***. My s*** is hella technical.  One thing that I respect about you is your willingness to work with emerging talent. Why do you feature the upcoming MCs the way that you do? Tech N9ne: Because music is supposed to inspire, like Lauryn Hill say…So, these young motherf***ers are the future, baby. Luckily I’m still young in it. I turn 38 in November [Nov. 8th] and I’m still rapping like I’m f***ing 19, n***a; it’s wonderful.  But, these youngsters they got from the set and I’m still scouting these young m############. When I hear a young m############ busting—on “In The Air” on Sickology 101 [starts singing] I’m iiiiiiiiiiiiin the air…” When I first got that beat it had Jay-Z all over it. I was at the studio doing my verse, Craig Smith and Nesto, [who are] from Philly, originally—Nesto is the owner and they came monstrous. So, I put them on it, instead of [reaching out to] Jay-Z. It’s hard to get into contact with Jay-Z.  Them n****s was so dope, I was like uh uhn, y’all are going on here. Then this n**** named Craig Smith, he was in the studio just killing it. I was going to put Jay-Z on that song and Rich The Factor, you know what I’m saying’ but, these little homies were so dope—I didn’t end up calling Rich up or Jay-Z. You know what I’m saying, and I know—my status on that, I know that Jay-Z probably  would have considered doing it for a nice price. It was something that we could afford; but, I didn’t have to wait on that. Because these young n****s are so hungry and talented; they’re worthy. I got to fly out, kick it with them, yadda’mean. Solé  is a good friend of yours, why do you think that female MCs haven’t enjoyed the same type of commercial success as their male counterparts? Tech N9ne: Why do I think that women don’t get the same look that men do; because, it’s a man’s world.  You heard James Brown [starts singing] “It’s a man’s world!” N****s act like they don’t respect women, you know what I’m saying? Then you got m############ like Eve and Lil Kim that go platinum. That’s two. Tech:  The reason why I think that they don’t get as much is because it’s a man’s world. Men are one-sided. We’re the king of double standards. Anything you can do, I can do better, you know what I’m saying. You can do this but you can’t do this. You know what I mean; but, women always prove that they can hang with all the men. And I respect it. I’m crazy about a woman…  Until the next time, what would you like to share with the folks out there? Tech N9ne: To you folks out there, get ready for ’09, we have a lot of stuff happening. We have a DVD [Strictly Strange Concert DVD]…. We got K.O.D., murdering the street. We have an international tour movie, we have a tour in the states, the K.O.D. tour with Slaughterhouse, Glasses Malone, Kutt Calhoun, Krizz Kaliko, Short Dawg, Tech N9ne!