Halloween

Tech N9ne: "The Beats Tell Me What To Do"

Kansas City's Aaron Dontez Yates has dipped his hands into both the worlds of hip-hop and rock 'n' roll, sold more than one million albums, founded a record label, and been featured in a ton of video games and films--including the upcoming sequel to the huge underground cult hit Devil's Carnival. Recently, he recorded tracks with musicians like Serj Tankian, Wiz Khalifa and even one with the three remaining members of The Doors.

You might be surprised you haven't heard of him--but it could just be that the name you know him by is the one derived from the TEC-9 handgun, given to him by a friend who said it represented his fast Chopper-style rhyming method.

But that's not the only style Tech N9ne is known for. He's influenced by everything from old school hip hop (Slick Rick, N.W.A., Biggie Smalls) to classic rock (Pink Floyd, Elton John, AC/DC) to heavy metal (Metallica, Slipknot, System of a Down). He is able to balance indie and mainstream music, and his lyrics are etched with distinctive imagery that spans the horrific, the sexually provocative, and the beautiful.

Up On The Sun talked with Tech N9ne about working with the Doors, his favorite horror films (including his upcoming project), and writing about Earth, Wind and Fire.

Tech N9ne is playing at The Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Wednesday, September 18.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise