Variety - In a history-making career move, Johnson is making his rap debut, featured on Tech N9ne’s new single, “Face Off.”
Speaking to Variety in an exclusive interview, Johnson says, “I love music. Anytime in my movies when I can implement some musical elements, I always love doing that.”
“Face Off,” the new single on Tech N9ne’s new album, “ASIN9NE” from Strange Music, also features Joey Cool and King Iso. The track marks a collaboration between the most successful independent rapper in hip hop and the biggest A-list actor in Hollywood.
Johnson has been courted by his famous friends in the hip hop community for decades, but when Tech N9ne DM’d him on Instagram, he knew this was finally the right fit.
“The biggest star in the world said something back to me! You know what I’m sayin? I am hyped. We are all hyped!” Tech N9ne raves on a recent phone call with Variety from his tour bus.
Anybody that follows The Rock on social media knows he might be the biggest Tech N9ne fan on the planet. He's always posting his songs as the backing track to his videos, or pumping them in the background while he's working out.
The two actually met on the set of "Ballers" a few years back, and Tech N9ne recently reached out to The Rock with the idea of featuring him on this song.
“A lot of my friends who are hip hop artists — like big names — I’ve been asked a few times. But it just has to feel right,” Johnson says.
“When Tech texted me, I knew I would make this work. We’re aligned, just in terms of our work ethic and desire. When Tech and I first met years ago on the set of ‘Ballers,’ we were talking about this idea about being the hardest worker in the room. He said something that I really appreciated: basically, ‘There could never be enough food in this room or on this set that could make me full because I always want to be hungry.’ I just love that.”
That sense of work ethic is the message of “Face Off.” Dwayne’s verse — which he wrote himself — includes the lyrics, “It’s about drive. It’s about power. We stay hungry.”
Funny part is, he initially asked The Rock to just speak his lines, not rap them. In a "pump up" fashion.
“I said, ‘I just want you to talk some real motivational stuff at end,'” Tech N9ne shares. “We got on the phone and structured it. He’s so talented, man. To be able to get on a song with master MCs and be a master MC himself? Dwayne did his thing. He said he wanted to go fast like us. After what he did on ‘Moana,’ I could see he had the rhythm.”
(Sidebar- don't sleep on Moana. "How Far I'll Go" (By Alessia Cara) Might be the best song in a Disney movie this century. Miss me with the "Let It Go" nonsense.)
But back to The Rock and Kansas City's finest.
The know-it-alls on twitter are up in arms nitpicking that this isn't The Rock's first rap feature. And technically they are correct. He was on Wyclef's "It Doesn't Matter" way back when.
But he wasn't rapping in that. He's just dropping his famous catchphrase (which is unbelievable that Vince allowed him to do without being paid handsomely)
He wasn't spitting fire like-
“My culture bangin’ with Strange/ I change the game so what’s my motherfuckin’ name? (Rock!).”
Everybody laughed when The Rock took on acting in "The Mummy Returns"
Then they laughed again when he had an actual speaking role in "Be Cool".
(Which he killed in by the way)
Now of course we're all laughing now at this rap. But if history's any indication, that's exactly what Dwayne Johnson wants you to do. Because he uses that shit for motivation to become the best at everything in the fucking world.
p.s. - can we please get this guy into politics or something purposeful?
p.p.s. - to stay informed on all cool music happenings like this make sure you're following Barstool Backstage on social media