Tech N9ne brings T-Pain along to break into people’s houses
At the beginning of the week I drew attention to the new album, Something Else, from abrasive mainstream rapper Tech N9ne, and the new single he had made a video for with Serj Tankian of System Of A Down. Ever since, I’ve had the album on an almost constant loop (much to the chagrin of my housemate). It’s a fantastic blend of obnoxious pop sensibilities with an aggressive independent spirit, unafraid of rapping about certain subjects that may alienate mainstream audiences. There are also moments of self reflection and a level of bleak honesty that you wouldn’t find in another similar rapper’s release. One of these more honest songs is “B.I.T.C.H.”, which now has a music video .
When I first encountered “B.I.T.C.H.” in the tracklist, I’ll admit that I rolled my eyes a little. I’m pretty sick of overly misogynistic mainstream pop songs, so a song called Bitch feat T-Pain sounded like it would be the worst thing possible. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The use of “Bitch” in this instance doesn’t actually refer to a woman, but is actually an acronym for “Breaking In To Coloured Houses“. After doing some research, the song is actually about trying to gather more black fans, as in 2001 Tech N9ne released a particularly scary horrorcore album called Anghellic, which included a large amount of satanist lyrical content. As a result, he alienated the majority of his black audience, and ten albums later, he still hasn’t managed to claw them back. He says that at least 90% of his fans are all white, which is not a problem, but he really should be appealing to his own “people”, at least in his mind.
Tech N9ne says:
It’s a really serious song, for real, even though it’s a fun song, ‘cause if you know the history of Tech N9ne or have read any past interviews, you know that a lot of my people, Black folk… it started in Kansas City that I was a devil worshipper, so ever since 2001, my release, Anghellic, a lot of my people have left my music, so I’ve been on a quest ever since to get my people back on this beautiful music, telling them I’m not a devil worshipper, I am a religious guy. Some of the imagery scared a lot of my people. In past albums like MLK, Misery Loves Kompany, I had a song called “Message to the Black Man” that was poking at my people, like ‘c’mon, you’re missing this wonderful music man,’ ’cause I’m a little bit extreme, I’m a lot more different than a lot of artists, so it can be misconstrued.
So when I heard the beat for “B.I.T.C.H.” and I called it “Breaking Into Colored Peoples’ Houses,” I needed somebody on the chorus, to get me in those houses, you know what I mean, to get me on that television tube and get me into these houses that don’t really accept Tech N9ne. And I called T-Pain ‘cause I know he’s perfect at what he does, and I had to give him a pep talk, I said, ‘you are my instrument, to get me into these folks houses. So you don’t have to say ‘bitch’ on the hook, you don’t have to say anything, you’re just like, ‘I’m breaking into your house, this is what I’m gunna do, through my music, coming through your television.’ And I think he did a wonderful job, and I’ve seen it pop up everywhere now. And I thank him so much to get that message out to my peoples. I asked for so many years, I asked, I been knockin and knockin and knockin. Now I’m breaking into colored houses, as me, and they’re gunna accept me like this, through the song.
So, how does it fare? Pretty damn well. T-Pain may have created the much maligned autotune fad, but there’s no denying that the man knows how to use it exceptionally well – his entire career is basically grounded on his ability to write immense hooks – and the hook here is insane. It’ll bury itself in your head with little to no effort, and then you’re just a prisoner.
The beat for this song is also great, a fusion of various choral and orchestral samples that augment the material with a level of grandiosity, and juxtapose the somewhat obnoxious (but killer) autotune parts. The video is an effective rap video, though I have no idea what the hell T-Pain is wearing on his face. Check it out below.
Let’s hope Tech N9ne achieves his goal here – whether he does or not, he’s just found himself another white fan!
Something Else is out now via his Strange Music imprint.