A sold-out crowd celebrated Earth Day at the Knitting Factory on Wednesday, April 22 with Techn9ne and his Sickology 101 tour. Not too many hippies or recycling canisters were spotted, but an abundance of backward hats, face paint and short dresses could be seen everywhere. Nothing is more gangsta' than some Earth Day rap music in Boise, and even though I wouldn't classify Tech as a gangsta'—he definitely had the rap part down. Techn9ne took the stage along with his sidekicks Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun, and opening acts Murs, and Short Dawg the Native. If you have ever heard that song on the radio with the chorus, "She's gotta a backpack / and a lunch pail too" you've heard this dude. Prior to the show, Boise Weekly was able to catch up with Tech for a few words and a lil' freestylin'. (Special thanks to Andy at the Knitting Factory who made this interview possible)
Boise Weekly: So, man, I want to start off by wishing you a happy Earth Day.
Techn9ne: Happy Earth Day.
Any drum circles or hacky-sack sessions going down today, Tech?
Nah nah nah, I have been with my fans all day celebrating Earth Day and man I have done like three signings today and have been doing a lot of radio today you know what I mean? Just making my rounds in Boise—they showin' me a lot of love man, so I been "out on the Earth" you know what I mean? Just making stuff happen.
Nice. You guy's are here on your Sickology 101 album tour, how's it going so far?
It's wonderful man, its turning out to be wonderful. I know you saw the set out there. (School room style stage backdrop set equipped with windows, blackboard, desk etc etc) It's an insane classroom you know what I mean? We try to bring the fans a lot more stuff man, know what I'm sayin'? More than just rappers on stage man know what I'm sayin? More than just dudes rappin and grabbin' their midsection—that's not a show.
What has been your favorite place to play so far?
That's a big one, I think Denver has been pretty insane so far. Startin' out in the clubs, then startin' at the Ogden Theatre that holds uh ... at first it held like nine-hundred or so and they expanded and it held sixteen-hundred so we sold that out and we had to move it over again down the street to the Fillmore Auditorium which holds four-thousand and we sold that out eight times or more and now on this tour we are going to Red Rocks which is ten-thousand people, and is a wonderful place.
That's awesome man. What's the worst place you have played so far?
The worst place we ever played? (Long pause, Techn9ne looks over to his tour manager) Man ... it's hard to say. We got a lot of friends everywhere and uhhh (Asks tour manager "what was that place we played in the basement or something?")
Tour Manager: Bozeman.
Bozeman! Yeah, yeah. (Laughs.) Wow, that place was insane! We played like in a dark basement and like the crowd couldn't even see us.
Crazy. So, Tech you are originally from Kansas City?
Born and raised in Kansas City, MO all my life.
You a Royals fan?
No, I'm a Chiefs fan.
What about street snowboarding? You ever done that at all? (Note: Techn9ne is also the name of a snowboard binding company)
Did you know about the snowboard binding company called Technine?
Totally. I got clothes. I own some Technine clothes but they don't spell it T-E-C-H-N-9-N-E, they spell it with an "i" instead.
If you were to own your own snowboard company would you call it "Nnutt Howze" like the first rap group you were in on Prospective Records?
Nah, I would call it Schizophrenia [snowboards].
Nice, dude. How much money do you make per show?
I can't tell you that! (Laughs.) It varies, it varies. More when the crowds are bigger. So it varies, but this cost $71,000 on my neck (Tech holds up his bling-bling necklace).
(Note: we paused the interview to take additional pictures of the $71,000 dollar necklace)
So, dude, back to the interview. You have sold over 1 million albums to date?
Yeah. Independently man.
With about 6.7 billion people on earth that means that about one in every 670,000 people own a Techn9ne album. That means that about 1.2 of your albums should be here in the Treasure Valley.
That's insane man. We are gonna keep on makin' it grow like a forest fire. It's a blessing to be independent like that and make those kinda things happen and keep on touring like we do. We were No. 3 ... right above Kanye and Jay-Z, man. It's been insane.
The next album you are coming out with is called K.O.D.
You have a contest going, right? Basically, it's a contest for anyone to actually guess what K.O.D. stands for, right?
Yeah, totally, man.
Well, since it's Earth Day and you're feeling good, can I take a guess at it to win?
Yes, you can.
"Knocking Over Deadheads"
(Laughs.) Nah, man. That's tight, though.
Really? Damn, dude. Techn9ne just gave me props. I got a story for my friends tonight.
There you go, there you go.
Back to the upcoming K.O.D. album. Rumor has it you're trying to link up with Corey Taylor from Slipknot, and Serj Tankien from System Of A Down to throw a lil' somethin' somethin' down on it.
Yeah I'm gonna try. I am going to reach out to them and hopefully they'll respond, man. I really want them for K.O.D. This is the album where everything is going to be real dark and to the left.
I got a wild-card request for you, Tech, that you'll like. You in?
Can you do some freestyling for all the Weekly readers out there using the words Boise and avocado?
"When I come to Boise I get really noisy, I go bravado when I do the avocado. That's a new dance that we do, the Nnutt Howze crew. And if you don't know, axe me 'bout it. You know who ... Techn9ne!"
(Everybody backstage starts laughing.)
(Tech keeps laughing.)
Best interview yet! I was going to ask, who you have been listening to lately? Like, who is killing it rap-wise lately besides the guys you are on tour with?
What I'm bumpin' at my house right now is a cat outta Toronto named Drake. He's dope man, your probably gonna hear about him soon—Lil' Wayne signed him. He's hardcore man. I just found out about him and he's insane.
Before we end this, you got any shout-outs you want to throw out there to the people of Boise?
Thank you so much to Boise for keep having me back. I was here when it was the Big Easy, now it's the Knitting Factory and it's still going strong. Thankyou to all of my fans in Boise. I love you. Celebrate life.