With the release of All 6’s and 7’s this year, Tech N9ne showed that an independent artist could have major label acts back his work. On the album, which features Lil Wayne, Twista, E-40 and others, Tech spoke about his Technicians and how he has been viewed by outsiders as a cult leader. During a recent interview with AOL’s The Boombox, Tech spoke on having major label artists support his work and the false perception of him as a devil worshipping cult leader.
“People looked at my face paint, my crazy lyrics, my wild red hair and how loyal and intense my fan base, the Technicians, were. They were talking about me being a cult leader. Can you imagine being in a place early on where outside of Strangeland everybody calls you a devil worshiper or a cult leader and your own people — black people — are not even coming to your shows? So you do a Rock the Bells show in 2008, with Busta Rhymes, Nas, Damian Marley and Raekwon and everybody is commending you. I thought everybody thought I was a weirdo! That show let me know that everybody was paying attention to me. I created my own lane. I had no idea that Nas and Damian had respect for me. Nas would be like, ‘Come out on stage, Tech. Rock with me.’ That’s crazy to me. I had no idea, dude,” Tech said.
While maintaining that he needs complete creative control, Tech said that being an independent artist has many perks. Among them, he noted that he could release EPs or albums any day he wants. He also touched a bit on banking $15 million last year, a figure he said he didn’t want publicized. However, he also admitted that there are some cons to the independent grind, while explaining that BET will not play his videos.
“The cons are that you will have no videos on TV and no songs on the radio. The radio game cost a lot of money, man. I would rather put my money into tour buses, merchandising and shows. Until we figure out if we want to play that majors game again, the way we tried to in 2002, and spent nearly $2 million doing it, we will do it again. The problem is, I don’t look like anybody. With my face paint on I don’t look like a regular black dude. MTV Jams is playing my videos now, but BET won’t play me...They told me, ‘Well, that’s not our format.’ But I’m something different. You have to conform to what I do. You have to come to Strangeland. You have to turn into Strangeland for a minute because there’s something beautiful happening over here. My challenge has been getting my own people on it, but they are coming around slowly but surely.”
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