For those of you who already read part one of the interview, here's the conclusion. If you missed the first half, go dig through last week's blogs and get caught up before you read today's blog. To check out his music, go to www.myspace.com/techniec.
SOHH EIGHTY: Not to compare you to him style wise or anything, but another artist who people are really feeling these days and who doesnâ€™t really fit into any preexisting genre is Bishop Lamont. Itâ€™s another dude who isnâ€™t just going with the tried and true idea of, â€œOh, if I want to be a West Coast rapper and have success, I have to be a gangster rapper.â€ But people are feeling both of you for sure.
Techniec: I wanna make it clear on my position on this. I think because of my raps, people are like, â€˜Yo, you speak a lotta street stuff, but at the the same time, you real lyrical in your approach.â€™ But my thing is this: I never really had the knack to gangbang, reason being â€˜cause I was surrounded by it. My whole family was pretty much involved with the gang culture in one way, shape or form. I lost a brother to it- actually, Iâ€™ve lost two brothers to it because I have a younger brother whoâ€™s incarcerated. And me seeing how the system works, I never really wanted to get caught up. Iâ€™ve learned off of the mistakes of others as much as possible, you know what I mean? A lot of things you have to learn for yourself, but as far as thatâ€™s concerned, I never had to. But, does that make me less credible? Nah. I mean, I done had to bust my gun before, I done had to fight, I done had a few run-ins with the law, this, this and that. But when I was in those situations, it wasnâ€™t glamorous and it wasnâ€™t because it was fun. It was because it was a survival tactic, you see what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™? It was me being in the environment that I was in. But if I have it my way, Iâ€™m trying to lead entrepreneurs and businessmen- people thatâ€™s gonna be they own bosses and create enterprises. Thatâ€™s pretty much my overall approach with it... Yeah, Iâ€™m street, Iâ€™m always gonna be that â€˜cause I wasnâ€™t born in Beverly Hills. I wasnâ€™t raised in the rich part of town- I was raised in the hood. My family was on welfare or out hustlinâ€™ to survive, you know what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™? So with this platform that I got, I just bring my life experiences to the table and I still remain true to my upbringing and where I come from because thatâ€™s what made Techniec the man that he is. But still on the same note, Iâ€™m trying to push it further, to a whole â€˜nother direction. Music is a platform for that, so I focus on the music. Iâ€™m not gonna get on a track and over-gangbang and tell you â€˜Iâ€™m cominâ€™ lookinâ€™ for you, Iâ€™m the hardest n*gga out, Iâ€™ll kill youâ€™ or this, this and that- Iâ€™m not gonâ€™ do that. But Iâ€™ll tell you if you f*ck with me this is what potentially could happen to you, â€˜cause Iâ€™m not with the bullsh*t.
On that note, it seems like there are a lot of people who donâ€™t really know the history of Techniec... A lot of people thing that youâ€™re just now arriving on the scene, but youâ€™ve been around for a minute. Even if you wanna go back and start with â€œBeware Of My Crewâ€... For those who donâ€™t know, do you wanna explain how you originally arrived on the scene?
Mutual friends and whatnot landed me next to Snoop Dogg when he was starting a new label, Doggystyle Records. This was around â€˜95... I was just gettinâ€™ on. We was doinâ€™ little demos, really just gettinâ€™ our feet wet with the music and one of my O.G.â€™s- my popâ€™s homeboy, big C-Style - I let him hear a demo and he let me know that he was gonna let Dogg hear it or whatever, so that situation transpired from that. I feel timing is everything, but on the same note, I just been a student to it. It started off with the â€œBeware of My Crewâ€ situation that landed on the Thin Line Between Love And Hate soundtrack. It actually did pretty well as far as the single, but the album for the LBC Crew never happened due to political reasons.
Label politics or personal politics?
Both. You got five kids that never been a situation like that before, everyone got their own personalities and agendas and that was a situation right there. The other situation was that Snoop Dogg was still slated on an artist on Death Row and that created some form of a conflict, but it didnâ€™t stop the show. After the LBC Crew sorta dismantled, we started up another situation with Tha Eastsiderz- as itâ€™s known now, it went on with Goldie Loc and Tray Dee and Snoop Dogg and they did their thing through TVT, but the original situation was through Tommy Boy records and it was with myself, Lil C-Style and Tray Dee. It came to a point where the business wasnâ€™t right so it was no possible way of it working. And I wasnâ€™t the greatest business man at the time, but I know what reads on a paper- if it says Iâ€™m supposed to have this or Iâ€™m supposed to have that, thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m supposed to have. So if youâ€™re not giving that to me, thatâ€™s a conflict within itself. But it was no issues from there; it just didnâ€™t work out. I moved on to Hoo Banginâ€™ Records with Mack 10- he was starting a new label. I been pro-west from day one- like, if I can be a soldier in an army thatâ€™s ridinâ€™ to make sure the West Coast is gonna stay a prevalent force in hip hop, thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m ridinâ€™. Out of the situation with that, once again, it didnâ€™t really get off the ground due to the fact that Priority, the label that was gonna be distributing Hoo Banginâ€™, started to go through a situation. I got caught up in the pipeline with them making the transition over to Capitol, and we really didnâ€™t wanna release the album under those conditions, â€˜cause you donâ€™t never get a second chance to make a first impression. That situation dismantled and I just pushed the independent line with my crew Dynamic Certified from there on out. I popped up here and there on soundtracks and whatnot, put out mixtape sh*t to keep everything hot in the street, and then as recent as â€˜05, I linked up with The Game. Unfortunately, once again the business and the behind-the-scenes situation wasnâ€™t concrete so it didnâ€™t work. So now, Techniec is ridinâ€™ for Techniec and Dynamic Certified, Bloc-Level Media. Thatâ€™s the situation right now until a major label situation comes. Weâ€™re not really too much trippinâ€™ off that, but if it comes, it comes. Until then we just focused on making good music and filling the void of whatâ€™s not really heard as of right now in hip hop in the West Coast.
So to move back a little bit, how old were you when you made your appearance on â€œBeware Of My Crewâ€?
Dude... I was 15 at that time.
And see, a lot of people didnâ€™t know that right there. I had read that somewhere, and your voice sounded kinda young on that track, but I had to fact check that sh*t. Iâ€™m not gonna name names or anything, but even at 15, you were kinda murkinâ€™ some of the other people that were on that track with you.
Yeah, yeah... I was 15 man. In â€˜95 it came out, so, you know... do the math (laughs).
So getting back up to speed, you mentioned you were working on your album. Do you have a tentative release date?
Weâ€™re trying for mid-Fall, and the record as of right now is entitled Tha Blocstar, Tha Rebel.
Is there gonna be some kind of theme to the album?
Itâ€™s pretty much just me in a nutshell. Everybody wanna shine, everybody wanna be the fly rapper, have all the girls, you know what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™... That type of thing- thatâ€™s where the Blocstar title came from. If Iâ€™m not a star nowhere on Earth, I can go in my hood and get love, you know what Iâ€™m sayin? The people who know me in my geographic, they love me and they respect what Iâ€™ve done and what I do. And the Rebel is just pretty much... Iâ€™m gonâ€™ speak my mind. If itâ€™s bullsh*t, Iâ€™m gonna point it out as being bullsh*t. Iâ€™m not gonna sugarcoat nothinâ€™ for the sake of politics of the industry. This whole music thing is freedom of expression, and thatâ€™s pretty much what I do. I rebel against the bullsh*t; you can love it or leave it.
Are you planning on doing a mixtape or anything between now and then?
We have a couple of compilations coming out; one is called Long Beach Blvd. and the other one is called Long Beach Vietnam. Itâ€™s just two sides of the city, you know what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™? Itâ€™s pretty much displaying the talents of the acts- some of them that youâ€™re familiar with, and then mix that with the new talent thatâ€™s up and coming. We just working man, and really trying to get it out there and let the world know... Itâ€™s like, when you think of The Bay, you donâ€™t just think of E-40. You think of Too Short, Keak Da Sneak, Messy Marv, The Pack, Mistah Fab. All of these dudes, theyâ€™re coexisting with each other and theyâ€™re all repping the same area. When you think of Long Beach right now, you think of probably two names. So now we just pretty much trying to shed light on the fact that a movement does exist, thereâ€™s a lotta talent out here, and we gonna keep on puttinâ€™ it in their face. Weâ€™re not getting those type of endorsements from big acts like Snoop Dogg and all of that. Not to say anything bad on him, but heâ€™s hurting us more than heâ€™s helping us because he wants everybody to be up under him. Like, if itâ€™s talent, put it out there. like my man Bware say, a candle doesn't lose light by lighting another candle. Thatâ€™s pretty much where weâ€™re at right now; weâ€™re pushin lines for a whole new movement and letting you know that thereâ€™s people thatâ€™s here.