Rap artist Tech N9ne has nothing but love for his fans and the city of Milwaukee. With his show at the Rave/Eagles Ballroom on October 14, he took some time to talk to The Fringe about not only his upcoming show, but also his latest EP titled Therapy and his next album Special Effects.
Tech N9ne, or Aaron Dontez Yates, has been in the rap game since he was a young teenager. He wrote his first rap in 1985 when he was in his mid-teens and has released 13 albums since 1999. He has seen the industry change from groups such as the N.W.A., to Public Enemy, and to more contemporary forms of gangster street rap.
When I asked him how he thought the rap genre was evolving, he acknowledged that rap is “changing all the time.” It used to be more simplistic but now he finds it to be “far more intricate.” Within the next ten years, Tech N9ne says that the rap scene will continue to grow and evolve as it has for quite some time. As an example of the evolving state of rap, the genre is becoming more fused with other genres such as country, jazz, blues, and rock.
However the genre continues to evolve, he hopes within the next ten years, he will be vacationing with his kids on the beach yet still making “strange music.” The genre has influenced and created who he is today, which he described as “insane,” “strange” and a “clusterf***.”
A major problem within the music industry is the constant need or urge for an artist to adapt or stay current. I asked him if that was a concern of his. He said, “It’s natural for artists to want to do that.” He revealed that he buys the music of other artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Slipknot, System of a Down, Citizen Cope and Lana Del Rey, to “enjoy and not to copy.”
To this day, Tech N9ne continues to rap, write lyrics, tour, create “dope beats,” and collaborate with other artists because, as he puts it, “Music is in my bones and it moves me.” A few months ago, Tech N9ne released his latest studio album Something Else, which he is currently promoting on tour. Shortly after finishing that album, he was back in the recording studio to work on his new rock EP. On his official Facebook page, he posted, “I CAN’T WAIT FOR Y’ALL TO HEAR THIS EP!!! I WENT WAYYY LEFT ON THIS S*** AND EMBRACED THE ROCK N ROLL SPIRIT FULLY!!”
With the release of his EP Therapy set to drop November 5, Tech N9ne is most excited to hear what people will have to say about it and just as excited to have it heard. He notes that Therapy is a “rocked out production.” His new single titled “Hiccup” is currently available online and can be downloaded by pre-ordering the EP.
His hard work doesn’t stop there. He plans to record his new album Special Effects in the near future. I tried to get him to tell me about it, but right now, it’s just a title. He had a dream about this album, knowing it should be called Special Effects. He does not know where the album is headed right now or which direction it will go in. He does know that it will have to be bigger and better than anything else that he has ever done before. All that he could tell me was that it is going to have “great collaborations.”
I tried to find out who he plans to collaborate with. However, he did let me know they would be “humungous” and they would happen in a “crazy way.” He strongly hinted that he has been talking to artists who have songs like “Ironic” and “I Want to F*** You Like an Animal,” which strongly hints that he may be collaborating with Alanis Morrisette and Nine Inch Nails.
His show on October 14 will be “lyrically charged.” He doesn’t sit down once and this Something Else Tour has been a real challenge for him. Although he is nervous to get up there and do his thing night after night, he is happy. American record producer Quincy Jones once told Tech N9ne to “Rap what you know, and people will forever feel you.” This has Tech N9ne putting out the best albums he can and giving it his all on tour. He is blessed to be where he is in his career.
Check out his show at the Rave on October 14 and keep an eye out for his rock EP Therapy and an official announcement for Special Effects. Tech N9ne appreciates the love that Milwaukee gives him and he looks forward to the concert. He says it’s been a great transition from being a smaller artist playing the smaller stage to working his way up one beat at a time.