Tech N9ne Talks About What He’s Bumpin’

The Strange Music rapper sits down with RIDES to discuss his driving music.

Story: Branden J. Peters

Photography: Estevan Oriol

What music do you have in the car right now?
I been banging Rick Ross’s new album, God Forgives, I Don’t. I’m really banging number eight, “Hold Me Back.” That’s motivation; I can’t even get off of number eight. I listen to “16 Ain’t Enough” a lot, too.

I listened to the new 2 Chainz album, B.O.A.T.S. I’m proud of 2 Chainz, and it has a lot of good beats on there.

I got the Best of the Doors in there all the time. I love Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek. All of their music together inspired me to do Strange Music.

What is number one in the changer?
Number one in my CD changer is one of my CDs, Welcome to Strangeland. The reason why that’s in there is because me and my family Makzilla, we love to listen to a song called “Slave,” where me, Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun sing in rap form. It’s like an old Negro spiritual. It’s beautiful.

The other one I got in there is another one of my albums, All 6’s and 7’s. That’s my biggest album to date; it has everybody on there. Every time I listen to it, I reflect, like, damn, I did that. I created big things on that album.
[Asks Makzilla what the last CD in his car is] We bangin’ Self Made, the first one. We bang “Ima Boss” off that one, because I’m a muthafuckin’ boss! [Laughs]

I took E-40’s Block Brochure CDs out of my car and put it in my house, because my house system is even bigger than my car system. So I got “Function” in my house. That’s what we bang when bitches come over.

Is there a difference between what you cruise to and what you bump when you’re driving from point A to point B?
Yes, when I’m just cruising, I listen to all the Floetry music, Marsha Ambrosius. I love her voice. “Say Yes,” “If I Was a Bird”…I could sing the whole album, but I won’t do that to you, because I’m not a singer. [Laughs]

When I’m rolling in my car—not rolling on ecstasy, because I’m clean—I listen to F-Action 38 by O.G. Ron C. If you don’t know what that is, that’s screw music. It’s old as fuck, but the lineup is so great. It starts with Playa, Tyrese is on there, some Adina Howard on there—it’s so beautiful, it relaxes me all day.

What’s your system sounding like?
I don’t know all the science behind it, because I didn’t put it in myself—I have my boy Chad at KC Trends [Motorsports] hook all my shit up. I have an Epicenter [bass maximizer] in my shit; 12s in the back in a custom box with the Strange Music logo on it, so when we playing, [rapping] “These niggas won’t hold me back, these niggas won’t hold me back,” that shit is bangin’!”