The Strange Music machine rolled through #DXHQ today for a special edition of #DXLive. Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko and Rittz opened up about new music, life on the road, the upcoming Strange World studios and Strange Distillery, among others. Tech reveals a few songs from his upcoming, The Storm. Krizz Kaliko details why he was afraid of fans’ reaction to his mostly singing album, GO. Rittz boasts about winning rap battles against Ces Cru. And before it all wraps, Tech N9ne explains exactly why Strange Music won’t be signing anyone from the now defunct Funk Volume. This is absolutely a one-of-a-kind conversation. Part 2 is available here.
Why Tech N9ne Won’t Sign Hopsin, Jarren Benton
“It was sad that we had to see that happen to where it was publicly ‘fuck you, fuck you.’ I hate to see that with anybody, especially with good people. I know Hopsin’s a good dude. Dame [Ritter] is a really good guy, soft spoken. Dizzy [Wright] is the motherfucking shit. Jarren [Benton], we toured together. That’s our brother. SwizZz is the shit. It’s like, I hate to see all of them fall apart like that. I told my people at Strange, I was talking to Dave Weiner and they were interested in getting Jarren Benton. That’s our brother. I said, ‘I love Jarren, but I don’t want to get into that family bullshit. I don’t wanna get in the middle of their feud by saying ‘Come on over here with us,’ because the first thing said about Hopsin or the first thing said about Funk Volume is gonna be on me. I love them all equally so I don’t want nothing to do with any of that shit. If anybody got any questions on who I wanna sign, I don’t know. Maybe that’ll change one day—the Jarren thing. I don’t know. But the way I feel, and what I told Travis and Dave, I would hate to get in between that family feud by signing someone from over there, even though I know it would make so much sense to sign any of them motherfuckers. They’re all elite lyricists. But I don’t want that motherfucking headache. I wish them all luck and maybe it’ll change in the future. How I feel right now? I don’t feel like I wanna get into that shit.”
Tech N9ne’s Reaction To Singing Krizz Kaliko
“I wasn’t surprised because he had been singing since I met him. As he was doing the music, I was fucking flabbergasted, blown away. He’s been doing flabbergasting shit since I met him. Nigga did ‘Speedom’ with me and Eminem and he killed that record. I already know that he’s musically inclined when it comes to anything “musically.” [Laughs] I was worried after that the fans would receive it differently because they’ve been hearing him rap and we’ve always been labeled Hip Hop. So when it dropped, they were on it. I was like, ‘God is good.’”
Krizz Kaliko Was Afraid To Sing
“I said it in a song that we got called ‘Different Kind Of Nigga You (DKNY).’ I said, ‘How you gonna change the game if you don’t got game changing music?’ Everybody says they’re gonna change the game. But to me, the proof is in the pudding. I’m not gonna say that until after I do it. I know I can do pretty much any music genre. After I did that album, I knew I had something. I knew it. I couldn’t wait to give it to him. I took it over to his house and just left the CD there. He called me like, ‘Krizzzzzz, what in the world!’ With that being said, I was still worried because it was so different from me and I didn’t know how people would receive it. It’s being received probably better than anything I’ve ever dropped. Travis and Richie have been saying forever that our fanbase responds more to the songs where I sing. I just tried it. I took their advice. I was really kind of afraid but it’s been a ridiculous response. Now it’s time to win over even more kids with this new music.”
Krizz Kaliko “No Love” Religious References
“I’m struggling. We’re on a journey. We live in the Bible Belt. That’s why I reference the Bible Belt. I was raised a Christian dude. As I get older, I’m starting to feel that I’m not sure who’s right. I’m not sure if Islam is right. I’m not sure Christianity is right. I think everyone’s going towards one thing. Everybody’s going towards God. I do believe in God, but I started thinking, ‘Man, I’ve been praying forever in my life and stuff still happens.’ That’s why I said that if I believe in God, then the cops will just stop me and let me go. They wouldn’t beat me. They wouldn’t kill me. But they’d kill me in the Bible Belt. I guess Allah don’t know. I guess Allah don’t know that they’re killing and beating these cats—black and white. It ain’t just black dudes.
Tech N9ne Goes Auto Tune On The Storm
“I was gonna try to tell my story shorter. I’m going to have 15 songs, maybe three skits. But it’s not turning out that way because I already have 16 or 17 songs with my live vocals recorded. We’ll see where we end up. It has to be the perfect storm though, because I named it The Storm because my first album before Strange Music was called The Calm Before The Storm in 1996. I knew if I named this album The Storm, it was gonna push me to do the best that I can do. The Calm was pretty gangster. I kind of had to go back because if people liked that then, I had to bring that same spirit back. I got a song called ‘Wet.’ It’s talking about formaldehyde but I switch it. I used to smoke wet back in the day but I’m not talking about when I used to smoke wet. It’s something about wet though. Here’s a line: ‘I’m in this thang sweatin’ like I’m on wet wet wet / Whole body and my shirt full of sweat sweat sweat / Everybody get on my level…’ It’s pretty tight, gangster as fuck. I had to do shit like that on The Storm, but I still got that shit. The first song on there is called ‘Godspeed.’ When it first comes on, people will be like, ‘Oh no! Tech with the auto tune.’ People are gonna poke fun but I enjoyed it. It’s supposed to come out September 9, if I can finish it in time.”
How Rittz Developed His Chopper Style
“I’ve always rapped about lowriders. That’s just where I come from. When I was a kid I had a Cutlass and a Regal. I just rap about shit like that. Plus it’s the type of music I like. I think we all like the type of music that we like to do.
“I started dabbling in chopping in about 1994 or 95. First of all, Fu-Shnickens, Das EFX, that’s not chopping. That’s scatting. So what I started to do was, every project I would put one with double time on it and it turned out to be my style. When I first heard ‘Questions’ on the Gang Related soundtrack, that blew my mind. Twista’s Adrenaline Rush blew my mind. Gang Related, when I heard that record, I rapped that shit in my car until I got it right.”
Rittz & Ces Cru Battle On Tour Bus
“I like to rap. I like to challenge Ces Cru on the bus. Then we got a couple guys that are CD sellers and they rap. I tell you what, man, I’m better than all of them. [Laughs] I’m 1,000 times better than Godemis. Ces Cru are fucking dope ass rappers. I say this all the time, a lot of times I’m hammered, but Ubi, you know you’re one of the best rappers in the game. Godemis is great, too, but I’m better than them. [Laughs]”
Strange Music’s Dark BBQ
“We’re still putting our money into other things. We’ve got this big ass building we got that’s pretty much finished. It’s called Strange World, right next to Strangeland studios. It’s 10 times bigger… it’s big as fuck. It’s going to cover our screen printing and embroidery business. We’ve been doing that. We’ve been talking about building a mini concert venue. The headquarters we got now, we’re gonna turn it into a distillery for Caribou Lou and KC Tea. Then we’re gonna build a bigger HQ. Then, maybe we can talk about the Dark BBQ, once we get the Caribou Lou and KC Tea off the ground, which is my meal ticket because they’re very wonderful drinks. The Dark BBQ is an idea I had some years ago to have a three-day festival. I call it the Dark BBQ because every BBQ place in Kansas City will set up shop. On the first day it could be Brother Lynch Hung and The Geto Boys and fucking Metallica. The next night it could be SlipKnot, System Of A Down and Eminem. The third night could be Tech N9ne and whoever else, knows.”