Tech N9ne spends most of the year on the road, playing hundreds of shows. The man knows the importance of a good ride. Still, even though he has sold more than a million records, he doesn't need a fat whip to prove that he has money in the bank. The Kansas City native gives us a little car talk.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind for you around cars?
What comes to mind is my uncle, Ike. When I was younger, all he drove was Benzes. When I was 15, I didn’t even have a license. He would let me drive it on Sunday. He trusted me enough to let me drive one of his big Mercedes-Benzes to the park, and stuff like that. I always told myself I always wanted to be like my uncle, so the first real money I made from this rap, I got me my first Benz. And it’s beautiful. It’s silver.
What model is it?
It’s a 300, something like that.
Like a C-Class?
When did you get it?
I bought it in ’06, or something like that.
Any new purchases on the horizon?
The next one I’ll probably get is—I’m not really a car guy, I’m more of a shoe guy—so all I need is a Mercedes S600. I don’t need no Phantom, dude. It’s just like a status thing to drive around. I don’t really need that. The 600 is all I really need, all I ever really wanted. And I could, like, buy it right now. I just don’t have the time.
Speaking of status, cars are used as imagery for success in music videos. What do you think about that?
I don’t really put cars in my videos because I’m always flying or on a tour bus. But for those that do, it is a status thing. If you’re riding around in a Bentley or a Phantom, one would think that the house better match it, if you’re smart. It’s a stature thing. We do anything that we do to get the attention of a woman. And you know, you like to show off for your dudes too. You’re like, “Hey, I got a Phantom.” But you want them chicks to look. You want to have a good job so you can make good money. You want to make good money so you can buy nice things. You want to have nice things so you can impress a nice woman.
How much driving do you do?
Never, because I do 200 shows a year. I’m only at home for like a month when I’m doing an album—at the most.
Kansas City, Missouri
What’s the car culture like there?
There’s a lot of Bentleys and a lot of Mercedes and a lot of BMW 7 Series. A lot of people got a lot of money around Kansas City, Missouri. If we didn’t, KC Trends would be out of business. There’s a place where they sell tires and rims and car stereos and everything—KC Trends, my boy Chad. I just did an in-store for him at KC Trends, and he put the rims on my Benz and tinted my windows and everything. It’s like so much business that Chad gets because everybody is always working on their Escalades, everybody’s always working on their BMW, or their new Mercedes-Benz. Somebody’s always getting work at KC Trends. So the car thing is a big thing in Kansas City, from what I see when I’m there.
What was the first car you ever bought?
I was married, so I bought a Ford Explorer, back before the Tech N9ne thing ever popped off. I was just doing little spot dates around town and stuff like that. But my wife, she wanted the hunter green Explorer. I don’t know what year that was, but it was a long time ago.