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KC Soundcheck: Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne entered the Kansas City hip-hop scene in the 90s, and still produces music today. He released his twenty-third album, "Bliss," in July.
Darryl Woods
Strange Music
Tech N9ne entered the Kansas City hip-hop scene in the 90s, and still produces music today. He released his twenty-third album, "Bliss," in July.

Tech N9ne, Kansas City's most famous rapper, has had a busy year. Decades into his career, the 52-year-old artist released a new album and has no plans of slowing down.

Aaron Yates, better known as Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne, is decades into his career. And he doesn't seem to have plans to stop any time soon.

Tech N9ne released his 23rd album, "BLISS," and went on tour this year. He also welcomed a new daughter, is collaborating on a new line of Chiefs merchandise, helped award more than $5 million in scholarshipsto local students, was honored by Mayor Quinton Lucas for his contributions to Kansas City, and flipped the switch to the Plaza's holiday lights.

Oh, and he says he's already picked out new beats for his next project.

"I'm still excited when I hear a dope beat, man. It could be live instruments. It can be you know, electronic, whatever it is," Tech N9ne told KCUR's Up To Date. "If it moves me, I'm still there, man... I'm still moving, man. And I don't know when I'll slow down. I really don't know."

Most famous in Kansas City for his Chiefs hype song "Red Kingdom," Tech N9ne performs at the intersection of the underground and mainstream hip-hop scenes. Many of his tracks, and his Lee's Summit-based record label, Strange Music Inc., highlight smaller artists.

But he's also collaborated with some of hip-hop's biggest names, including Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, who credits Tech with helping him to develop his stage presence.

"I write my music to go do it live, because what's the point in doing 'Worldwide Chopper' if you can't do it live?" he said.

Check out more KC Soundcheck artists here.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an Up To Date producer, I aim to create a space for Kansas Citians to come together for curious and inspired conversations about the region we call home. I want to help find answers to big questions, shine a light on local change makers and break down complex issues people need to know about. Email me at hallejackson@kcur.org.
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