Tech N9ne (pronounced Tech Nine) is a prominent and prolific rapper from Kansas City, Missouri. His recording career began in 1996 when he released the single “Cloudy-Eyed Stroll/Mitch Bade.” His first album, The Calm Before the Storm, dropped in 1999.
In 2008, Tech N9ne sold his one-millionth album. That number is significant since he reached the mark independently. Tech N9ne has since double that amount.
Despite being an “indie” artist, Tech N9ne has done quite well on the Billboard 200. Seven of his studio albums have cracked the top 20 and three have peaked inside the top ten.
His best chart performing works are 2011’s All 6’s and 7’s and 2013’s Something Else. Both went as high as number four on the main U.S. album charts.
Tech N9ne Studio Albums
The Calm Before the Storm (1999)
The Worst (2000)
Absolute Power (2002)
Everready (The Religion) (2006)
Misery Loves Kompany (2007)
Sickology 101 (2009)
The Gates Mixed Plate (2010)
All 6's and 7's (2011)
Welcome to Strangeland (2011)
Something Else (2013)
Special Effects (2015)
Tech N9ne is the stage name of Aaron Dontez Yates. Yates was born Nov. 8, 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri. Yates’ early life was filled with hardships and tragedies. He never met his father. His mother was afflicted with epilepsy and lupus. Although he was no longer a child when it happened, in 2003, his childhood friend was murdered.
The misfortunes didn’t dissuade Yates. Instead they inspired him and fueled his ambition to make it in the music industry.
In 1999, Tech N9ne and Travis O’Guin founded the independent record label Strange Music, Inc. Artists in the Strange Music stable include Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Prozak, and Brotha Lynch Hung.
Yates received his stage name, taken from the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, from rapper Black Walt. He named Yates “Tech Nine” because of the rapid-fire way he delivered verses—the technique is also known as “chopper” style.