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"How can that be gang-bangers are angels?" he continues. "I kicked it with these people, I lived with these people, and I know they hearts. Never mind what they grew up around."
With that in mind, it's surprising that today's Tech N9ne is not a gangsta rapper. In fact, many of his fans are white most noticeably, followers of his frequent tourmates the Insane Clown Posse, who paint their faces in clown makeup, like Tech, and call themselves juggalos. They're quite the misfits in the world of fandom.
"I'm everybody," he claims, "so my fans are growing rapidly. Juggalos are part of everybody. My fan base ain't ever been just juggalos."
Though his music isn't for everybody (East Coast aficionados may not dig it), it has broader appeal than the haters say.
There's nobody who sounds like Tech N9ne. His music spans from ominous rap-metal to sparse, heavy-drumbeat hyphy the latter captured on the new single "Bout ta' Bubble," a party track that samples an Art of Noise song favored by B-boys back in the day. Present still on Everready is Tech's penchant for orchestral, Tim Burton-movie-soundtrack gothic backdrops and his trademark, percussive vocal chah, which his producers seem to be able to summon at the push of a button.
Tech doesn't brag through his songs, as some rappers do; he doesn't rhyme about bling or cars. He tells stories from his life, and he does it with a literate, self-effacing flair.
Case in point: "My Wife, My Bitch, My Girl," track 11 on Everready, which is preceded by a comical mock game-show skit that has the contestant (Tech) spinning a wheel in hopes of winning all three females. In the skit's ideal world, he wins them all, but in the reality that unfolds in the song, he has trouble with all of them.
"I hate that that's a true story," he says. "I hate that it had to be that. I wish it could've been just my wife."
Everready is full of similar stories, told with dexterity and cleverness. Tech can definitely rap. And though he still paints "Fuck Off" in decorative letters on his face at shows, the stories he tells nowadays are more profound than his past tales of sex, drugs and vampire strippers.
Hell, the guy's 35.