Tech N9ne Net Worth
Tech N9ne is an American rapper with an estimated net worth of $21 million. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he got started with a group called “Black Mafia” which helped him develop his technique on stage. He identifies somewhat with the tech industry, as well, thus the unique spelling of his stage name.
Who is Tech N9ne?
Tech N9ne is a popular American rapper, songwriter and record producer. Born into an African-American family, he was brought up by his mother into a strict Christian tradition. He also studied Islam with his Muslim stepfather and later searched for truth in other religions as well. From an early age, he started rapping, a form of music strictly banned in his religious household, forcing him to leave home at the age of seventeen. After an initial period of struggle, he joined a musical group called ‘Black Mafia’ at the age of twenty and formed his own group, ‘Nnutthowze’, two years later. He first had a glimpse of success with his third group, ‘57th Street Rogue Dog Villians’, recording songs like ‘Let’s Get Fucked Up’. At the age of 28, he released his debut album, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ and in the same year co-founded his record label, ‘Strange Music’ with his business partner Travis O’Guin. As of April 2018, he had released 20 albums, appeared in four films, 11 documentaries as well as four television series.
Childhood & Early Life
Tech N9ne was born as Aaron Dontez Yates on November 8, 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri. His father, Carlton Cook, a man of low morality, lived in Los Angeles, where he worked in the Police Department (LAPD). He abandoned the family when Aaron was very young, but often visited Kansas City. Aaron remembers seeing his biological father for the first time when he was five years old. Whenever he came to Kansas City he would put up with his own mother, whom Aaron called May Ma and threw lavish parties. As a child, Aaron enjoyed them very much. Aaron was brought by her mother, Maude Sue Yates-Khalifah, a proficient musician, in strict Christian tradition. They lived in a small house in the Wayne Miner projects with his grandmother and a few aunts and uncles. Liquors and parties were taboos in their home. As a young boy, Aaron was greatly disturbed by his mother’s epilepsy and lupus, from which she had been suffering since she was 18. In his distress, he began to search for ‘God’, roaming around in the abandoned buildings with his best friend, Brian Dennis, hoping to film a ghost.
When Aaron was twelve year old, his mother married Abdul Hassan Khalifah, a Muslim gentleman. Thereafter, he moved to a new house with his mother and stepfather, eventually having two half-brothers, Hakim Khalifah and Kiraameen Khalifah, and one half-sister, Basimah Khalifah, from this union. Brought up in a religious household, he went to the church several times a week, where he was introduced to the church music. At home, he studied Islam with his stepfather and sang gospel songs with his mother. For his formal education, he was sent to Southwest High School.
Although rap music was strictly banned in the household, rapping came naturally to Aaron from a very early age. It is said that he rapped the letters in his name so that he could memorize it more easily. He was formally introduced to rap music when his uncle gave him a record called ‘Rap Dirty’ by Blowfly. Eventually, he collected many other records, played by Soulsonic Force, NWA, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions etc, hiding them in a neighbor’s house lest they were discovered by his stepfather.
By 1984, he was immersed in music, trying to perfect his rhythm, gaining recognition as a dancer and a rapper, resulting in a conflict with his stepfather, who never approved of rap music. Finally at the age of 17, he left home to move in with his grandmother.
Living with his grandmother, Tech N9ne for the first time enjoyed freedom to pursue his goal. It also introduced him to a darker side of life. Nonetheless, he continued to dance and sing, attracting the attention of a girl named Tanya, who would later become known as rapper Sole.
Tanya invited him to join her at a rap convention in New Orleans, eventually providing him with his first break. In late 1991, when he was just 20 years old, he became a member of ‘Black Mafia’, a rap group formed in the same year. In 1993, he moved to Los Angeles with few of his fellow musicians including Dynomack and Mark Hill. There they were offered their first recording deal with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Unfortunately, it failed to materialize and they returned to Kansas City crestfallen.
One day in 1993, after they had returned to Kansas City, they were talking about the missed opportunity at Los Angeles. All of a sudden, Mark Hill said that they could not do anything because they were already in the ‘Nut House’. It gave Tech N9ne a new idea.
He called his childhood friend, Brian Dennis, declaring that he was going to form a new group called ‘Nnutthowze’. Eventually the group was formed and they did a few shows in their region before it broke up.
In 1995, he joined his third group, ‘57th Street Rogue Dog Villians’, formed in the same year, courting glimpses of success with his singles like ‘It’s On Now’ and ‘Let’s Get Fucked Up’. Later in 1999, the group released their first album, ‘My Dogs for Life’, in which he sang number of songs. In 1997, while he was still with 57th Street Rogue Dog Villians, Tech N9ne signed in with Qwest Records, preparing for what was to be his debut album, ‘Be Warned’. But once the album was complete, Qwest Records decided to shelve it, leaving him in a lurch. Also in 1997, he joined ‘The Regime’, a hip hop collective created by rapper Yukmouth. In the same year, he debuted in film, featuring on the soundtrack for ‘Gang Related’.
On November 9, 1999, he had his debut album, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’, released through Midwestside Records. Recorded between 1996 and 1999, the album contains fifteen tracks, among which ‘Questions’ had earlier appeared in the soundtrack of ‘Gang Related’.
Also in 1999, he received an offer to form his own label from Travis O’Guin, an established businessman trying to get entry into music industry. Together, they formed ‘Strange Music’ on a 50/50 profit sharing basis. His second studio album, ‘The Worst’ was released on September 12, 2000 through Midwestside Records. By then, Strange Music had made a deal with JCOR Entertainment and his third studio album, ‘Anghellic’ was released by them on August 28, 2001. Since JCOR Entertainment failed to promote ‘Anghellic’, they now made fresh deal with MSC Entertainment, releasing Tech N9ne’s fourth studio album, ‘Absolute Power’ through them on September 24, 2002. It was a great hit, selling over 358, 000 copies and picking at #79 on the Billboard 200.
He encouraged his fans to officially download ‘Absolute Power’ for free, which increased the number of his listeners manifold. Also from 2002, he began to work on his next studio album, ‘Everready (The Religion)’. The album took four years to complete and was ultimately released on November 7, 2006. On July 17, 2007, he released ‘Misery Loves Kompany’, the first album of the ‘Collabos’ series, which was also his sixth studio album. Recorded in one month, it was a huge hit, debuting at number 49 on the U.S. Billboard 200, having 13,000 copies sold in the first week.
On July 1, 2008, Tech N9ne released his seventh studio album, ‘Killer’. Recorded between January and March 2008, it debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, selling 36,199 copies in its first week alone. By September, he had more than one million album sold over his entire catalogue. In 2009, he had two albums released. ‘Sickology 101’, his eighth studio album, second in the ‘Collabos’ series, was released on April 28. On October 26, he released ‘K.O.D.’, another great hit debuting at number 14 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 30,326 copies in its first week alone.
In 2010, he released only one album,’ The Gates Mixed Plate’. Named after ‘Gates Bar-B-Q’, a Kansas City restaurant, the album is full of light party music, selling 17,000 copies in the first week alone. Also in the same year, he made his acting debut, appearing in ‘Big Money Rustlas’. In 2011, he released his eleventh and twelfth albums; ‘All 6’s and 7’s’ and ‘Welcome to Strangeland’, the latter being the fourth album in his ‘Collabos’ series. In the same year, he also embarked on ‘All 6’s and 7’s: The Tour’ covering 62 shows from May 26 and July 6.
Tech N9ne spent 2012 preparing for his thirteenth studio album, ‘Something Else’, also releasing number of EPs like ‘E.B.A.H.’ (Evil Brain Angel Heart) and ‘Boiling Point’. ‘Something Else’ was finally released on July 30, 2013, receiving widespread acclaim, debuting at number four on the US Billboard 200.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1995, Tech N9ne married his girlfriend, Lecoya LeJuene. They had two daughters, Alyia and Reign Yates, both of whom grew up to be singers. The couple separated in 2005. In 2015, ten years after their initial separation, Tech N9ne filed for divorce, which was granted in November 2017.
Tech N9ine also had a son named Dontez Yates, born out of his liaison with Agonee, one of his co-musicians at ‘Nnutthowze’. He received his custody because Agonee was found to be schizophrenic.
Tech N9ne Bio Info
Full name: Aaron Dontez Yates
Born: 8 November 1971 (age 46 years), Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Height: 1.73 m
Spouse: Lecoya LeJeune (m. 1995–2017)
Children: Reign Yates, Alyia Yates, Dontez Yates
Labels: Strange Music; RBC; Interscope; Qwest; Perspective A&M; Warner Bros.
Genres: Hip hop; rap rock
Music groups: K.A.B.O.S.H., The Regime (Since 1997)
Tech N9ne Quotes
- Now my life’s changed, me and Travis had to
ignite Strange Music, keep movin through it and fight pain. – Tech N9ne
- Cuz I got kids nigga and I’ll do a bid nigga
for the safety of my babies, crazy, now look what I did nigga. – Tech N9ne
- It’s kill or be killed motherfucker. I’m not going to be the one getting killed over something stupid–over something a motherfucker think as opposed to something somebody knows. – Tech N9ne
Tech N9ne Videos on YouTube
In this Interview with Montreality, TECH N9NE speaks about everything you’d want to find out.
HNHH got an exclusive look at the Strange Music home base in Kansas City.