Year In Review – 2011: The Year The Mainstream Went Tech N9ne
The Tech N9ne endorsements from mainstream figures started in late 2010, when Lil Wayne confirmed in a prison interview his desire to work with The King of Underground Hip Hop. Whether the shout out started a chain reaction or simply opened up the door for Tech’s inevitable rise is anyone’s guess, but there’s no doubt that 2011 was a year in which the mainstream reached out to Tech N9ne from all different directions. From a groundbreaking album that shot to the tops of the Billboard pop charts, to numerous co-signs from major celebrities, to numerous appearances in magazine and television, 2011 marked the year that Tech N9ne was finally able to see what he had predicted all along: “The mainstream will go Tech.”
Tech N9ne Releases Bad Season on iTunes
The Bad Season mixtape, hosted by The Mixtape King himself, DJ Whoo Kid, makes an appearance on the Billboard 200 on its first week of release. Whoo Kid, one of hip-hop’s most sought-after DJs and mixtape pushers (who has put together mixtapes for the likes of 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z to name a few) praises Tech N9ne, calling the mixtape “perfect”, says that it sets a new standard for mixtapes, and declares it one of the top ten mixtapes he’s ever done. Tech N9ne spits over Whoo Kid’s selection of urban and east coast beats, displaying an uncanny ability to shine in any kind of production and capturing a whole new audience in the process.
The Source Magazine Lists Anghellic As One Of The 20 Most Slept On Albums In Hip Hop
“You either get it, or you don’t” says the magazine, one of hip hop’s longest-running publications.
Tech N9ne hits up the studio with Lil Wayne
Tech and the Cash Money emcee collaborate on their respective projects: All 6′s and 7′s and Tha Carter IV. What is expected by many fans to be an obligatory sell out move by having Wayne on All 6′s and 7′s eventually turns out to be one of the albums highlights and the track with the least radio-friendly title on the album: “Fuck Food”. Tech N9ne’s appearance on “Interlude” would prove to dazzle millions of listeners and cause them to wonder “Who is Tech N9ne?!”
Naughty By Nature: Tech N9ne is “The Future”
East Coast legends Naughty By Nature hit up the Twittersphere to commend Tech N9ne on his work ethic and independent dominance. The multi-platinum group is the first of many mainstream figures to give Tech N9ne an endorsement with Twitter.
Tech N9ne Collaborates With B.o.B.
The young rap star proved that he’s got more than pop credentials when he delivered the beat for “Am I A Psycho?” to Tech N9ne during his visit to Kansas City. Known for the smash album The Adventures of Bobby Ray, B.o.B. indulged in his dark side with an ambitious verse for the track, which would later become a fan favorite from All 6′s and 7′s and also feature an appearance from Hopsin. Along with “Fuck Food”, the song would serve as another example of Tech’s ability to pull something strange out of mainstream talent.
- All 6′s And 7′s Is Released
Tech N9ne’s most anticipated albums hits the market and achieves a stunning debut week by placing at #4 on the Billboard 200 Pop Charts. The album is listed as one of the albums of the summer by publications such as Complex and Spin. All 6′s and 7′s turns out to be just the album that Tech N9ne needs to achieve his monumental breakthrough and garners acclaim from his loyal fanbase while attracting a whole new legion of fans that had never heard of The King Of Independent Hip Hop.
- Tech N9ne Reaches One Million ‘Likes’ On Facebook
Tech N9ne’s wide-reach and internet-marketing savvy comes together in fine fashion when he gathers a million likes on his Facebook page. Meanwhile, the amount of lives Tech N9ne has touched through his music and his word-of-mouth spread continue to grow, in Tech’s words, “like a forest fire”.
- MTV Features Tech N9ne and Strange Music Headquarters On Sucker Free Sunday
Tech N9ne sits down for interviews and gives a tour of the Strange Music Headquarters during a special episode of Sucker Free Sunday on MTV2. The appearance proved to be the highest rated episode of Sucker Free Sunday of all time, a testament to Tech N9ne’s cult-like following.
Tech N9ne Wins With Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen, actor and self-proclaimed “unemployed winner”, becomes a full-blown Technician after witnessing Tech N9ne perform at the Gathering Of The Juggalos.
In 2011, the TV and movie star was under public scrutiny of an all-time high due to his showdown with CBS over his Two and a Half Men contract, incidents of nudity, manic drug-use in pricy hotels, and bizarre interviews in which he expressed “I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.” The notoriety helped Charlie Sheen become the first person to most quickly gain a million followers on Twitter.
Charlie Sheen introduces Tech N9ne to the crowd of Juggalos and proceeds to watch the performance from the side of the stage. Incredibly impressed with the performance, he Tweets a glowing endorsement to his five-million-plus Twitter followers.
Chum Lee Of ‘Pawn Stars’ Shouts Out Tech N9ne
Reality TV star Chum Lee of the History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars lets one of his Twitter followers know that he recognizes her username as a homage to Tech N9ne and proceeds to give the Kansas City King a shout out.
Shortly later, Tech N9ne shares his mutual admiration and sends Chum Lee a picture of himself in a Chum Lee T-shirt, to which Chum Lee responds with a picture of himself in a Tech N9ne t-shirt. Shortly after Charlie Sheen’s online endorsement, Chum Lee’s shoutout gives rise to the feeling that Tech N9ne’s music has infected more people than we are all aware of. Chum Lee would also later tweet that he woke up listening to Tech N9ne’s 2011 Collabos album Welcome To Strangeland upon its November release.
Tech N9ne Featured In VIBE Magazine’s “Juice” Issue
Tech N9ne’s electrifying live performances are highlighted in VIBE Magazine’s annual “Juice” issue, which pays tribute to hip hop’s movers and shakers.
Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV Is Released
Arguably the most anticipated release of 2011, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV is released in late August and goes on to sell nearly a million copies in its first week. If people didn’t know who Tech N9ne was before they heard his ferocious appearance on “Interlude”, they were bound to find out afterwards. Alongside surprise guest Andre 3000, Tech delivers a scene-stealing performance, spitting one of the best verses of his career, and captures the attention of listeners nationwide. Fans of Lil Wayne are prompted to ask “Who is Tech N9ne?” and entertainment media across the board cite “Interlude” as one of the biggest highlights on album. Sales from Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV go on to boost sales of Tech N9ne’s All 6′s and 7′s.
Tech N9ne Appears Behind Mark Zuckerberg
Technicians buzz about the appearance of Tech N9ne’s “Worldwide Choppers” behind Mark Zuckerberg during his live internet broadcast showcasing Facebook‘s new features. The song was used as a visual example of a Facebook playlist. Whether intentional or not, the appearance of the song during a presentation by the youngest billionaire of all time certainly made waves.
Tech Wows On BET During “The Cypher”
Tech N9ne performs at the 2011 BET Awards in “The Cypher”. Alongside Big K.R.I.T., Machine Gun Kelly, Kendrick Lamar and B.o.B., Tech N9ne unveils the most unorthodox and original verse during the evening’s proceedings and his appearance causes #techn9ne to trend worldwide on Twitter.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Reveals His Workout Playlist
WWE and movie star The Rock reveals Tech N9ne as an essential part of his soundtrack during a workout. With songs like “Technicians”, “Riot Maker” and “Stress Relief” it’s easy to understand why wrestling’s biggest superstar would bump The King of Darkness.
Tech N9ne Makes The Source Magazine’s Power 30
Tech N9ne places #25 in The Source Magazine’s “The Power 30,” one of the most respected “best of” lists in hip hop. Tech N9ne’s ranking puts him ahead of industry shakers Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and Lupe Fiasco. This marks Tech N9ne’s debut appearance in “The Power 30.”
“Emcee Of The Year: Tech N9ne”
HipHopDX.com awards Tech N9ne as 2011′s Emcee of the Year. One of the most popular websites for hip hop news and culture, HipHopDX states that “Nobody deserves to win this honor more than Tech N9ne” and cites his emphasis on substance and skill over flash and gimmickry. His appearance on Lil Wayne’s “Interlude” with Andre 3000 also wins him “Collaboration Of The Year” and earns him the runner up spot in “Verse of The Year”. Tech N9ne also makes end of the year “Best Of” lists from MTV, iTunes, VIBE, XXL, AllHipHop, The Daily Blam, DJBooth, , Boombox, RapGenius, and more.
Tech N9ne Performs For US Troops Overseas
In one of the most touching moments the entertainment industry has seen all year, Tech N9ne is captured performing “The Noose” in Kuwait for US Soldiers. The controversial track from Welcome To Strangeland addresses the taboo subject of soldier suicide. Tech wades through the crowd and performs in the middle of the troops and CNN picks up the story. Tech N9ne’s USO Tour and multiple appearances at Camp Pendleton further reflect him as an emcee of the people.
Television Comedy Star Chris D’Elia Confirms He’s A Technician
2011 closes off with another celebrity joining the legion of Technicians worldwide: Chris D’Elia. The NBC-broadcasted Whitney co-star tweets a quote from a Tech N9ne radio interview with the hashtag “#bestrapperalive” attached at the end. Tech N9ne trades tweets with the comedian and actor, who responds with thanks and later goes on to his Facebook to confirm he is indeed a full-blown Technician.
2011 will forever go down as the year that Tech N9ne made his transition from “the most known unknown” to a force to be reckoned with in pop culture. What will become of the breakthroughs he made has yet to be seen, but the journey has been a memorable ride full of inspirational moments and hard-earned payoffs. As 2012 approaches, we can only predict that this is just the beginning of much bigger things to come.
Will 2011 go down as a monumental year for Tech N9ne? Was there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Jeff Nelson, Senior Blog Editor (@JeffreyPNelson)