Aaron Dontez Yates, better known to the world as Tech N9ne, is not a big fan of the typical.
"How many black dudes do you see painting their faces and coming out with bishop robes on the stage?" he asks me, speaking from his tour bus "somewhere in New Mexico." He's taken a strange, twisted path every since emerging from the KC underground in the '90s, and has been slowly and steadily building his reputation with his own label, Strange Music since the late '90s.
Last year he collaborated with E-40, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, and more, adding his hyper-fast flow and off-kilter persona to tracks. This year, he's collaborated with surviving members of the The Doors, his longtime heroes, and he's scheduled to appear on DMX's upcoming Undisputed (its release has been pushed back to June 26, 2012).
Tech was happy to discuss his vintage influences, his tour with Machine Gun Kelly, and how his controversial name has impacted his career.
Tech N9ne is scheduled to perform with Machine Gun Kelly, Krizz Kaliko, Mayday!, Prozak, and Stevie Stone, at Celebrity Theatre on Saturday, April 14.