Independent Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne has achieved newfound fame after selling a million records with his last album, Killer. Although stardom might have come to the rapper, who owns and co-runs his own record label, Strange Music, it has not put his head in the clouds.
Tech N9ne's latest album, Sickology 101, is the second in the Collabos series, a collection of collaborating albums. The album, featuring more than 20 different rappers from Kansas City to the east coast, is considered a how-to guide to rap.
"Sickology is the study of being sick, lyrically," Tech N9ne said. "This is us showing you how to do the rap thing. If you want to do the rap thing, this is a good guide."
Sickology 101 is also a satirical album.
"The album is actually mocking those cats who put out weird titles or stupid songs, people who don't put their all into their lyrics," Tech N9ne said. "So, I actually based the album around one big joke song called "Areola," how people can take a stupid title and turn it into something humongous."
The album includes skits alluding to the "Grammy award song," poking fun at rappers who are awarded for making songs with no musical merit or that center around ridiculous things.
Some lyrics in "Areola" include, "Areola, stick 'em out/Don't know what I'm talking 'bout/That circle around the skittle in the middle you put in your mouth."
Ironically enough, the satirical song has become a crowd favorite on Tech N9ne's tour.
"Out here, on this road, everybody, everywhere I go, in all my crowds, they will start chanting 'Areola'/My joke song has turned into a hit song for me/It's so catchy but yet so stupid at the same time -- it's so funny."
Although Tech N9ne might have just released two albums in less than a year, he has no plans to slow down. The album K.O.D., set to be released in October, is being written while the rapper is on tour.
"The people who thought that I was weird and crazy with all the past albums, that ain't nothin' compared to this one," Tech N9ne said. "This one, K.O.D., is gonna allow me to let me imagination run wild and create things like stories. It's gonna be wonderful. K.O.D. is gonna be different."
And the rapper has a lot to live up to. When 2008's Killer took Tech N9ne to more than a million albums sold, it brought about a lot of opportunities for him, from a movie with the Jackass crew to the Rock the Bells tour with names such as Busta Rhymes, Damien Marley and Nas.
Although he has seen more recognition, Tech N9ne has no plans to sell out to a major record label. The rapper chooses to stick to his own devices not only because of bad experiences with larger labels but because he is able to produce his own albums and has more freedom with them.
"I will always be Strange Music," Tech N9ne said. "I will always be that guy, that indie artist that sells big records, man and we keep selling more and more. It's a wonderful thing. What better person would do me than me? Strange Music will be me when I'm dead and gone."