Tech N9ne Reveals "So Lonely" Originally Intended As Eminem Collaboration, Talks Role Of Metaphors In His Verses

Exclusive: The Midwest O.G. speaks about why Eminem's appearance on "All 6's & 7's" evolved into an equally meaningful guest-spot, as well as a clinic on just how lyrical Strange Music's titan is.

On Friday June 3, HipHopDX met Kansas City, Missouri emcee Tech N9ne at his Strange Music "compound" in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Hours before headlining a sold-out concert at KC's Midland Theatre, Tech N9ne spoke about a number of issues relating to his latest album, All 6's & 7's.

The veteran revealed which track on his just-released album was intended to be a collaboration with a fellow Wake Up Show disciple, Eminem. Tech also spoke about the role of metaphors in his verses, an apparent trait throughout his 15-year catalog, especially on this high-profile release.

Eminem's Intended Guest Spot On Tech N9ne's Album

HipHopDX: “So Lonely” is such an interesting song, and it can be looked at in a number of levels. I’m sure a lot of your listeners can relate to it…I can. But it also seems to be a song largely about fame and your place in the industry. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but can you speak on what inspired that song as well as the very cleverly picked guests?

Tech N9ne: The way I came up with “So Lonely,” it’s really a narcissistic thing to say. And it’s cool, because I never get to be the narcissist. But I got to be the narcissist on a couple songs like “He’s A Mental Giant” and “So Lonely.” The whole thing behind “So Lonely” was to say, “I’m so up here. Where are all y’all at? Where’s my competition? It’s lonely up here.” That song was originally intended for me and Eminem. Nobody’s on our lyrical game. So when Em didn’t have enough time to do it, I put the song to the side. But then I started paying attention, and I started watching Blind Fury. And I said, “He can say the same thing, and nobody can touch him.” [Rhyming,] “It’s lonely up here / Ain’t none of my homies up here…” is like a big-headed thing to say. But it feels like a sentimental song, with the piano and things and the way Wyshmaster played it.

At the same time, it’s really cocky to say, “Been alone every since I started / To be an artist / I been disregarded / And I mean the hardest ever seeen…” It’s just saying that I’m so huge lyrically, ain’t nobody up here that’s messin’ with us. Blind Fury held that, and I already knew he could hold it. I seen it right before my eyes, and I’m already knowing that a lot of people can’t do what I do lyrically. [Saying something like,] “Follow me / All around the planet / I run the gamut / On Sickology / They could never manage / We do damage / With no apology / Pick ‘em up they panic / The little mannequins they gotta be / Frantic gotta jam it / 'Cause I’m an oddity…”

It’s not just because I’m rapping fast or whatever, but really making sense and putting lyrics together as mathematics. I already knew that I was up there, you know what I’m sizzlin’? So as a lyricist, it’s so lonely up here.

DX: A lot of artists who might not be as successful as you are, trip out because they have one song with a great metaphor and act like they just wrote “I Used To Love H.E.R.” Your album is filled with those. As a songwriter, how much do you like putting all that depth in your songs, where it applies on four different levels?

Tech N9ne: I think it’s a must to think deep and think different. I want the fans to hear something different every time they hear it, like, “Whoa, I can’t believe he meant that!” Or say, ‘I can’t believe he said that.” I’m playing tricks every time I’m writing to see if people will catch it. And usually, on down the line…if they sit down and listen, they’ll see I put a lot of work into my lyrics. Especially on this album,  All 6’s and 7’s, I wrote about a song a day. And I didn’t have the time to do that for real. But that’s what I felt. So everything was written to have people catch it at certain times. When you listen to it the first time, you’re not going to hear everything I said. I think it’s way important to make the fans think and say, “Wow, that was dope. I liked it for the style, but now I like it because of what it means.” I think it’s a must to actually make them think and to put your brain into it.

I don’t have a problem with people rhyming just for the sake of rhyming. I’m a fan of it. But I was always taught to think different. So I put that in my rhymes, and I make them think different.

Tech N9ne's Balance In Writing His Lyrics

DX: What’s the ration in Tech N9ne’s music—or even on this album, since I know it’s constant evolution—between style and substance?

Tech N9ne: All my songs are 100% style and substance. I’ma show out, but at the same time I talk to you. On “If I Could” with the Deftones, I say, “I know I’m always gone / And I ain’t never home / And plus you barely ever hear me on the telephone / Just trying to sell a song / Until my bright angel is known / And my hell is shown / But if I rest / It’s just like all my mail is thrown / All away / All the day / Y’all will stay / Called away…”

I say so much, and it’s all like wordplay. I’m telling you a story that’s pretty sad, but it’s style and it’s substance. Just like my first major album Anghellic. My fans say “This Ring” is one of the best songs I ever wrote, and it has everything that I do lyrically. I say, “Got me a top-notch / Straight hot fox / We sought rocks / And the Ewok slot was caught / Got dropped too playing hopscotch / On the block / Ought not twat plot / Yo for hops knot / I brought dots…” And then it goes on.

I’m telling you that after I started doing this music, all the bitches wanna fuck now. Everybody’s checking for me now, and I’m telling you this wonderful story of how to balance fame and being a family man. And I’m losing doing it, but I’m telling you in a beautiful style so you’ll listen. So every song you hear on 6’s and 7’s—and all my music—is style and substance. That’s how you show off to me.

I could talk to you and say, “Hey I’m looking down on you niggas / Even though I’m 5’8” and 195 pounds on you niggas / So tall I can’t even hear any sound you deliver / But me and my partner never even see the hateful frowning you give us…” You know, that’s real arrogant. I’m saying they’re all the way down there. But I’m saying it really fast. It’s goin’! So I’m showing out and talking to a nigga like, “You can’t do this!” It’s substance and style, and that’s how you show out man. That’s the wonderful thing about Tech N9ne to me.


Video and Editing by Omar Burgess

Purchase Music by Tech N9ne


  • Andrew M Netz

    DUDE THE MIC IS DISTORTING?? or is it the streaming quality... you need an audio tech on the boom mic son!

  • Omar

    Tech's definately not getting killed on his own music. him & Twista were the best on Choppers.Tech DOMINATES every song other than that with a guest feature.

  • Tim

    Man, who gives a shit about the negative comments people make? If you hating, it's because you can't comprehend anything deeper than some Chris Brown bullshit. And I'm not trying to put down other artists either, but for real, the substance Tech's talkin' about is unique to him. Other rap talks endlessly about stuff that doesn't mean shit and doesn't have any value past maybe a decent beat. Sure substances are mentioned frequently, but fuck, without weed, most of them wouldn't have a damned thing to say past "bling bling" and "bitches"... Tech is the king, and not only does his music move me, his lyrics speak to me and tell truths of life and things I can intimitely relate to and validate. Once you get past the very thin layer of persona he puts off for the industry, you see the real, deep and complex emotions and thinking...that of a genius, an artist and a great musician, a man that should get and deserves more respect and attention by the rap industry. The only rapper I would like to meet in person. The midwest did have some credability, but nothing like the East or West in terms of this genre, until that is, this man took the music to another level; that Tupac, B.I.G., Big Pun and Eazy E never even dreamed of, let alone achieved. So, let haters hate, doesn't mean shit to me, Because I and many other true fans and artists all know who's the real king of Kansas City, M.O. yo. Tech N9ne! -on the small chance Aaron Dantez Yeates ever reads this post, Know I've got much love man, I wish you all the best luck and success dog, You always have a loyal fan in me, don't doubt it...I have 238 songs of yours, not including Krizz, Big Scoob, Scatterman, Snug Brim or songs you're featured in...and growing. I also have 7,000 other songs and 636 other Artists in my collection, but only your albums I play everyday... Love "Happy ending", " K.O.D." , and way too many more to mention. And oh yeah, I bought them... -PeAcE Tim L.

  • amp

    hiphopdx is mentioned on one of the skits on All 6's and 7's lol

  • trooth

    tech is not even in the top 20 rappers. i mean he bit Bone Thugs on the fast rapping... and now he's just talking crazy about nobody can touch him. smh you call these dope lyrics?? “Follow me / All around the planet / I run the gamut / On Sickology / They could never manage / We do damage / With no apology / Pick ‘em up they panic / The little mannequins they gotta be / Frantic gotta jam it / 'Cause I’m an oddity…” get the fuck outta here.. this dudes a gimmik like ICP. it blows my mind people dick ride this dude.

    • lana

      to all you haters who are hating on tech i just wana let ya'll know you are blinded from the most amzing music i and many many other ppl have ever heard your missin out on alot and keep you god danm hatfull judgements to yourself and tim whoever u r i agree with u 110%

    • Denver Scott Bjerke

      aight trooth heres the truth when he in the booth he's set loose no need for breath or a mental boost spittin since 85 it was writtin since he that selfish bitch in cursed and it will get worse cuz as he grows in his skill and flows i suppose its funny how the hatin slows cuz as 1 person is green and glows 4 mo(re) show up to get low and show yo punk ass the do(or) that was a pretty simple metapho(r)to say in a smart way that if u hate techan9na 4 technichians will apperate ta finnish ya bruh bruh bruh two in the chest one in the head there we go annother dead enemy cuz we tired of ur envy and i dont need my peers helpin me but strangelain will take aim and end the fake brain that accept wayne but say tech is lame and ppl like u to blame for why it took so long for him to burst like flame so to put u to shame lemme say this aint no game yo will burn from propane cuz hes a huge pillsberry dough mane

    • Omar

      don't be an idiot. even Em & Rakim spit some garbage once in a while. & then you say he bit Bone Thugs but Twista was spitting before them so learn your HISTORY before you start typing.

    • Kenny

      Anyone who hates on tech does not really know the struggle from where he came! Of all the albums hes came out with he gets better every time... No one in the game can say that!?! Where is the respect for the Tech? Tech n9ne all day!

    • Joe Dawg

      Lol at him biting Bone Thugs, you're a retard bro.

  • TC

    It's called BUSINESS!....Morons!!! Do you really think Em's going to do a cameo on any album a week before the "we ain't fighting, we friends now" album with Royce?...Hell no!!! For all we know they might've cut a track and when Em found out the album date his people called Tech and said "so sorry, but your going to have to shelf it, maybe next album". And because Tech puts out an album/EP every year and not every 5 (wink wink) he will. Nothing against Em (my 14 year old niece and friends think he's cool, which in return makes them cool) but when he came out saying his last album should be thrown in the trash, so sorry......I was like PASS! Now, could someone please tell me how much Tech had to pay for Snoop's 47sec verse that took him a minute to write? Because he needs a refund.

  • Brent

    Lmao @ lol. That is the definition of a HATER. Not making one ounce of sense at all. And lmao @ Wayne shitting on Tech, its the complete opposite. Tech obliterates Wayne w/ his complex flow and lyricism. "Yeah" "Ugh" "Im makin it.." That's all Wayne said. A bunch of shitty punchlines that barely make sense. Tech obviously wasn't trying to "compete" with Hop or B.O.B. on Am I A Psycho. He's spit 100x harder than that, still a sick ass verse. And I'm still laughing about Wayne shitting over Tech. Once again, Tech wasn't even trying to shit on anyone, that's not what he does, but he still obliterated Wayne. Lmao @ Yelawolf's signing bonus more than Tech's made in his career. Strange made 15 mil last YEAR. Tech has more dough than majority of rappers bc he's independent. Major labels take a large percentage of a rapper's money, that's why you see rappers dead broke all the time. Tech has the money to pay anyone, another stupid, retarded comment. And lmfao @ the hilarious "he's not on a major label bc he's not on Em's level" joke of a comment. He has the #1 Independent label in the World, no major label can compete with that. He chooses not to go to a major label. Independent rappers>Mainstream label rappers....Oh shit, I just realized this lol: douche is trolling! Gotta love people with no life.

  • Dan Delsie

    Tech N9ne - The complete cycle of rhyme

  • lol

    some on, everybody knows Tech aint what he used to be. Everybody used to say, "noone in the industry can fuck with him", then he does a song with Lil Wayne, and wayne shits all over him...He does a song with Hopsin and B.o.B, and they shit all over you people think he's better than EM??? wake the fuck up you little Tech N9ne stans...

  • Rachael Misek

    I am sorry but I am going to talk like it really is with you, YOU are like the biggest drama crap from Missouri since the oil spill. Okay..last year up in the ICP clown reunion you were all about how "fake wayne was" then you were talking collabs with him online, then in Rap Basement you were riding my profile for whatever i posted you hated on, then in your lyrics you talk about how the "White women are the devil" whatever Tech..your fucked in the head, yeah you got a dick in your mouth before you could walk.

    • Ahmed


    • Christian Vasquez

      Daaayyyuuum!! Gather round! TECNITIONS just verbally raped Mrs. Rachel Misek over here! Oh wait.... lemme take that r off of Mrs.... you know ain't nobody gonna marry that.

    • Bador Al-Qurashi

      Tech N9ne Too Much For You Ugly Ass Whore! Eat a Black Dick with your Monkey Ass Mouth and Die you piece of Shit! Damn Old Ass Whore! Tech N9ne is The Best Rapper! The Hardest Rapper! The King Of Rap Game!

    • 804Nigga


    • KCMuzik

      DAMN Beezy your face is FUCKED UP. CD is dope though

    • 420westcoast

      Bitch you are the devil, look at you talking shiesty LOL!!

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Em has gotten worse and Tech has stayed the same.

    • rideonemjixxer

      co sign. if anything, tech keeps getting better. plenty of his fans wanna say hes fallen off cause they cant handle the evolution of an artist. they want everything to be dark and like his old shit. like tech says"want my old shit, then buy my old album". TECH N9NE!

  • vito rage

    Don't get me wrong, tech is a spitter, but u cats acting like he belongs in the same sentence, let alone the same room with em r crazy... yall r either white, or not from kc... tech has had the same flow and subject matter for over 15 years... I guess if youre new to his music i can understand the overhype, but what he thinks is deep lyrics is usually simple rymes with a great delivery... I'm not sure why u all think he would hang with em, when busts des5toyed his verse on worldwide ch9ppers... and dont get me started on that lazy verse lil Wayne put on fuck food... but i guess compared to icp his lyrics would seem spectator to his fans...

  • Guest We Killin It - Barton Block

  • Tim Chandler

    I don't think anyone can end Em's career other then himself Mike. Same with Tech, Wayne, Jigga, and ye. But why would you want them to battle when it would be so much more amazing to hear them on a track together again? Tech's verse on the wake up show anthem > Em's back in 99. They will collab soon hopefully.

    • strange

      hellz yea been a technician since absolute power dropped from then to now till death whole heartedly

  • mike

    I'd much rather see em and tech battle it out lyrically as opposed to working together, it would be a good one but in the end I think tech is fully capable of ending em's career.

    • Andrew Sass

      I think thats a good question or a good thing to happen. But I don't think anyone is capable of ending Eminem's career besides EM. I would love to see those 2 get on a song together.

    • lol

      ive been listening to tech for over 10 years, and ive been listening to Em before he was signed, and Im telling you, Tech is nowhere near Ems level...and thats why hes on an independant label and not a major!

    • Anonymous

      pretty sure he wouldnt even reply to a stupid question like that. Tech is certainly NOT out of Em's league wit that kinda statement sayin he's not on Em's level, u clearly dont kno how much of a beast Tech is....ur the joke

    • lol

      lol...what a is nowhere near Ems matter what anybody says, i bet if you aske tech hed admit it too!

  • Brian McG

    If there is a hip-hop God he'll put Em & Tech together sooner or later.

  • Anonymous

    Eminem would make that song the best off of the album. Still a great song.

  • Cealix

    A Tech/Em track is LOOOOOOONNNNNG overdue, almost equal to Bad Meets Evil. I'm pretty sure they'll do a collab.

  • BrownJack

    Didn't have time? I think Em was scared.

    • MalcolmLittle

      @ lol You do know Yelawolf's on Tech's CD right?? You tweakin hard fam...Tech's the undisputed king of the underground, and if/when Em does hop on a track with him it wouldn't surprise me if he just did it off the strength and wouldn't even trip off the bread. You lost with that comment homeboy.

    • lol

      Shut the fuck up you idiot, Yelawolfs signing bonus was probably more than Tech has ever made in his entire life!

    • ignorance

      u think yelawolf and royce are more paid than tech do u even look at billboard tech is #1 on indie charts thts 100% profit yelawolf prolly gets less than one third his profit of ALBUM SALES alone not to mension merch and tha doe he get of all his artist signed to strange u fail u have zero proof to back up ur statement plz die a slow painfull death for even tryin to act smart wen u kno nothin about tech or tha music industry yela wud have to sell 2 mill units jus to make wat tech gets of a quarter or half mill units

    • lol

      lol...more like Em couldn't be fucked going down a level!..why go from recording with Royce, Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf to Tech??? doesnt make sense. Tech ain't got the money to pay em...

    • Roshizzle

      Busy doing what? More plastic surgery? Yeah i think M&M was scared too.

    • Anonymous

      yous a dumbass fool

  • Blah

    Eminem was suppose to be on it until Tech heard him rap.

  • StaticDirection

    Like another commentor mentioned I slept on Tech9ne too. I heard his name mentioned from time to time but never listened to his music. But when I discovered his muisc I got hooked. He's a 5 tool MC. My only regret is that I didn't get on board earlier in life.

    • kaos

      I know what you mean man, I'm in the same boat..I just jumped on at Bad Season. He's absolutely amazing and would kill to hear a track with Tech & Em.

    • Tim Chandler

      Millions slept on him. Wait till the storm he brews up when more people hear him on tha carter. Welcome aboard the technician train.

  • Alf Gang Janitor

    Best ever.

  • 420westcoast

    Tech 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Slruim

    Em needs to make time.

  • Doug Nichols

    I slept on this guy for far too long, and it's only taking a few songs and things like this video which are driving him towards the top of my favorites list. This dude is just ill in every way.

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