Tech N9ne just revealed the key to his success in a recent interview with the Breakfast Club. After over 15 years of releasing his own music, Tech N9ne reportedly has “the number one independent” label. He gives all the credit of his success to his “grass roots” business model.
Tech N9ne took the “grass roots” idea a bit literally, starting his label in Kansas where the plains make up most of the land mass. In Kansas City, a more populated area, Tech reportedly employed a street team to do all of the dirty work. This work often included selling various paraphernalia, including Strange Entertainment thong underwear. And if anyone has a judgement against Tech N9ne’s way of doing business, he doesn’t care; his response “…it worked.” But what people find the most fascinating about Tech’s success over the years is not how he it did, but why.
“Our goal was world domination.”
If only it was as simple as that. Tech N9ne reportedly had a long spout with horrifying major labels that completely reshaped his perspective on the music industry. In 1993, Tech was signed to Prospective Records, which he claims “did not work.” Later, in 1997 he inked a deal with Warner Bros. Records under the productive direction of Quincy Jones who he said “didn’t know what to do,” with him. Finally, after his last deal with Interscope “just wasn’t working,” Tech N9ne decided to start his own label and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tech’s relationship with his fans is one he decribes as “tough.” Over the years, his collaborations with mainstream artists like B.O.B, Two Chains, and Lil’ Wayne has made them question his direction. In the interview, Tech defends his fans.
“I’ve been on the underground for so long. A lot of those fans don’t want to share you with the mainstream.”
But according to Tech N9ne, that decision is not up the fans because “real music is supposed to spread and shine.” Tech N9ne believes that him staying underground and continuing his grass roots marketing style will not keep the world from noticing him.
“Tech N9ne will never go mainstream, but mainstream will go Tech. And that’s what’s happening.”
After recently performing in Australia and New Zealand for the first time, Tech N9ne admits that the internet has a lot to do with his international popularity. With album sales and performances, Tech N9ne has made the Forbes List for the past four years and has a net worth of about $8 million. Tech feels that what he has in store with his new album Special Effects, will make his previous success seem minuscule. The album includes a highly anticipated collaboration with Eminem, according to MTV.
With an album full of high profile feature artists like Eminem and T.I., fans may continue to complain that Tech’s going mainstream. But after the vow he made on the Breakfast Club, it safe to assume that fans will never hear Tech say that he’s “not in Kansas anymore.” If the mainstream does want Tech N9ne, they’ll have to hop in a tornado and head over to Missouri.
[Image via CSHH]