Tech N9ne brings his angels, demons to Rialto

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Courtesy Tech N9ne | The Daily Wildcat

Hip-hop artist Tech N9ne will perform at the Rialto on Friday, Sept. 23. Tech N9ne hails from Kansas City, Missouri and produced his first studio album in 1999.

From now until Halloween, rapper Tech N9ne, his right-hand man Krizz Kaliko and other members of the Strange Music tribe will blaze across the country on The Calm Before the Storm Tour.

The tour, named after Tech’s 1999 debut album, will hit Tucson’s Rialto Theatre on Friday, Sept. 23.

“The whole world has to be aware of Tech N9ne, and there are places that have no clue,” Tech said. “We’ve accomplished great things in this music game, gained so many fans, [and are] still gaining, but world domination is not here yet. This is not the end. This is the new beginning.”

Heavy clouds filled with 24 years of hardcore hip-hop gospel are set to rain down all over the nation when the Kansas City native’s 17th studio effort, The Storm, drops on Dec. 9.

“I knew if I named this album The Storm it would push me to do my best music ever, so I guess you could say my career is coming full circle,” Tech said. “I wouldn’t say this is the destination—this is the launching pad.”

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Before donning his iconic jumpsuits and face paint as Tech N9ne, Aaron Dontez Yates grew up in a devout Christian family in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. He sang with his church choir, The Sunshine Band.

“That teaching of Christianity followed me,” Tech said. “That was my whole life.”

Tucked in between the plentiful and powerful tales of “being the dopest rapper in the world,” Tech N9ne has crafted an intimate portrait of a man’s internal battle between his angels and demons, all while building one of the world’s most successful independent musical empires.

“‘Pinocchio’ was how I see myself on the inside—‘I just want to be a normal boy, just want to be a normal boy,’” Tech said, citing the twisted account from his 2009 confessional, K.O.D. “I ran from a lot of those songs for a long time because it’s heavy on your soul trying to do all that dark music.”

Tech N9ne’s introspective struggles bleed into his music.

“You become that, and that’s when I realized that I really had a lot of darkness,” he said. “It’s like I picture all of these dark figures flying around me, but I’m the king in the middle and they try to attack me so strong, but I’m the king ... I am the king of my own darkness. I can control it now.”

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The “crazy killer clown from K.C.,” said his undying passion for rap music reflects his life, and after 24 years of making music, he shows no signs of stopping.

Tech N9ne said he thinks The Storm will be his best work because he continues to improve as an artist and live through more experiences.

“I said years ago that we were going to shoot beyond the stars,” Tech N9ne said. “We shot beyond the stars. Now I am a planet—Planet Nueve.”


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