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Tech N9ne to stage Columbus takeover with rap

Courtesy of Estevan Oriol

Tech N9ne, often referred to as the “Kansas City King,” is attempting to go where no hip-hop artist has gone before: complete a tour that includes 96 shows in 105 days, which is a record-setting number.

Tech N9ne, whose real name is Aaron Dontez Yates, is scheduled to make Columbus one of the stops on his Hostile Takeover Tour 2012 7 p.m. Wednesday at Newport Music Hall.

“The tour started off as 90 shows in 99 days, which has never been done before in hip-hop, but it’s changed to 96 shows in 105 days. We’re only on 62 shows out of 96,” Yates said.

Yates said his interest in music began at a young age when he was growing up in Kansas City, Mo.

“I knew I was going to be a performer when I was in fourth grade because I was in talent shows and stuff like that,” he said. “I would do break dancing, MC Hammer dancing, pop locking, all of that.”

Yates said he came up with his stage name in 1988 because he believes nine is the “number of completion,” and he wants fans to leave his shows feeling satisfied.

“When you leave you’ll be released from stress, and I want (fans) to go home singing my songs because it makes them feel better,” Yates said.

He began performing in local shows in Kansas City to get noticed, and in 2011 he founded his own record label, Strange Music, with Travis O’Guin.

Korey Lloyd, project manager and publicity coordinator at Strange Music, said the label gives Yates the ability to do what he wants musically with no restrictions.
Yates said he appreciated the freedom.

“I’m not pressured by the industry because I have my own label, so I can do what I want,” Yates said. “I only feel pressure going on stage because I want to be perfect.”

The Hostile Takeover Tour 2012 will also include other artists such as Machine Gun Kelly, Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Prozak and Stevie Stone, all of which are signed with the Strange Music label, aside from MGK.

The tour’s name was inspired by the desire to make a lasting impression in every city in which the band performs, Yates said.           

“It’s self-explanatory. We’re taking over and we’re not doing it nicely,” Yates said.

Lloyd said there is more to the performances than an average rap show.            

“I think what people expect is the stereotypical rap tour, but I think there’s more to it than that. It’s a crazy live show that incorporates a lot of different elements, not just rap,” Lloyd said.

He said each show takes a lot of planning and includes video boards and a stage set to make shows more enjoyable for the fans. Along with the video and set, there will also be choreography and elements of rock and theater.

“If you go see the show, you’ll see the thought that went into it and overall theme that we carry from show to show,” Lloyd said.

Yates credited his fans as his “greatest accomplishment.”

“Everybody does rap music and sings, but being able to have loyal fans is my greatest accomplishment,” Yates said.

Lloyd also acknowledged how important fans are to Strange Music.

“I hope the fans take out of it that Tech, as an artist and performer, loves what he does and he does it in large part for them,” he said. “This is the longest tour in rap history, and when you’re doing that many shows in different cities and states, you’re doing it for the fans because you want them to take that experience.”

It’s a historical and record-setting tour in the industry that is going to be remembered for a long time, said Grasher Johnson, tour manager at Strange Music.

“I hope fans get everything they expect out of Tech N9ne and experience a great performance. Everyone should come out and see the show. It’s one of the best shows on tour,” Johnson said.

Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance at Ticketmaster locations for $22 or at the door for $25.

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