Exclusive: Tech N9ne and Strange Music CEO Travis O'Guin discuss the success of the Tech N9ne Collabos "Strangeulation" album, the #1 rap album in the country this week.
Tech N9ne says that the success of Strange Music’s Tech N9ne Collabos Strangeulation album is a reflection of the quality of the label’s music. Strangeulation is the #1 Rap album in the country this week. The project, which is the #5 overall album in the country and the #1 independent album, sold 35,772 copies this week.
“We are only going to do the best music, man,” Tech N9ne says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "I think everybody took it a step higher, or a few steps higher, when it comes to lyricism. We opt to do that because everybody can rap their ass off, man.”
Travis O’Guin, Strange Music’s CEO, says that the success of the compilation is a nod to the level of interest in each of the imprint’s acts.
"I think that our roster of artists is the reason that we are doing so well, because I think a lot people really dig Ces Cru,” O’Guin says during and exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “They really dig Krizz Kaliko. They really dig Murs. They really dig Rittz. So it’s like having all of our artists on there and having this record do 10,000 units north of what the last record [2011’s Welcome To Strangeland] did in its first week is great. I mean it’s absolutely incredible. I think that goes to show you that the rest of the artists are getting some traction and the other people want to hear what these guys have to say.”
Strangeulation also takes a noteworthy creative approach by weaving a four-part series of cyphers into the album. A video for the “Strangeulation Cypher,” which is below, clocks in at more than nine minutes and features the beat from Tech N9ne’s first collaboration with Seven, Strange Music’s staff producer.
“We have so many emcees we had to do multiple cyphers because, as you can see, the one that’s up right now, even though it’s missing three artists, it’s damn near 10 minutes,” Tech N9ne says. "It was necessary to put everybody on there and give everybody a piece of the first beat I ever rapped on from Seven before I knew him. We let everyone bust on it and it really meant so much to me. That started me and Seven for real without even knowing. He’s our in-house producer and he’s so magnificent with the beats. That was a milestone to me.”
On the business side, O’Guin was charged with marking and selling the cyphers as a cornerstone of Strangeulation.
"I’m in the business of having to market and present and sell music,” O’Guin says. "The idea that we are going to have everybody coming with their A Game on this cypher and on the album as a whole makes my job even easier. This is some stuff that people want to hear. When everybody is just murdering every single track, people want to hear that. People want to hear lyrics again in Hip hop. That’s a good thing. There’s till some stuff out there that’s not lyrical that wins, that’s chant and party, and more power to them. I’m banking on the fact that lyrics are coming back in Hip Hop and that’s what this album’s about.”
O’Guin also says that Strange Music benefits from its loyal fanbase, one that regularly supports its releases.
"We are lucky,” he says. "We are blessed to have fans that give enough and care to actually go out and purchase the album. So many people are out their streaming and doing things like that. This is like this is actually kind of an anomaly that so many people are going to go out and pick up a collabos album and actually purchase it. It’s a blessing to have the kind of fans that we do."