Tech N9ne’s “Face Off” single features Dwayne Johnson, Joey Cool, and King Iso.
Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock”, has conquered the box offices, the wrestling ring and TV ratings. Now, is he poised to take over the charts?
Johnson makes his debut as a rapper in a career-defining move. He is featured on Tech N9ne’s “Face Off” single.
Johnson spoke to Variety in an exclusive interview. Johnson said, “I love music.” Johnson says that he loves to incorporate musical elements into movies whenever possible.
The new single “Face Off” is from Tech N9ne’s album “ASIN9NE”, which was released by Strange Music. Joey Cool and King Iso also feature on the track. This track is a collaboration between the most popular independent rapper in hip-hop and the largest A-list actor from Hollywood.
Johnson was courted for years by hip-hop legends, but when Tech N9ne DM’d him on Instagram, he realized this was the right time.
“The greatest star in the universe said something to me!” You get what I mean? I am hyped. “We are all hyped!” Tech N9ne gushed on a recent call with Variety, from his tour bus.
Johnson and Tech N9ne actually met years ago. Johnson is a huge fan of the independent rapper and has shared Tech N9ne’s music via social media for many years. The two became friends through social media and met on the set of HBO’s “Ballers” way before the pandemic.
“A lot of my hip-hop friends — big names — I have been asked this question a few times. Johnson states that it has to feel right, but Johnson notes that Johnson appeared on Wyclef Jean’s 2000 song “It Doesn’t Matter”, shouting his catchphrase but not rapping.
“When Tech texted, I knew that I would be able to do this job. Our work ethic and desires are aligned. Tech and I met on the set of “Ballers” years ago. We were discussing the idea of being the hardest worker in a room. He said something I appreciated, basically, “There could never be enough food on this set or in this room that would make me satisfied because I always want more.”
This message of Face Off is about a sense of work ethic. Dwayne’s verse, which he himself wrote, includes the lyrics: “It’s all about drive.” It’s all about power. We stay hungry.”
Tech N9ne knew that he wanted to feature a fighter on the track. He envisioned the song being a hype-up anthem, which can be played at the gym or in stadiums. This is an energy song. This will get people excited to lift weights, fights, and for the game. He says, “Permanently.” “And who better to do it than Conor McGregor? Not Conor McGregor. He is not my friend. The Rock is my friend.”
Tech N9ne initially approached Johnson to ask if he would rap. Tech N9ne asked Johnson to recite spoken words for the closing of the song. Johnson had a larger vision.
Tech N9ne shares, “I said, ‘I just want to you to talk some really motivational stuff at the end.'” We arranged it over the phone. He is so talented. It was amazing to be able sing with master MCs, and then become a master MC. Dwayne did what he wanted. Dwayne said that he wanted to be fast like us. After watching him perform on “Moana,” I was able to see that he had the rhythm.
The rapper refers to the Disney movie, which did indeed showcase Johnson’s musical talents. Although the top-selling soundtrack is familiar to millions of people, “Face Off,” introduces Johnson into a new genre.
Johnson had already written his verse, and he had it structured with Tech N9ne. He then went to the studio with Lauren Hashian and recorded during the pandemic.
Johnson said, “One take.” Johnson says, “I was drinking Teremana so I was already a bit lit and was ready for go. Tech and his engineers received it. Tech sent it back to me in all capital letters. “
Johnson is 6’5 and 250 pounds. The rapper jokes that Johnson doesn’t fit into the recording booth. He’s bigger than I remember him being on ‘Ballers’, because he’s wearing his ‘Black Adam” build. Have you ever seen him? Take a look at how large he looks in this video. He is so cut! He was not that trim two years ago.”
Johnson now has a rap career.
Johnson told Variety that he never dreamed of becoming a rapper or hip-hop artist. Johnson says that he saw an opportunity to create a song, which really motivated and inspired him to work harder and strive for greater things. Music has always been a passion of mine. I love hip hop, blues, and outlaw country music.
But never say never. Johnson’s varied career has shown Johnson that Johnson can make anything happen if he puts his mind into it.
Johnson states, “If the song is good and the collaboration feels authentic and real, then I would love it.” I would love to collaborate with Tech N9ne or Strange Music. Let’s chat and see if I could collaborate with any other artist — blues artists, hip hop artists or outlaw country musicians — to find out. If I can rap in the right way that feels real and authentic, I will be happy to rock that Teremana and take a few big drinks before getting back in the studio.
Johnson says, “The only things that grab my attention and get me out the door these days have to be things I love and am passionate about.” Nowadays, money is not everything. Fame, no. It’s not what is important. It all boils down to passion and having fun. And are people going to have fun doing it? That’s all. This is the bottom line.
Tech N9ne suggests that Johnson might claim some of the credit for his breakthrough if he ever decides to make it big in the rap world.
He has bigger things to accomplish. Tech N9ne said, “I’m so blessed that he would do this with me.”