January 11, 2007
The first thing you should know about rapper Tech N9ne is that he’s “three dimensional” — a term he uses to describe the three distinct personalities he sees co-existing within him.
Not only does the Kansas City, Mo., rapper recognize these sides of himself, he’s named them. “The G” is a world-weary family man. “The Clown” is a freewheeling ladies’ man. “The King” is an egotist. “These are characteristics that I have. It might make me schizophrenic, yes, but I love it and I embrace it,” Tech said. “I don’t agree with a lot of stuff that The Clown does, or agree with a lot of stuff The King does, because The King ain’t supposed to think he’s holier than thou. The Clown ain’t supposed to do 15 pills in one night and almost die on Ecstasy. You know what I’m sizzlin?’” Uh-huh. Before you laugh, keep this in mind: Tech N9ne has every intention of becoming the world’s premier rapper. And he just might be crazy enough to do everything it takes to get there. Early in the millennium, Tech N9ne was signed to major label Jcor Entertainment, but after the release of a single album he moved to independent label Strange Music. He says he’s staying there unless a major label is willing to pay millions for his “blood, sweat and tears.” The rapper thinks he’s on the edge of a breakthrough. His music is featured in the “Madden NFL 06” video game, and tracks from his new album “Everready: The Religion,” were selected for the upcoming flick “Alpha Dog.” Already, Tech has earned a strong following in Colorado. He played to Colorado Springs supporters at The Black Sheep in September, and he’s confident even more fans will show up for his show at the City Auditorium Saturday. That concert will also feature underground rap groups Subnoize Souljaz, Dead Celebrity Status and Critical Bill. Tech hopes his personal success will draw greater attention to other independent artists, particularly those from Kansas City. “(There are) so many rappers in Kansas City that I want to be the one to open it for us, like Nelly opened it for St. Louis,” he said. But Tech won’t be changing in order to ease his entrance into the mainstream. He wants to be loved for his music; not for his image. This may seem like an odd statement coming from a guy that more or less promotes his mental instability and takes the stage in scrubs. But the rapper says he’s not operating under anyone’s rules but his own. Take, for instance, the recent disappearance of his famously wild, bright-red hair. “I don’t have red hair anymore. I cut it off. A lot of my fans are mad. It was fallin’ out. I’m a black man on tour, you know what I’m sizzlin’, and when you’re a black man you don’t know how to take care of bleached hair,” Tech said with a touch of annoyance. “In the long run, it’s about what you got in your heart, in your head, in your soul. Because I am still Tech N9ne with no red hair.” details TECH N9NE When: 6 p.m. Saturday Where: City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St. Tickets: $30, www.therealtech n9ne.com