Tech N9ne Talks "Klusterfuk," Scoring A #1 Album With $0 Spent On Marketing
Exclusive: Tech N9ne explains how his trip to Kuwait and Bahrain inspired the recent EP, recorded in mere days. The charismatic emcee also speaks about trying to top "All 6's And 7's" later this year.
If there is a prototype to how to navigate the music industry independently, it’s Tech N9ne. Kansas City’s finest and his Strange Music cohorts continue to out maneuver the behemoths by finding crafty ways to leave their indelible imprint on the forehead of a sluggish mainstream. Over a decade’s worth of top shelf releases coupled with an unwavering fan-first mentality has yielded a legion of Technicians ready to follow wherever he goes and a tidal wave of respect rushing in from every corner of the industry. 2011’s All 6's And 7's put Tech on everybody’s radar. His latest EP, Klusterfuk, just my be his greatest feat yet.
In this exclusive interview with HipHopDX, Tech N9ne discusses creating Klusterfuk in four days and how it landed at #1 on Billboard’s Independent chart without Strange Music spending one dollar on marketing, his record breaking “Hostile Takeover” tour, how ¡MayDay!’s music inspires him, and falling out of an Apache helicopter.
HipHopDX: It seems like every month there is some new major Tech N9ne news. Klusterfuk seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Tech N9ne: We had no idea, man. The whole story how it happened was just so crazy how it happened because [¡MayDay!] was on tour with me and they were playing their beats on my bus. I was like, “Man, y’all got these beats that take me to another place, man. I’m gonna do this six song EP. I’m gonna call it Klusterfuk. I want y’all to do all the production.” They probably thought I was bullshitting. So, within that time, they were sending me beats and I chose six of them. Then I had to do the USO tour over in Kuwait and Bahrain. Then I had to go to Australia and do six shows over there. While I was over there in Kuwait, I broke two ribs. I fell out of a helicopter. I broke two ribs out there with the troops. When I came back home I...
DX: Wait. I’m sorry, you said you fell out of a helicopter?
Tech N9ne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I fell out of a helicopter. Who does that? Where they do that at? But anyway, I still did the shows! [Laughs] I’m serious, man. I’m gonna go ahead and put it out there: [the helicopter] was on the ground. [Laughs] But, to my credit, the Apache helicopter is tall as hell and you have to climb up a ladder to get up to the cockpit. I slipped on the handles and fell and hit the side of it. BOP! That’s how it happened.
With that being said, when I came back to Kansas City, that whole two weeks I was supposed to have been recording Klusterfuk. I couldn’t because my ribs were broken. I couldn’t even breathe. So that put me off. A couple weeks after that, I went on and did the shows in Australia even though I was hurting. While I was over in Australia, Travis [O’Guin] said, “Hey man, when you come back to Kansas City, if you want to make that date for ¡MayDay! the mastering and all that, you’ve got four days to make Klusterfuk.” I should’ve said, “Travis, I can’t do it.” But I’m Superman so I said, “Okay.” I came back to Kansas City on Sunday. I was writing on Monday. I had Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to put it together and I did. I had it ready by Friday to be sent out by Saturday - mixed and everything. I did it.
We put no promotion out or nothing. It was just on our website and on iTunes. Then the motherfucker came out the first week and it was #1 [Independent] record in the country. We had no idea. No promotion whatsoever. Nothing. Just our fans and boom, Klusterfuk is coming. We did nothing. We did nothing in the magazines how we usually do. We did no billboards. The only billboards we did were for my show - the first show of this tour - the “Hostile Takeover” show at the Midland. We didn’t do nothing for Klusterfuk. Then to have MayDay’s album coming out, we said, “OK, since we’re just selling it on iTunes and doing it on our website, the physical copy will come with ¡MayDay!’s album, Take Me To Your Leader. So you get a free Klusterfuk album with Take Me To Your Leader just saying ‘thank you’ to the fans. So beautiful. I mean, it’s a six song EP. It’s not like my usual 24 song LP.
DX: That’s a really quick turnaround. Did you have the concepts for these joints ready to go before you started recording those four days?
Tech N9ne: I don’t know how I did it. I told a lot of stories. Like the first song, “Klusterfuk” I’m just telling the story of how I was born. “I was born in November / 8th day / Nineteen Seventy-first y’all / Nine o’clock in the morning / A Christian girl in Kansas City gave birth y’all.” My mom was a Christian and she married a Muslim. I’m just telling them why I’m a cluster-fuck with all these different religious beliefs and everything that I was studying in school like Confucianism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, everything. It just got me into a cluster-fuck. I was just telling stories on this album. It’s not even an album. It’s an EP. I was just giving them me. Stories. Racist stories about back when I was 16 on “Cant’ Stand Me.” On “Blur” I’m talking about party we just had last Christmas at my house with wild chicks getting butt-naked doing each other just crazy. On “Awkward” I’m telling stories about stuff that happened with other rappers in the past. “DKNY” is my favorite because I got to drop a little bit of knowledge. It just all came natural.
I think ¡MayDay!’s beats brought it out of me. It took me to another place. I was worried that my fans wouldn’t like it because it was so different with the live instrumentation and everything. It wasn’t 808 driven like with my other music. I was worried about stuff like “Can’t Stand Me” and other things that were like totally different, like “Klusterfuk,” and “DKNY,” but it was stuff that I love. And motherfuckers love it! I’m like, “Damn, maybe I should do all my albums in four days.” [Laughs] It was a blessing that I got it done. I should’ve said no I couldn’t do that because it was hard for me. Travis was like, “Damn, if you can do all that, I need like six songs before you go on tour.” I didn’t get one of those motherfuckers done. I’ve been shooting video after video. Two videos with ¡MayDay!. Two videos with Prozak. Two videos with Stevie Stone. Three videos with Krizz Kaliko. All my artists need me. I did songs for all their albums before I left. Krizz Kaliko had me on like six of them. It was killing me because one of them was with Twista and he wanted me to rap last. I’m like, “You can’t rap after that nigga, for real.” It was hard for me, but I did it. It was just so many hard verses. One I had to close with Busta [Rhymes] on it. I’m like, “Why are they doing this to me? I can’t rap after these niggas!” But I did. I don’t like to rap after these niggas. It’s a hard task because you have to be the finale after Busta. That’s hard to do, bruh.
DX: On “Worldwide Choppers” you went first. You got away from all those scathing verses on that joint.
Tech N9ne: Exactly. I like to go first. I want everybody to do their best. I’ll do my verse and the chorus first, then send it to all the artists that’s on it. This is what I’m doing. Outdo me, nigga. I want the best out of motherfuckers. A lot of emcees say, “I don’t want them to hear my verse because I want to kill everybody.” I got my own lane. I do me. So it’s like, I ain’t got that ego. When I sent “So Lonely” to Eminem, my verse was on it. When I sent it to Blind Fury, my verse was on it. These are lyricists. I did that. I went first on “Worldwide Choppers” , but I never really have to go last after these elite lyricists like Twista and Busta. Last week I had to go last after both of them niggas and it was a hard time. I had a headache and everything, nigga. I’m talking I had to pull out all my tricks. Well, not all of my tricks. I didn’t do my backwards shit. I ain’t done that in a long time. Not all my tricks, but it was a hard task. I’ve been doing a lot of work.
DX: Strange Music is an army for real. A navy or something. All 6's And 7's seemed to put you on another radar. Everyone from fans to critics to execs are talking about that project.
Tech N9ne: It did. It was so wonderful because it was the perfect mashup album. That’s what I like to do. I like to take people you wouldn’t even think would go together. Like people heard me with The Deftones on “If I Could” like, “Whoa, Tech is with The Deftones?” Yes. Me with Mint Condition and First Degree the D.E. from Brotha Lynch [Hung’s] clique [on “The Boogieman”]. It’s like, come on nigga, you ain’t supposed to have them two niggas on a song with Tech N9ne with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League doing the beat. C’mon, man. That’s crazy. B.o.B., Hopsin, Tech N9ne on “Am I A Psycho” : perfect mash-up. You wouldn’t think that would happen. I’m trying to make beautiful music, man. What a lot of the industry sees is that Tech N9ne goes with everyone, even with Lil Wayne and T-Pain; even with Busta and Twista and Yelawolf; even with Blind Fury; even with E-40 and Snoop [Dogg]. It just put me on another level. I always knew I was there, but the respect has been coming from all the other emcees.
I ain’t supposed to say this, but I did that whole album for free. What I mean is, everyone came through for me for nothing. And that makes me feel good. They showed me love, man. When the label tried to say, “Okay, they did it for free, but you still need $50,000 to clear it.” They called in and said, “No, no, no, not for this guy.” Do you know how much love that is, man? I ain’t never gotta do it again. That’s so wonderful that everybody did that for me, man. That’s on love. It ain’t like they need anything from me. It ain’t like Snoop needs anything from me, or E-40 needs anything from me, or The Deftones or Wayne or Pain or Busta or Twista or B.o.B or anybody. Everybody came through. I almost had Cee-Lo but he was doing [The Voice]. He was supposed to sing “Love Me Tomorrow.” I almost had Cee-Lo. I’m gonna have Cee-Lo on the next one. Watch.
DX: Strange Music, you guys are always really creative with the way your roll out certain projects. I’m a big fan of ¡MayDay!’s album. It’s loaded with really high caliber song writing...
Tech N9ne: It’s really wonderful music, man. It’s another level for us. It’s another level for us with a band. We’ve never signed a band. This was the band to sign. I had them do my whole six song EP and we didn’t even have to promote at all! And it’s still going. We did 17,000 the first week with no promotion at all. We wasn’t supposed to do that. We didn’t do nothing. We let the music speak. They took me to another level and I guess it’s in the right direction because I had no idea that my bass-driven Technician fans were gonna love that live music like that. I had no idea.
DX: How do you guys stay creative with your marketing strategy? It seems like you guys are in constant touch with your fans? You just reached out to see what the fans wanted to come with the Best Buy Take Me To Your Leader/Klusterfuk package, for example.
Tech N9ne: We do things like we would like to have it done for us. We’re music connoisseurs. We’ve been buying music for years, since we were kids. Tech N9ne is only what I would like my favorite emcee to sound like: cluster-fuckish, schizophrenic. I can do anything. That’s why you can hear me on a song with Lil Wayne and T-Pain and my other Rock & Roll fans be like, “Aw that’s bullshit. Mainstream and Underground don’t mix!” But you can’t hate on that damn song. Real artists are gonna find each other. Tech N9ne is only what I would like my favorite emcee to sound like: lyrical, melodic, spiritual, everything. We engage with fans with how we would like shit to be for us. Can you imagine if Public Enemy had hour long meet and greets when you came to their show? Or N.W.A.? You got to meet Eazy-E and Ice Cube for an hour to talk to them. Do you know how wonderful that would’ve felt to have Slick Rick in a room for an hour and he’d sign his albums for you? Or EPMD in there or Run-DMC? This is how we would’ve liked to have our fan experience. That’s beautiful.
It’s all about politicking so you have to get out there and connect with the fans. This is how we do it. This is how you build artists. They get to know you through your music. And the wonderful thing about Tech N9ne is I’m not fabricated. Everything I talk about is my life. When it’s coming from my imagination, they know it. When they meet me they’re like, “Damn, this is just like the same dude I’ve been listening to all these years.” It’s me. Quincy Jones told me to rap what I know and people would forever feel me and he was right. That’s why I call myself “Alucard” - Dracula backwards - because I feel like I’m immortal. All these emcees I’ve seen blow up, I’ve seen them fall. I’m on the incline and they’re not. I’m like, “Damn, man. This seems like a forever thing for me.”
DX: When did you see the tipping point in your audiences and your connection with your fans? Strange Music began in 1999. When did you see the hands on approach really working? Was it after giving away [Absolute Power] for free following the RIAA’s war on downloading?
Tech N9ne: Aw man, since we started we was on it because we was all about the fans. I always felt like that. The label was named after a hippie fucking group by the name of The Doors. Strange Music. People are strange. Strange days. It was named that because I’m a big Doors fan; Jim Morrison fan. From the beginning it was all about the music and all about the fans. In 2002, my second album Absolute Power, was free. You can download it for free and if you like it, go buy it. And they bought it still. We proved our point with the “Fuck The Industry” campaign. We’ve always done that since the beginning.
DX: We’re starting to see a number of artists trying different strategies. Chamillionaire did an interview with DX this week and talked about selling directly to fans rather than going through a distributor, iTunes, or Amazon. David Banner also...
Tech N9ne: It’s whatever you can do, man. It’s the digital age. Nobody has to pay for music anymore so you have to find things to do. It’s just sad that people are so late doing it. The majors go for that one big hit and say, “Okay, that’s what we got. We need to do another one like that,” when they were just supposed to be doing music in the first place. I always tell my artists that. Krizz Kaliko’s like, “Man, I need a radio hit. I got an album full of radio hits.” I’m like, “No, no, no. Don’t do it, man. Don’t do it. Just do beautiful music and the reward will be greater later.” Do you know how good it feels to do a song that you wouldn’t expect to be on video or radio - something called “Am I A Psycho” - and it ends up being your first video on 106 & Park and it’s a horror feel to it? It’s [inspired by] Michael Myers and Jason [Vorhees] and Psycho and they picked it up? Do you know how great that is that I didn’t try to do that and that’s where it went on its own?
That’s what I mean by just do music and don’t try to do it for the radio. I’ve got two of the biggest artists on a song. Two of the biggest artists in Lil Wayne and T-Pain. We did a song called “Fuck Food” . You cannot do that on the radio. But that wasn’t what I was doing. I wanted to do something that we all had in common. I’ve been in a strip club with T-Pain and his wife. I know they party. It’s beautiful what they got. I talked to Wayne at Rikers [Island] and one of the things we talked about was [how he] can’t wait to get back to sex. When I heard the beat, I’m like “This is what I hear: me, Wayne, and T-Pain.” At first it was gonna be me, R. Kelly, and Wayne, but I didn’t know R. Kelly. My boy said, “T-Pain could do it.” I was like, “You’re right! Yes!” And it worked. I put these guys on a song called “Fuck Food.” That’s a big fuck the industry right there. People are like, why would you take Wayne and Pain and put them on a song that won’t go on radio, that’s counter productive. I’m like, “That ain’t my aim. My aim is not to get all of their fans. If their fans love my shit then so be it. It’ll happen organically. It’ll happen on its own. I’m not going to push to do that shit. I do music that I love with hopes that my fans will love it because they trust what I do.
My fans will never like everything I do because I’m such a cluster-fuck. I do all kinds of things. I do rock shit. I do gangster shit. I do sentimental shit. I do all kinds of sexual music. Some people just like that one thing I do. That’s why it’s a melting pot over here. An [executive] would’ve been like, “Damn, man. We could’ve did a lot with these songs.” But they gotta let me be me because it won’t be right if I’m trying to do it. I make sure I put that on my artists. Even “He’s A Mental Giant” . That’s one of my favorite songs. I love it. I can make the crowd move this way in life. At 40-years old, I can write stuff that’s still young. Maybe I’m young-minded. I don’t fucking know but I love it. There’s an inner child in this room all the time and it shows at my shows. I love it. So when I do songs like “He’s A Mental Giant” and it’s rocking like something I did in 1995 like “Einstein” and “Psycho Bitch,” it makes me feel good; like I have everlasting life in this. Doing a song like “He’s A Mental Giant” and y’all all go crazy, it makes me feel like I’m reincarnated. It’s so beautiful.
I try to push that on my artists. I tell them, “Fuck the industry,” all the time. You’ve gotta feel the industry at some point. It’s about money. It’s a music business. We’re artists in it and sometimes we lose ourselves like, “This is art, nigga.” "Yeah it is, but I owe the IRS, motherfucker. If you can do this and get money, it’s a beautiful thing." It’s called the music business, so in business there has to be some kind of monetary gain, right? We can’t lose sight of that. Sometimes we do. I’m a live artist but I’m a business man, too. I know what I gotta do. I gotta keep music coming. I wouldn’t write this much music. I’d do an album a year, boom. But every time beats come I just gotta go. It’s in my blood. It’s in my veins. They just keep feeding me beats. I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got an idea for this album.” I know when my next album’s coming. It’s coming out late October . I’m getting beats for it right now. I’ve got seven beats thus far. I’m going to reach out to people I wouldn’t regularly do music with. This album’s gotta be bigger than All 6's And 7's and that’s gonna be hard to beat.
DX: Is this the K.A.B.O.S.H. album you’ve been talking about for a while?
Tech N9ne: Nah, nah, nah. I had to put K.A.B.O.S.H. [on hold]. I’m trying to see what’s going on with my band in Austin, [Texas] because I think that they fell apart. That kind of slowed me down. This is my solo album that I’m talking about coming out late October. It was supposed to be K.A.B.O.S.H. but K.A.B.O.S.H. I cannot rush. It has to be right. It’s Rock music and I don’t just want a gang of niggas yelling over Rock guitars. I want to make music. I want to make Pink Floyd say, “Wow.” I want to make Rush and SlipKnot say “Wow, these niggas can really go.” They probably won’t say “niggas” but you know.
DX: Let’s hope not. Maybe they will. We’re in a brand old world these days.
Tech N9ne: [Laughs] I’m wearing my Trayvon Martin hood on right now, homie!
DX: I’m right there with you. One of my favorite lines of the entire year in 2011 was your line on “Welcome To StrangeLand” where you say, “I love it / Eep / Op / Ork / Ah Ah...”
Tech N9ne: Yeah! [Laughs] I got it from The Jetsons.
DX: You took that one back. You pulled that reference from the 1970s. That’s one of the illest metaphors I heard all year.
Tech N9ne: That’s how you know I’m 40 years old! [Laughs] That’s Jet Screamer! Jet Screamer from The Jetsons. [Sings the full version of “Eep Op Ork Ah Ah”] My fans know that “Eep Op Ork Ah Ah” means I love you. I say it every once in a while.
DX: I didn’t realize that. That’s dope. The way you flipped that was one of my favorite lines of the year. But one of the most important songs I heard last year was “The Noose.”
Tech N9ne: Oh my God.
DX: It was the first time I heard you with ¡MayDay!. That one feels like it could actually be on Take Me To Your Leader.
Tech N9ne: Yeah. It should’ve been. It should’ve been. When they played that song for me it already had Wrekonize’s singing on it. It was so atmospheric and it was so wonderful and warm. I was like, “Man, what the hell is that?” They played it on the bus for me and said, “Nothing. Just a song we’re working on, man.” I was like, “Can I have that one?” They were like, “Yeah, totally.” I was like, “What? You would give that one to me?” As soon as I heard it, it reminded me of my visit to Camp Pendleton and the wounded soldiers. So I spoke about it, man, and it touched everybody. It went so far that it got us over to Kuwait to do the USO tour. I wish I could’ve took them with me. We’re gonna start doing that to where I take them overseas with me.
[¡MayDay!] is gonna go so far. Their music is just so impeccable, man. I watched their show yesterday. It just keeps getting better. They play instruments, man, and they do it good. I don’t hear no fuck ups or nothing. The lyricists, [BernBiz] and Wrekonize, they’re so fucking elite. I just gotta get them on Saturday Night Live or Jimmy Kimmel [Live!] or [Late Night With] Jimmy Fallon, wherever. I just need to get them on TV. People need to see this band. They could be the house band for somebody. I don’t fucking care. People have to see this. This beautiful music. They did wonderfully and a song that they inspired got me all the way to the Middle East. They got that out of me. Their music brought that out of me. Their music brought Klusterfuk out of me in four days. That means I had to really feel it, man. It’s not rushed. You’d think I’d be rushing. It’s not rushed. It just came out of me.
In actuality, it was three days that I did it. Just sitting in the studio, one after the other. I talked to everybody who was going to be involved, like Sassy Shannon in Alaska. I said, “Baby, I want you to do this Spoken Word shit that you’ve been doing all these years.” She had just gotten out of jail. I said, “I want you to do this for me. Just do what you feel but I need it back tomorrow, though.” She did it in one day. Aqualeo - these guys are from Houston. They were in Greece and I called their liaison and said, “I need these guys to do “Ugly Duckling” with me.” She said, “They’re in Greece.” I don’t know where they get all this money, but they come to all my shows. If I’m doing it over in Australia, they’ll come. They’re beautiful, man. They flew back that night from Greece, did the song, and had it to me the next day. Fucking professional. I had to have everything done that’s why there weren’t too many people on it. It was very quick. Everybody had to have it back within hours. We did it.
DX: How’d [“Hostile Takeover”] and the concept for the record breaking tour come about?
Tech N9ne: The last one we did was like 80-something days. That was looking like the longest tour. Then we were like, “Man, what if we pushed it to 90 shows in 99 days?” Travis said, “You think you can do that, Tech?” I said, “Nigga, we just got finished doing 82 of them, what do you mean?” At the end of that 80-something it was starting to get to me - that repetition. I started to forget the words a little bit so I said it was time for me to go home. I started spacing out on stage. It was hard. So, it’s going to be hard towards the end but we’re gonna do it for the sake of making it historic. We’re bringing Machine Gun Kelly with us and Stevie Stone and ¡MayDay! and Prozak and Krizz Kaliko and Tech N9ne. It’s such an explosive tour. You can tell because I’m slightly hoarse already, on my third show. We going. We going in and this is only the third show.
DX: There’s a rumor out there - I don’t know if it’s confirmed or not - but you’re working with DMX on his upcoming album. Is that true?
Tech N9ne: Man, they called and said that he wanted me on his album and it didn’t even happen. I’m just happy he spoke my name. I don’t know if I fucked it up by mentioning it or whatever, but if I did, I don’t give a fuck. Dark Man X said my name. He said, “I wanna work with Tech on my new album.” And he don’t fuck with nobody. When BET asked him what he thinks about Hip Hop and rappers he said, “I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t.” [Laughs] I fucking died. I love real niggas, man. And to have that real nigga say that about me, to have that brother say that about me, that made me feel good. It made feel like I’m doing something real right. That brother said my name.
DX: What about the “Worldwide Choppers” video? I know it’s gotta be hard getting everybody together. I see Yelawolf just got out of the hospital.
Tech N9ne: What happened?
DX: He ruptured his spleen stage diving during a show in Los Angeles. He jumped off the rafters and landed on someone’s face. He was hospitalized in Wisconsin and had to cancel his tour.
Tech N9ne: Wow. That’s why I don’t jump out there and stage dive no more, man. They started to take all of my personal shit that I had on my wrist and everything. I had dead homies on my wrist with little bands. I had to take all of that sentimental shit off of me. I still go out there, but I just stand on the barricade and touch them. I don’t stage dive no more. It’s so dangerous. I’ll be 41-years old this year. I can’t afford to break no bones. I waited until I was 40-years old to break a bone. Falling off a helicopter. Crack! I can’t afford it, man. I move a lot more than these youngsters up there, too. Ain’t nobody really dealing with us up there. It’s a blessing to still have your bones intact like that to where you feel like you don’t have to slow down.
DX: You’ve pretty much been rhyming your whole life. Rhyming taught you how to spell your name. You’ve done it from a major level to an independent level. You’re credited as the top selling independent Hip Hop artist. You’ve traveled the world, fallen out of helicopters. You’ve seen a lot of different changes in this industry, in this music, in technology. After all of that, what still surprises you about Hip Hop?
Tech N9ne: What surprises me about Hip Hop is that it’s going on all over the world. I can go to Switzerland and see Slick Rick doing shows. I’ve seen EPMD in Canada. I’ve seen all these artists that were from back then still getting money; still going strong. I was able to see KRS-One. It just made me happy to know that it’s a forever thing. In the [United States], people just write it off like, “That’s old school. We don’t fuck with that no more. It’s all about whatever new thing.” There’s money out here for everybody. It surprises me to see that it’s so live everywhere overseas still. They’re still hungry for that Hip Hop. Treach from Naughty By Nature going all the way to Japan and being the biggest thing. Me and Treach have been talking lately about going over to Europe together. It’s still going, man. We’re thinking it’s over over here. We’re thinking guys are washed up. Nah, nigga. It’s still going. I ain’t saying that about Treach or nobody. I’m just saying that’s how nigga’s talk. 50 Cent goes over there and is a God. It’s going on all over the world. Sizzilin’. It’s just so surprising.
I have a biased opinion. I’m an emcee. I pride myself on lyrics and wordplay and everything like that, and feeling and everything. I always think there’s money out here for everybody; opportunity out here for everybody. So, when there’s a Soulja Boy and people are making fun of him and saying he can’t rap and all of that, this brother made that happen. I’m proud of that because it means that it’s somebody getting up out of poverty. Their children will be better off and have a wonderful education and better lives. That’s what it means to me. So when niggas are always hating on niggas like Waka Flocka [Flame] and all that kind of shit, be grateful that that nigga ain’t dead because of Brick Squad. He’s doing something positive. Even though we talk negative shit. I come from a Blood gang and I’m a knowledgable brother. I come from a Christian home and a Muslim upbringing, you know what I’m sizzlin’. My parents would kill me if they knew what I was claiming. I’m a good guy. But in my past there’s some bad shit. Looking at Waka Flocka, I just thank God that their living and doing something positive like music. It could be so much worse. Trayvon Martin, man, walking down the street. Skittles. C’mon, man. On the phone. C’mon, dude. It could be way worse.