Tech N9ne considers himself lucky to be alive. On the morning of March 23, a few days after the Kansas City rapper opened in Missoula for Bone Thugs -n-Harmony, his tour van was driving west from Billings in icy conditions toward the next show.
“I was asleep across one of the seats and the next thing I know, we’re flippin’ off the road,” recalls Tech N9ne, aka Aaron Yates, before a recent soundcheck in Oregon. “We turned a couple times, end over end and all, and I kept waiting for us to stop and then my face hit something like, ‘Pow!’ I’m on the floor and I just hear my boys screaming, ‘Tech? Tech? Tech, you okay?’ All I had was some scrapes on my legs and a piece of glass in my cheek. It’s crazy, you know? Scariest thing I’ve ever been through. The van was totaled.”
Nobody was seriously hurt in the one-car accident, but the shock of it was enough to make Tech N9ne stop and consider his luck. The rollover went down the same day of his latest release, Vintage Tech, and in the midst of a long, cross-country tour. Maybe it was time to take a break.
“That day let me know I was supposed to do this, you know,” he says. “We decided not to stop a thing. Bravo [Entertainment] had us on a flight that day to [make the concert]. And we did a hardcore show, kickin’ it like always. Kickin’ it like donkeys.”
Tech N9ne is still on tour and returns to Missoula next week to headline a show at the UC Ballroom. Aside from a new outlook on his career, the only lasting effects of the crash are the tattoos he and the four other tour van passengers got on their right arms: the date of the accident with angel’s wings.
“I’ve always been a fearless type of cat, you know, but in a situation you can’t control all you can do is go with it,” says Tech N9ne. “Ever since then, we just celebrating life.”
Tech N9ne plays the UC Ballroom Tuesday, May 24, at 9 PM. Tickets are $20.