Kansas City rappers Tech N9ne and Mac Lethal walk into a talent agent's office/downtown coffee and wine bar. The agent asks them what their act is. Nearly two hours' worth of talk follows: about burgers, booze, drugs, sex, strippers, Indian food, Alaska, drugs, sex, Florida, being broke, amateur porn, life on the road, sleeping preferences (neither like to cuddle), big-ass titties, and, of course, music. Of the printable parts, here are some highlights.
The Pitch: Have you ever been heckled?
Tech N9ne: I can't remember ever being heckled. Maybe a rival gang or something, but they all love the music.
Mac Lethal: I've been heckled.
Tech: They might throw out the opposite signs and shit, but they do show love.
Mac: I just do get heckled. And by people who hate the music. They're just like, Who the fuck is this dude? What's he talking about?
If you were to collaborate on a song, what would it be about?
Mac: It'd be about drinking.
Mac: It'd be an anti-religion, pro-alcohol song, without a doubt.
Tech: The beat means a lot, you know what I'm sizzlin'? Usually, I don't call a person till I hear a beat that sounds like they should be on it. The beats tell me what to do, man, so when that beat tells me what to do, I'll hit Mac up and say, "Hey, this is perfect for us." And it might be about drinkin' and fuckin' and all that, you never know. It depends on what the beat tells us to do. If the beat tells us to call some motherfuckers out and say, "Y'all can't fuck with us," that's what we gonna do.
Mac: It'd probably be a Seven beat, 'cause he's done both our records.
Tech: Yeah — all day, all night.
Mac: He's a nasty motherfucker.
Tech: Seven's insane with the production. He's been working with us on several albums. He's a producer out of Wichita.
Is that a factor when you're choosing a producer — who else he's worked with or is working with?
Mac: Not really. Because if it's not gonna work with your sound —
Tech: I get beats from everywhere. I get beats from Denmark. I used to have a producer out of Berlin, Germany. We get beats wherever the real deep pulses are. Wherever the pulses are, that's where I get my beats — beats that really slam, that knock. You know — no pulse, no life. We go everywhere, whether it's the guy on the top or low on the totem pole. I don't care where we get it. We're getting beats from Alabama now, from a guy by the name of David Sanders. We get 'em from everywhere. Trackster, Chicago, he does Twista's music. He's responsible for Do or Die's music. And Mariah Carey. We get beats from everywhere, and Seven just happens to be a diverse motherfucker.
Mac: If we do a song together, we gotta get Mariah Carey on some vocals, talking about drinking and fucking and hatred of religion.
Tech: [laughs] And then, after we do the song, actually act it out with her. Drinkin', fuckin' and drinkin' and smokin' and humpin' and likin' it. Ha!
Mac: I have a big thing for Mariah Carey, still, to this day.
Tech: Always did. Always did!
Mac: No one's ever gonna touch her.
Tech: I like crazy bitches, you know what I'm sizzlin'? I'm attracted to lost souls, and she seems like she falls right into the category of a bitch that might be bipolar. I love it.
Mac: She's also one of the only people that can sing in the whistle register. She can sing as high as a whistle with her voice. And she has an ass, too.
Do you guys feel like you're part of the same scene?
Tech: Hip-hop has many levels, many faces, you know what I'm sizzlin'? I don't know — it's like we're both on different levels. I don't know if Juggalos come to their [Mac's] shows. I don't know if Kottonmouth Kings and Queens come to their shows. I'm sure Technicians, they love their music. It's like, we'll soon find out once we merge, but I've always been in my own land, he's always been in his own land.
Mac: I'm not as big as he is yet, but I'd say that one thing we share in common is not answering to anybody and doing it independently and keeping all the money. And we live on the road, too.
Tech: Exactly, exactly.
How many shows did you each do this year on tour?
Mac: Over a hundred, at least.
Tech: I lose track, man. [To manager Travis O'Guin:] How many did we do this year?
O'Guin: With New York, we had 199 this year.
Tech: Yeah, so that's why I don't have a steady relationship. I'm married to my fans, dude. That's how I lost my wife, that's how I lost my bitch, that's how I lost my girl.
Mac: That's how I lost my mind.
Tech: [Laughs.] But at the same time, that's my comfort zone. Just like Kansas City is my comfort zone, being out there on the road, I hate sitting down for too long, man, I hate it. It makes me get fat. I like to eat.
What's the best thing that happened to you this year?
Tech: There's a lot of things that happened to us this year. We did the MTV Super Sweet 16, we got called for that.... That's when the young, 16-year-old rich kid calls someone to perform.... It was Long Beach, California, on the Queen Mary. My kids are big fans of that show, so they came with me. It's dope. They only had to drive, like, 30 minutes because I live, like, 30 minutes from there, in Sherman Oaks. Well, I have a home there....
Mac: I didn't get a DUI this year. That's the only highlight of my year. As long as that happened, everything else is fine.
Tech: Oh, a big highlight: The day after my birthday, I bought a brand-new Benz, an '08 Benz. And I don't even have a driver's license! Paid for it cash, man, $40,000. I'm'a have to show you a picture of it right now. [Produces cell phone.] It's sitting in my garage waiting for me to get a motherfuckin' license. It's wonderful, man. It's a C-Class Benz, and I was able to buy it thanks to touring and record sales.... That's special, man, I said I wasn't gonna buy a car until I could buy a Benz, and I did it this year.
Mac, did you make any exciting purchases?
Mac: I've just been paying off my house. But it's the same thing to me, just slowly touring, put a big dent in my house payment. Then I'll get a Benz next. I'll get a Benz helicopter.
Tech: What else happened this year? Alpha Dog came out on DVD. It's on HBO every night, and I get to hear my music all through that 'cause I did a lot of the music for that, me and Krizz Kalico [who has just arrived at this interview].
Mac: I was a featured MySpace artist. That was a good feeling. Little 15-year-old bitches....
Tech: We started our lawsuit this year.
O'Guin: Oh, shit!
[Conversation moves off the record.]
Tech: We had a lot of things happen this year.
Mac: I had a beer come out named after me — Mac's Beer.
O'Guin: Where's that at?
Mac: Flying Monkey Brewery. It's out in Olathe. You can get it on tap at a lot of places.
[Touring talk ensues until someone mentions Tech's hair.]
Tech: Guess what, Krizz! So I went to go take my mom money yesterday, and you remember when I told you Agony called — Agony is my son's mom — she said, "Why is my son's hair like that? Why is his skin like that?" I said, "What?" She said, "He don't look like regular black kids he goes to school with — his hair's different. His skin's different." I'm like, "I don't know. My mom's black, and my daddy's black, so I don't know." So it made me wanna know. I'm 36 years old, and all I know is, I'm black. So I go and take my money to my mama, and I tell her the story, her and Suzie. Suzie's got this long black hair, like my mama, like all my aunties. So I told her that I told Agony that we're black, and she says, "No, we're Chawtaw Indian and Creole." [Tech slams one palm on the table and looks around, wide-eyed.] "Thank you! Thank you for telling me!"
Kalico: But Creole's black, though, isn't it?
Tech: Creole's French and black, but what the fuck is Chawtaw Indian?
Mac and O'Guin: Choctaw.
Tech: But she said Chawtaw!
Kalico: That's just the hood curvature.
Tech: That's what I say after all my shit: chaw! [Laughs.] But wouldn't I have wanted to know something like this when I was little, man? They told me like I should know it. They said, "Look at your grandma. Didn't you remember she was Indian?" I'm like, OK, she looks like my mama.
Kalico: I thought mine was, too, but I turned out to look like a resident nigga.
Did you learn anything about yourself this year, Mac?
Mac: I'm part wolf. I didn't know. That's why I always go woo-oo-oof on my songs, 'cause I'm part wolf.
Tech: Do you go woo-oo-oof on your songs?
Mac: Sometimes. We always mix it way down so you can't hear.
Now that you've been in it a while, do you have any thoughts on the industry now?
Tech: I want to say mine first because mine's gonna be different from everybody else's, I think. They always ask me, "How do you feel about the state of hip-hop?" and I say, "I love it. I love it." And they ask why, and I say because it's helping black, white, Chinese, Latinas, whatever you may be — young motherfuckers — get up out of poverty. It's positive. I don't give a fuck if it's Soulja Boy, or it's fuckin' Young Joc or Young Drew, whoever. I love that hip-hop is getting these motherfuckers out of the streets. We're actual MCs. We actually fuckin' take the time to say some clever shit to impress everybody else, even the other MCs. Some guys out there, they don't give a fuck. This is what they're supposed to do. It's the reason for Soulja Boy. It's kids that wanna dance. It's necessary. You know what I'm sizzlin'? I'm a fan of music. So just because he don't flow like I do don't mean I'm'a say that ain't real hip-hop.... Like, Nas said, "Hip-hop is dead." I don't believe that it's dead. I feel like his outlook on what hip-hop is is dead, and it's not the dominant thing. So that's the way to say it, and say it right. And you got Luda to say, "Hip-hop ain't dead. It lives in the South." Fuck yeah, dude! It can live wherever you push it.... There's money for everybody, so why hate on the next man 'cause he does it different? So when they ask me what I think about the state of hip-hop. I say I love it because it's dominant. It's dominant in everything. You see it in rock. You see it in country — Nelly and fuckin' Tim McGraw. What? That's wonderful.
Mac: That was a good song.
Tech: Little, young motherfuckin' kids getting' money, to where their kids are rich. Don't matter what color they are. I think it's wonderful that these young motherfuckers are getting' money, and I'm one of them.
Mac: That's just how it sums up for me — young motherfuckers gettin' money. That's what it is for me. I don't care about the industry or music or anything, really. It's just money and being creative and not answering to anybody.
Tech: Being able to take care of your family. 'Cause that's where we started. We got a love for hip-hop. We got a love for R&B, for rock and roll. We got love for all that shit. So when you find out that you can do it to get money to take care of your family — that is wonderful. And you got motherfuckers who say, "Aw, he's just doing it for the money." No! We all started broke as a motherfucker. Bums. I was a bum with talent. My wife had to buy our motherfuckin' marriage rings. I was a bum, dude, you know what I mean? That's how much she wanted to marry me. All I had was talent, living in Icy Rock's basement, loving music. But then I got with a shrewd businessman who said, "We can get this shit out there." ... Now it's a way that we can take care of our family. Why wouldn't you wanna do that?
Mac: If I was just wanting to start something to make money, I would start an amateur porn site because there's more money in porn than there is in music. I do music because I want to. People say, "You do it for the money." No. I would be a pimp — like, an Internet pimp ... like, with one of those porn sites where you can join nine other sites — and I would turn it out and have billions of dollars. But I do music because I wanna do something I respect.
Tech: That makes sense.