A strange thing happened to Tech N9ne after he dropped his All 6's and 7's LP last Tuesday: more than 55,000 devoted fans bought it, making it the fourth-highest selling album this week on the Billboard 200.
Many are wondering how the Kansas City, Missouri, rapper got up in the top five among the likes of Adele and Lady Gaga. Well, credit his independent hustle and devoted fanbase for making the release a success. In addition to grabbing that #4 spot, All 6's and 7's also ranks as the #1 independent album and rap album this week. And according to Tech, major record companies have been expressing interest in striking a deal with his Strange Music label. "They've already been calling, since last year or the year before. They've already been calling and asking us questions and stuff," he told MTV News during an intimate sit-down in his Lee Summit, Missouri, offices last week.
Tech and his business partner Travis O'Guin established the indie label Strange Music in 1999, and have been releasing Tech's music on it ever since. In 2009, it was revealed that the label earned approximately $15 million, thanks to the support of Tech's fans, who call themselves "Technicians." When it comes to giving up his independence, Tecca Nina isn't so quick to sign though. Instead, he loftily aims to grow Strange Music into a major in its own right without partnering up. "I think Strange Music will be the major this year or next year. It's looking that way," he said.
No matter how things turn out, it's clear that Tech is happy just the way things are and couldn't fathom selling off his company. "You might wanna ask Travis this question," he said laughing, while deferring to O'Guin. "He'll probably say it'll have to be around $900 million or something [to sign a deal]. We're good."
All 6's and 7's, which features Lil Wayne, T-Pain, B.o.B and Busta Rhymes, initially drew criticism from some of Tech's fans, who frowned on the underground icon teaming up with mainstream stars. For some, collabos with such high-profile artists meant that Tech was selling out. "Different artists are supposed to hook up and make something beautiful, that's what makes music wonderful, I think," Tech said, defending against criticism. "I already knew what I was gonna do. When I get with these [well-known collaborators], the beats gotta say their names."
After selling 55,715 copies of the album in its first week, Strange Music can put any fear of a fan blacklash to bed."I can give a sh-- about a chart position," O'Guin told us last week. "A fan telling me that they love the album means more than them little glass trophies. The people, I think, genuinely love the album."
What do you think of Tech N9ne's success? Tell us in the comments!