Tech N9ne Denounces Claims He's "Gimmicky"

Tech N9ne addresses the rap critic who inspired "Fragile," expresses his frustration with being called gimmicky and redundant.

Both rappers and artists in other genres of music have been known to pull inspiration for their records from a variety of sources and with the release of Tech N9ne’s “Fragile” the rapper revealed that the song was inspired by a rap critic who referred to his Paid Dues performance as gimmicky and redundant.

On the record, which also features Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, Kendall Morgan and Mayday!, Tech N9ne expresses his frustration with critics as he raps, “Critics are really the enemy and I can't stand the way they slam today's gifted.”

After dropping a few bars from “Fragile” during a recent interview with Hard Knock TV, Tech went on to address those who feel his lyrics and the occasional face paint he wears is “gimmicky.” The Kansas City emcee also shared the reason behind the use of face paint, which he says pays tribute to a friend who passed away years ago.

“Another thing, talking about my lyrics are gimmicky, okay then it must be the face paint,” said Tech N9ne. “When my dead homie Brian Dennis painted my face back in ’94 and he died years later to a crime of passion, I wear the face paint in memory of Brian Dennis. So, don’t say I’m gimmicky. I don’t need no face paint to bust my nigga. But I wear it because of my homie. You know what I’m saying? And redundant, it sounds like it would come from somebody that doesn’t listen to my music.”

Tech N9ne later addressed the negativity that can spread when a critic is harsh on a musician who’s already “kinda left.”

“When you put shit like that in the air it’s negative man and I don’t need that,” the rapper explained. “Cause everybody’s looking at me, but at the same time mothafuckas are scared of me because at the same time because I’m kinda to the left sometimes. But I think the real shit will always shine, but I told him ‘thank you’ for inspiring that wonderful song.”

Part one of Tech N9ne’s interview with Hard Knock TV can be found below.

RELATED: Tech N9ne Addresses Perceived Disconnect With Black Hip Hop Fans


  • Deshawn

    No gimmick. Dope real hip hopper

  • Anonymous

    Tech N9ne is the shit

  • haters.

    Yawl ever been to a tech show? He does put a good as performance on, bar none. You don't thnk all the rappers wearing skinny jeans and gold chains is gimmicky? yaw just some lame ass niggas that dont know real music simple as that

  • Wack ass nigga

    If you think this nigga is dope, you need to slap yourself 10 times to knock some sense into your skull. This nigga is so fucking wack ,it's unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    look up gimmick in the dictionary and you see a picture of insane clown posse and tech n9ne

  • foreal

    he is gimmicky, check out that pic and the video. i stay away from gimmick rappers

  • COCA


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  • RNI

    WHY SO MUCH HATE, i dont understand, what makes people go out of their way and insult tech n9ne. what's he ever done to you? maybe hes a bit too weird for you, so be it, you dont have to listen. I personally am a bit weird so i really connect with tech and his music. Tech N9ne has taught me to not hold back my creativity and self expression.

  • gunnstarr

    I dont know that Tech is Gimmicky0but his music is predictable-the beats almost never surprise. and apart from Brotha Lynch Hung all the folk he signs either sound like him or their albums end up having the same sound and production values. If u put him and Kaliko on a track at times u can't even differentiate between them! I do like Tech but I would love to turn on one of his lps and be surprised by a fresh musical perspective. It always sounds 808 ish

    • Anonymous

      very true. and on top of that he's a wack ass motherfucker too, so there's no need to even put on his albums

  • Anonymous

    when i first listened to tech I swear for the first year I didn't even know he wore face paint, I just simply listened to his music, hes dope

  • sam snead

    I'm from Detroit, I have seen this show before. Esham created this style and sold tons of records on the indy seen, ICP was more gangster type rap then after all the gang violence in Southwest Detroit they decided to distance themselves from the gang at the time called Inner City Posse and adopted more of Esham's satanic horror core rap and painted their faces and sold ton's of records independently, merchandise and even have some of their dumb ass fans buy 3 copies of the same album just because it has a different cover. You go to a tec show about half the people their are ICP fans or former fans. Is tec lyrically better than Esham or ICP, yes a lot better but also at the same time they got their rap style from like 88

    • Anonymous

      but esham and icp suck tech on another level

    • sam snead

      It's also super subliminal just like ICP, I remember I used to like them in like 95 I was in like 5th grade and was sucked in by the gimmicks and subliminal lyrics but it didn't last long for me...thank god. That's why just like ICP is able to sell 3 copies of the same album, he can sell his over saturated EP's he puts out every few months. I was at the record store a couple weeks ago and they be giving away free strange music samplers and a dvd, so I just gave it to some bitch.. like no thanks summoning satan thru a ouija board while masterbating just isn't thing

  • micheal myers 666

  • heyyy

  • Creation

    Oh my god, tech n9ne is doing things different than everyone else, GOD DAMN SATANIST!. Yeah right, you guys are afraid of change, tech n9ne is 100% original & genuine. Just because he isnt walking around with 20 chains,tight pants & acting like he doesnt give a fuck about anything, then you think there is something wrong with him? damn, what does it take to be accepted into the artifical lifestyle of your favorite rappers? Tech is far from a gimmick, he is living his life & living how he wants, if he wears a mask or paint, that is how he would like to express himself. You guys need to take a step back & realise that your favorite rappers are the gimmicks

    • Anonymous

      Are you smart enough to comprehend that the face paint and shock lyrics are what defines this guy? Maybe at first he thought it seemed different, but now it's just played out, catering to a demographic of sad sacks who get off on this weird stuff. Plus he's not capable of making ONE complete album that showcases his talent. Every album seems like a rush job. To each their own, but Tech is very overrated to me.


  • Anonymous

    Techs a legend. people are to stupid, they want to judge stupid superficial shit like face paint and other shit wen what you need to listen to the fucking lyrics you simple minded fucks!

  • Anonymous

    This guys is sooo satanic.. geez just admit it bro and move on

    • Anonymous

      actually I am a healthy young african american, with a brain... I care son!!!! Because we are in a spiritual war, and Tech N9ne works for the DEVIL!!

    • lol

      who gives a fuck? its the music we listen to haha your a mexican

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  • xx009

  • Anonymous

    "RELATED: Tech N9ne Addresses Perceived Disconnect With Black Hip Hop Fans" ^ * scrolls down to read comments * nuff said

  • Anonymous

    "Because not a lot of independent artists sell that much" It's the touring generating that money.

  • haters....

    whats so different about tech n9ne wearing his face paint than all these other rappers wearing their gold chains and shades??

  • Anonymous

    People are hilarious, Best rapper alive, Hands down their is a reason why he has the biggest Indie label in the world. And its HIS Established is 2000 and it wont stop because you guys dont know REAL music. He rights his LIFE and for you all who cant get that we dont need any one of you on the Strange team. Put any other rapper on a song with him, and he will blow them out of the water. rapping fast or not, not ONE of his songs sound the same. NOT ONE. He is a lyrical genius and every SINGLE rapper looks up to him and wishes they could be in his spot, sell as much merchandise and him, They wish they could match his stage performance, They wish they had DEDICATED f.a.n.s. Tech will never go mainstream, mainstream will go Tech, And we are witnessing it every day! Techn9cian Out!

    • Anonymous

      LOL, the biggest indie label in the world, is FatWreckChords!!! Its a punk label run by NOFX. Man you are stupid!

    • Tech Is Wack

      Tech 9 has the same flow in every song. I don't think he can help it...he tries, but it's the same and his fans are too busy drooling to realize it. Another thing ive noticed, is Tech 9 fans are less intelligent than the average person. They usually do stupid sh*t, are ignorant, and don't know about other talented artists. Eminem would shred Tech 9 on a track. Hands down. TKO. 9 is not that kind of caliber to go against em.

    • Anonymous

      what are you his boyfriend?? gtfo he's wack

    • Anonymous

      AND big time record labels CAN afford it and THEY STILL DONT do it. Hes a fucking KING

    • Anonymous

      They have fans ALL over the WORLD

    • Anonymous

      Travis and Tech put their money together to make Strange Music, started in their hometown and expanded on their way to conqueror the entire world.

    • Anonymous

      Tech's label is #1 cause no other indie label has the financial backing to tour 365 days a year.

  • TRE

    before you call Tech whack go and listen to The Worst, The Calm Before The Storm,, and Vintage Tech.. then go on to Anghellic and Absolute Power. Tech is not whack.

  • xx009

  • xx009

  • JRich

    There are like 5 people that just meet every day to discuss how to bash Tech N9ne on hhdx over and over again. You fags aren't fooling anyone, lmao. I bet if you ask your favorite rapper about Tech N9ne nothing but good things would come out of their mouth.

    • Anonymous

      It's funny that you think people are trolling when they say he's wack. No, he's actually legitimately wack.

  • BigNoct

    Dude, you're a STRAIGHT gimmick...and wack at that...

  • incidental

    Wtf is up wit all the hatred towards tech? I believe these people who think they can just bash the nigga have it totally twisted. Lets see where the fuck yall are at in the rap game. Lets see where the fuck tech is now, #1 Independant Rapper in the World. Now take one more second and think where in the fuck yall got any room to say shit about the nigga. Exactly yall are fucking slaves to bullshit mainstream music. Understand fully that this isn't a joke but a message to the world, Yall can't stand a chance against Tech. Pick your words wisely

  • Anonymous

    Your supposed to watch horror movies, not look like one.

  • datroof

    With his face all painted and retarded looks on his face not a gimmick? Go fuck yourself. Dude raps in an office setting white voice. Wack as shit, don't know how this dude still has a career. Actually I know how he has one. His lane is catering to white cats that love anything that's fucking wack.

  • Anonymous

    this dude is really butt hurt about a review... he would only get mad if he really was gimmicky.

  • Anonymous

    "sold 1.3 million records independently" Why should that impress anyone?

  • Anonymous

    jeah who cares tho he dope

  • keepingitreal

    Wow, this guy says he's not "gimmicky" but does this whole interview in a weird plastic mask? Really? For any one who doesn't know, the definition of gimmick is: a novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention. Doesn't seem to add up to me.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Tech N9ne: - you are a gimmick. Paint your face come on Kizz already did that and the Insane Clown Poss - Your style is always the same and is getting boring! Where's the Tech N9ne who did the album Absolute Power?

    • Ill Nobi

      Could i ask a quick question mane? Why the fuck do you hate on a nigga online but know for damn sure that if the nigga was right in your face i gaurentee you wouldn't have a damn thing to say

    • Anonymous

      and his face paint just scares fans away i wouldnt call it a gimmick

    • Anonymous

      his style is alot cleaner than absolute power i think he in the pinnacle of his career he can write so much better now i wanna c a tech record with no features , like 16 songs with three tech verses on each

  • Anonymous

    it is a gimmick...everybody lost a loved one...he does it to be different. And you weird fucks fall hook line and sinker. this dudes a cornball. His lyrics are wack too...I've listened too them... he's tries too hard to be real. his lyrics are simple and his metaphors are corny. Dudes like 40 acting like hes 20. His gay stans are the kids who got bullied in school along with the juggaloes cuz they were losers.

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  • AnalogSoul

    Tech N9ne is a lyrical monster and pure creative genius. All of the people vomiting hateful comments are clearly not intelligent enough to get it. "the best" is correct. Tech acted "weird" since the 90s. It's artistic expression and it is what hip hop lacks...true artists which is why Tech N9ne is the Emcee's Emcee...He is a true emcee and can adapt to any situation and rap on any type of beat provided. Not sure why I even wasted my time and energy on the closed-minded but...that's my two cents.

  • ETK

    If you gotta paint your face, bring down your people and look like a clown to ne noticed, then yes, you are gimmicky.

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  • thebest

    while i dont care for his music these days, im from around his hometown and hes been like this since day one, always actin weird and doing weird things but hes actually a cool down to earth dude hes not as gimmicky as he appears

  • jakem415

    Regardless of his reasoning the face paint comes off as a gimmick. I understand he has a meaning behind it but I think he also uses it to gain peoples attention (I.E. a gimmick)I don't see his face paint being any different than Hopspin's eye contacts, The jugalos facepaint, or Kanye West leather kilt. I find all these to be a cheap gimmick honestly.

  • Mark

    Love his music. Glad to see hes getting back to make meaningful music and not just rappin about rappin. For over twenty years hes always been honest, crazy, and has made great music. Nothing gimmicky about that.

  • No

    this dude and his fans are annoying as fuck. He looks and acts like hes the devil or something his lyrical ability is overrated he is only popular cause a bunch of nerds on the computer believe he is real rap or something.

    • Anonymous

      amen..finally somebody who gets it. All his fans are nerdy white kids who found him on the interent

    • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      You must not have ever heard "Happy Ending" or "Can You Shake It". Anyone that has ever heard either by Tech can't sit there and say some shit like that. I am a die hard fan and I will admit about half of Tech's albums are fire and the other half is like WTF? But the half that is fire is timeless music. For real

  • Anonymous

    If you wear face paint all the time then it's a gimmick. It's his right to do it, and his fans don't seem to mind, but the downside is the mainstream will never embrace him.

  • Anonymous

    He is gimmicky, not that's necessarily a bad thing (although in his case it often is).

  • Bobyahed2dis

    Dude is wack, the only good verse he ever had was on tha Carter IV!

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