Hardcore rapper Tech N9ne has been hailed for his success as an independent underground artist, while his newest release, "All 6's and 7's," is already capturing a following in Utah.
For two weeks after the album's June 6 release, "All 6's and 7's" was the highest-selling record at Northern Utah's Graywhale stores, and at Cedar City's Groovacious Records. "It's a wonderful thing to see the crowds grow like crazy," Tech N9ne said in a phone interview.
In the first week after its release, the album hit No. 4 on Billboard 200 album chart. That's in the company of new albums by Lady Gaga, Adele and the soundtrack for "The Book of Mormon" musical. "All 6's and 7's" also scored the No. 1 spot on the rap album chart and, because it was self-released, No. 1 on the independent albums chart.
"He always sells well" in Utah, said Tim Cretsinger, co-owner of Groovacious Records. "He used to be considered underground, but his latest is obviously not so underground."
Because of the high demand, the store is practically selling the CDs before they can be unloaded from shipping boxes, Cretsinger says.
The rapper, who is from Kansas City, isn't surprised by his Utah success, thanks to touring in the state since he launched his career more than two decades ago. "We've been coming there since we started," he said. "I got family there. We know when we come to Salt Lake we're going to have a good time."
He noted his frequent visits to the state on the track "Bout Ta' Bubble" from his 2006 "Everready" album, which include these lyrics: "stormin' in Salt Lake City performin' for Mormons."
"All 6's and 7's" draws its title from an old expression meaning frenzied. The album, Tech's 12th, was released through his own independent record label, Strange Music, which he founded with Travis O'Guin in 1999.
"The beats are bigger than ever," said Tech on the new album. It continues his tradition of deep, gothic tracks, crazy fast raps, "but I still want you to dance to it," he said.
"All 6's and 7's" includes a long list of featured musicians, such as Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, B.o.B., Snoop Dogg, the Deftones and Lil Wayne. One track, "Worldwide Choppers," features Tech and eight other artists from around the globe. Another, "F- Food," features T-Pain and Lil Wayne, although its explicit lyrics mean that it has garnered little radio play.
Tech says his favorite track is "If I Could," which features the alternative-metal Deftones' lead vocalist Chino Moreno and guitarist Stephen Carpenter. He also "can't stop listening to" the single "He's a Mental Giant," which he likes for its lyrical qualities. "I keep thinking: 'Wow, that was me writing that.' "
When • Saturday, June 25, 8 p.m.
Where • Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna
Tickets • $30, http://www.thesaltair.com
Also • In-store signing
When • Saturday, June 25, noon-2 p.m.
Where • FYE, 5546 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville