Tech N9NE: Hip Hop Royalty

Tech N9NE has been in the game for quite a while now. Yall realize hes been around since 1991?! Talk about career longevity. Lets roll something up and take a deeper look into the legend himself!


Aaron Yates better known by his stage name Tech N9NE is an insane lyrical rap genius spitting out of Kansas City, MO. His stage name originated from the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, a name given to him by rapper Black Walt due to his fast-rhyming chopper style. Yates later applied a deeper meaning to the name, claiming that it stands for the complete technique of rhyme, with “tech” meaning technique and “nine” representing the number of completion. He is so much more than a rapper though. His credits to this date include singing, rapping, record producing, and acting. He is a world renown entrepreneur who has made quite the living for himself over his twenty plus years in the rap game. I still feel that people are sleeping on him even with all his success, and he may feel the same way. Peep this track, “Like I Aint,” where he goes in on the people hating on him and his career.

Style and Flow:

Yates is known for his dynamic rhyme schemes and speed rap abilities known as the Chopper style. Soren Baker of VH1 states that Yates’ techniques “showcase his wide-ranging, mind-blowing flows.” Baker characterizes Yates’ earlier work as “apocalyptic music, which discussed abortion and infidelity as much as his rapping prowess.” Allmusic reviewer Jason Birchmeier calls his style “bizarre hardcore rap.” Yates stated that he purposely creates flow patterns in order to sound like a percussion while he raps. After hearing an instrumental he would come up with different kinds of patterns and then “fill in” the actual lyrics.

Yates says that he is influenced by old school hip hop, and specifically cites N.W.A, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Schoolly D, and Just-Ice. He is also interested in other genres of music, and lists the Doors, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, AC/DC, Metallica, Floetry, Outkast, CeeLo Green, and Gnarls Barkley as influences. He has remarked generally that “I love beautiful music, beautiful music no matter what type.”

His Style is beautifully pronounced in this track, “Worldwide Choppers” (Feat. Busta Rhymes, Yelawolf, Twisted Insane…)


Early in his career, Yates was a member of a group formed in 1991 called Black Mafia. After bouncing around a couple rap groups in the early 90’s he received his first record deal with Perspective Records. Nina seemed to kind of just bounce around the hip hop scene until he found success in the underground rap scene in the early 2000’s. He released a couple albums in this time period, Anghellic and Absolute Power, the latter of the two debuting at number 79on the Billboard 200. He then began to release a series of albums that he calls “Tech N9ne Collabos” which are albums that feature a wide range of guest appearances. Check out a couple of these awesome collabs he has done with some other great artists.

Strange Music Era:

Nina and business partner Travis O’Guin found the record label in 1997. It has since moved on to become a cultural phenomenon. The first studio album to be released under the Strange Music moniker was The Calm Before The Storm in 1999. He has since gone on to release over 20 albums, EP’s, mixtapes, and singles since. He is the perfect definition for the phrase, hard work pays off. He is on a very shortlist of the hardest working performers in music history. All of this hard work paid off for Tech as he was named to the Forbes List, coming in at number 18 in the The World’s Highest Paid Hip Hop Acts.

This is probably the biggest article I’ve written and I feel it barely does the legend justice. That’s how important and compelling this artist is! Ill leave you with arguably the biggest collab of his career. This time featuring Krizz Kaliko, and “That white guy that Dre signed!” Tech says Eminem collaborated on the track, free of charge, in exchange for Yates to guest on a track of his for an unknown project. Yates says he was “flabbergasted” that Eminem respected his music so much!


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