Interview: Tech N9ne Talks Ecstasy, G-Strings, & Smashing Fans

Interview: Tech N9ne Talks Ecstasy, G-Strings, & Smashing FansInterview by Insanul Ahmed; Photography by Jaimie Warren; Prop Styling by Lee Heinemann

Why do you still see yourself as a fuck-up?
Well, that’s my personal life when I say I’m a fuck-up. For instance, me and my wife have been separated for over eight years. We’re cool as fuck now, but we separated because I’m a fuck-up. I’ve fucked up a lot of shit in my life and I rap about it. A lot of it was self-inflicted pain: Getting on drugs, almost dying, doing 15 X pills in one night, almost dying from dehydration.

I’ve been clean for over four years, but my body still misses it. When bitches are around doing Molly it just makes my body tingle. I have to turn away because my body can feel it. Do you know what Molly is? It’s pure MDMA, the pure shit that they make ecstasy with. It’s not cut with anything. Molly is fucking wonderful man. Some of these stripper chicks be having it. I be like, “Ughhhh! Don’t pull it out around me.” I’ve been good for four years though man.

That’s why I say in my personal life I’m a fuck-up, but my business life is a wonderful thing. I make beautiful things happen with my fuck-ups because I write them. That’s how I made my fans.

What kind of drugs were you into?
Ecstasy, acid, Adderall, GHB, which is a date-rape drug. I never did any coke because my nose had bad sinuses. I went to a gang of coke parties, but I never did it. I never shot anything else. I hated needles before I started getting tattoos so I’ve never shot any heroin or anything. Thank God. Never smoked any crack. But those were my drugs. Ecstasy was my favorite. I did acid every once in a while, mushrooms every once in a while. GHB on top of all that, so I’d be swerving a little bit. It kind of makes you woozy and shit. But that was about it.

And I stopped smoking weed in 1998. I was in a group called Smoke-a-lot Regime with Yukmouth. Anybody would stop smoking after they smoked a whole summer with Yuk and that’s what I did. I moved to L.A. in ‘97 and that whole summer I was recording with Yukmouth, and it was blunt after blunt every day. 20 blunts a day turned into 40 blunts a day. I just got really sick one day like, “Fuck that weed.” I stopped smoking weed before the drug shit even hit me really hard. When I stopped smoking weed, I started doing harder drugs.

How did you first get on to using Ecstasy?
I did my first pill in ‘98. It was given to me by this beautiful black stripper at a movie theater. She said, “Come with me, and we’re going to go to a movie, but we’re going to meet these guys to get this pill real quick.” And I was like, “Okay, whatever.” And we pulled up in this parking lot out in Overland Park and these guys got out, we got it, and we went to the movies.

It was me, her, and her homegirl. And we sat down in the very front, because no one was in there. She said, “Go outside, and drink some water. In 30 minutes you’re going to feel like you have to shit, but it’s going to feel good, and then your dick is going to get hard.” And I was like, “Okay.”

So I took it, and the movie came on, and I started squirming like, “Fuck.” And then I put her hand on my dick like, “You’re right.” And she was like, “Yeah.” I remember doing her the whole night at her friend's house, in the mirror in the bathroom, doggystyle. I remember how she was so in ecstasy that her mouth was wide open.

Then I met the ecstasy chick, the chick that really sold us it. This white chick named Michelle, she really put it on me drug-wise, like, “Here, try another one, try another one, try another one. This is a red devil, try this one.” And she’s the one I did it with every day. That was in ‘98 so by 2001, I’d built up to where I had to take three.

Before it even hit the black community I was on that shit. Before Mac Dre was ever talking about doing it, I was already saying thizzle shit. They used to call me Malcolm X. No disrespect—because I love Malcolm X—but they were calling me Malcolm X for a different reason. I’d come in the strip club with 60 X pills, just put one on my tongue, and put it in all the bitches' mouths, one by one, to get high with me. I started a lot of strippers on that shit back in the day. I didn’t sell it, I just bought it with my money. Sometimes people would just give it to me because of who I was and I’d just share it with beautiful women.

Some of the strippers didn’t even know me and I said, “Open your mouth.” And I’d give them an X-pill, and they took it because of who I was. And they’re still on it. It makes me feel bad. I’ve seen a lot of them and they’re not doing too well. Not all of them though, just a couple of them are still fucked up. It’s like, “Damn, look what I started.” They’ll tell people, “Tech gave me my first pill.” And I’ll be like, “Aw shit. Sorry.” But they’re still happy. I just don’t want nobody to die. I did it hardcore. Nobody would ever do it as hardcore as I did.

You mentioned the time you almost died from drugs. What happened?
I was partying in L.A. in 2001. Once you take an ecstasy, you don’t want it to ever come down. So if you start at three o'clock and you’re rolling at seven o'clock, they come down at nine and you take three more. We were doing it hardcore. We were popping three, tripplestacks. We were really trying to feel it because we had been doing it since the late ‘90s.

We had just opened up for Cypress Hill in Glen Helen at Blockbuster Theater. I met Tommy Lee backstage and he said he liked one of my songs. I didn’t even know he knew me. I met Keith Murray backstage. We were just partying. It was wonderful and we went on stage early because we were the opening act. So we got off stage at like seven and we were ready to go.

We were ready to get in our cars and drive back to Sunset to party. We were staying at The Grafton on Sunset. It takes like an hour to get back from San Bernardino—so when we got back to Sunset it was packed. We had already taken three and it was seven. When we got to Sunset—like and hour or two later—you’re going to be on Sunset for a while, so we popped three more. That’s already six. By the time we got to The Grafton, it was probably like 11. We popped three more and we just kept going.

And then one comes and you take some more. I remember Kutt Calhoun wandered off, because when you’re on that shit you kind of lose direction of where you are. Kutt Calhoun said he was walking up Sunset trying to find The Grafton for like two hours. [Laughs.]

So that night when you took the 15, you ended up in the hospital I assume?
No, I didn’t. I nursed myself back. I knew if you drank too much water it’d swell your brain and you’d die. So I drank a lot of orange juice and water here and there. I couldn’t sleep. It’s hard to explain. It’s like you close your eyes and you just get real dizzy. It’s like a fucking bumble bee in your head that makes you dizzy and you can’t close your eyes for real.

And that happened for a long time, where I couldn’t stand up without almost falling. But drinking that orange juice brought me back, and water here and there, just trying to eat, and I did it myself, because if my wife found out I was that high, that she was married to an addict, she would’ve left me.

But the black girl who turned me onto the ecstasy ended up telling my wife about our affair and everything. So my wife found out I was on drug and that was one of the biggest reasons we separated. The black girl fell in love with me and she thought by telling my wife, it would make me leave her so she could be with me, but she didn’t know that it would make me say, “Fuck you, you dumb ass bitch. You weren’t supposed to tell. You knew what the fuck it was; We were creeping." Eventually, she got ran out of town and moved to Florida. I didn’t do it. People that loved me did it, I think.

How did you finally get clean?
My kids man. I remember my young little girl Rainbow, she couldn’t be more than three at the time...I don’t fucking know...she was looking at me and it felt like she knew that I was high man. I was like, “Man, I cannot die on this drug.” And my business was getting way more important and I had to be here. My partner Travis got us a lot of money and it would have just been a waste. I recall getting in the deal and somebody said they had to make sure they weren’t about to do a deal with a drug addict that was going to kill himself. And a lot of my fans were like, “Yeah, we’re going to lose him like we lost Jim Morrison.” I was hearing shit like that. I wrote songs about it, and I got off of that shit, and I didn’t turn back.

Was there any kind of intervention or anything like that?
Hell nah. I did it myself. I’m a to myself type of dude. I don’t need no psychiatrist. I don’t need nobody to be in my ear telling me, “You can’t do this or that.” I’ve got to do it on my own man. I’m a strong individual and I did it without rehab and I did it without all that shit. I didn’t need nobody really in my ear. But my partner Travis, he’d speak to me every once in a while like, “You know what we’ve got something to do.” And that’s all it took, for real. I been totally clean ever since.

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