Kansas City emcee Tech N9ne is a respected figure in hip-hop and has been around since the 1990s. Raised in Missouri, the artist (real name Aaron Yates) was part of a group named Regime in the late-90s. He featured on a track alongside RZA, Eminem, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Jayo Felony, Chino XL, KRS-One, and Kool G. Rap at the turn of the millennium.
Yates never really crossed into the mainstream and, in the 2000s, had problems with his label JCOR Records. However, he has been featured on a number of highly successful projects, including Lil Wayne’s ninth studio album, Tha Carter IV and Three 6 Mafias’s K.O.D.
When it comes to his influences, Yates has professed his love for KRS-One and in an interview on Power 107.5, when asked about his favourite artists, he unveiled, “It’s between KRS-One and Rakim. I’ma say KRS-One. He did things that made me want to rap. I’ve been in the crowd when he did ‘The Bridge is Over.’”
KRS-One is one of hip-hop’s pioneering lyricists. Alongside figures such as Rakim and LL Cool J, the BDP emcee has become an icon of the 1980s and one of the most prevalent representatives of gold-age rap music.
That said, it is understandable why a lyricist such as Tech N9ne would place the legend as his favourite artist. However, KRS-One is not only his favourite artist but is also the creator of his most cherished body of work.
In an interview with Spin magazine about his opinion concerning the best rap album of all time, Yates responded, “It’s crazy that after decades, I still find myself going back to listen to Criminal Minded 1987 by Boogie Down Productions. So many bangers that take me back to a time when hip hop was ON FIRE with every release damn near.”
He continued, “They came straight out of the gate with the song “Poetry” with that beat I make with my mouth from day to day with my 4-month-old. It calms her, actually! Many other jams like ‘The Bridge Is Over,’ ‘South Bronx,’ ‘9mm Goes Bang’ and so many others. Come on, man, THE P IS FREE! The whole album goes, in my opinion, and I still enjoy it like it’s my first listen every time I run it.”
Comprised of KRS-One and Scott La Rock Boogie Down Productions (BDP), are still considered one of the most important New York groups of the 1980s. You can listen to Criminal Minded below.