Tech N9ne rocks the Rave for the second time in 2016

Donning his signature masks, baggy clothing and 3D glasses with the lenses popped out, rapper Tech N9ne returned to the Rave on Saturday, Sept. 10 with his second show at the venue in the past six months.

Before taking the stage, Tech N9ne, whose real name is Aaron Yates, called into MU Radio for an exclusive interview on Sept. 9.

“I’m kickin’ it like a donkey,” Yates said, eager to talk about his upcoming show, new album and love for music.

Milwaukee is home to many Tech N9ne fans, as demonstrated by the bustling meet-and-greets and energetic crowds present at the Rave for his shows.

“It’s not like people pay for VIP (tickets) to come hit me in my nose or anything…no, they come to hug me and tell me ‘thank you,’” Yates said. “Who wouldn’t enjoy all that love?”

His new album “The Storm,” is set to drop on Dec. 9. The album is divided into three sections; Kingdom, Clown Town and G Zone. Kingdom will focus on narcissism, Clown Town on darker topics and G Zone on Yate’s most profound, powerful tracks.

“These levels of album are for my characteristics,” Yates said. “I am the king, the clown and the G. Those are my characteristics and they stick with me forever.”

Yates said he felt pressure from producers to top his previous big hits like “Caribou Lou” and “Hood Go Crazy.” Now that three of his singles have gone gold, Tech N9ne has set the bar high for future releases.

“I don’t do big hits for radio,” Yates said. “I just do music.”

A Kansas City native, Yates prides himself in playing shows in his hometown. His appearance at Rockfest in 2015, an annual summer music festival held in Kansas City, saw a crowd of about 70,000.

“I had so much to prove because a lot of people were saying that I’m hip hop, (that) I don’t belong there,” Yates said. “It’s rock fest, not rap fest, and I showed everybody that was doubtful why I belong there and why I took the show.”

Another notable homecoming happened in November 2013, Kansas City mayor Sly Jones invited Yates to light the city Christmas tree.

“I’m blessed to have the core that I have because it allows me to still remain the number one independent rapper in the world,” Yates said. “It’s always a homecoming and it’s always love.”

Yates got fans hyped up for his Milwaukee show by releasing three new singles the day before the concert. “Erbody But Me,” “I Get It Now” and “What If It Was Me” were uploaded to YouTube and posted on the rapper’s Twitter page on Sept. 9. He promised to play “Erbody But Me” at the Rave on Saturday.

“It’s the most narcissistic song, but I love it,” Yates said. 

Yates keeps things fresh by changing up his outfits and adding vibrant effects to his shows.

“It’s not the regular run-of-the-mill rap,” Yates said. “The movements and the face paint and the uniforms and everything… it’s just an explosion of energy.”

Yates stays true to himself and his craft by decorating his shows meaningfully.

“I’m three dimensional,” Yates said. “That’s why when you see me I’m wearing those 3D glasses that I stole from the theater and poked the lenses out.”