Legendary radio host/deejay and producer King Tech spoke with HipHopDX recently for an upcoming feature on Sway & King Tech’s 1999 album, This Or That, featuring DJ Revolution. During that conversation, Tech spoke about his current ventures merging visual arts with music, as well as an upcoming collaborative project with nearly 15-year-long Wake Up Show collaborator, Crooked I.
“I started this company called When Art Imitates Life. We put out canvases [about] legends,” revealed Tech. While the canvases including allusions comparing Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA with President George Washington’s crossing the Delaware River and DJ Q Bert with Jimi Hendrix album art had made news, few realized that King Tech was at the helm. “I’m really good friends with RZA, man, so I went to him first.” Other canvasses have included System of A Down and Oakland, California Hip Hop outfit the Hieroglyphics. More are in the works, but Tech aired away from premature announcements, “Q Bert’s just came out, so we can’t start talking about the next ones yet.”
For the man largely responsible for introducing the masses to artists such as Tech N9ne, Eminem and Supernatural, this is part of his deeper passions. “That’s what I love to do, man. Something inside and outside of Hip Hop.”
Another artist that King Tech (and partner Sway Calloway) have worked extensively with has been Long Beach, California emcee Crooked I. While Crooked was a frequent guest on The Wake Up Show, one particular late 1990s appearance even led to the then largely underground emcee to signing with Suge Knight’s Death Row Records.
“Me and [Crooked I] got together a year and a half ago, and we’ve got six or seven joints that we have. A single came out called ‘If You Ever Hear Me’ and we were about to put the whole album out, and then the Slaughterhouse [and Shady Records deal] started. Eminem’s about to give Crooked some major visibility.”
With the aforementioned single getting radio spins in Florida and releasing to the Internet in March of 2009, fans have pointed to Crooked moment as one of his strongest. Tech deduced, “The reason that record is so dope is that being me and Crook been friends for so many years, we’ve got a certain chemistry.” The song is reportedly telling of the themes heard on the unreleased EP. “It’s called Group Therapy. At the time, we were both sittin’ around, like therapy, talking about the state of Hip Hop. I was like, ‘I swear to God, Crook, this is like therapy.’ So we even made a record called ‘This Is Therapy,’ where he murders that shit, about stuff in the past. It’s like some 2Pac shit.” King Tech, a Bay area native, knew 2Pac, and boldly made a comparison. “Hopefully soon, [the public] gets to hear these songs. It’s like 2Pac resurrected when Crooked busts on them records. This was [recorded] right after he got shot up.”
Stay tuned for King Tech’s This Or That feature with HipHopDX next Wednesday, May 11.