Tech N9ne, who performed at The Great Saltair June 25 and is arguably the most successful independent rapper in the world, is one of those events. His rapping abilities and stage presence surpass many rappers heard on mainstream radio, but the fact that every individual who attends his concerts require a full-body pat down before being let in adds an undeniable scare factor to Tech N9ne’s shows. Which is exactly what makes Tech N9ne so appealing to such an array of people.
Tech N9ne’s concert attendees range in age from—no lie—5 to 55. Some are teenage girls wearing next to nothing; others are Juggalos—Insane Clown Posse followers who have deemed Tech as one of their leaders. Fake blood, clown makeup, doo-rags, baggy pants, oversized shirts, Michael Vick jerseys and the like are seen everywhere. And then there’s me, sticking out like a sore thumb wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
However unique Tech N9ne’s fan base is, it must be noted how legitimately talented he is as a rapper. He does a fantastic job of pleasing audience members, blasting raps so fast that Lil’ Wayne or Jay-Z wouldn’t know what hit them. His tourmates include rappers Kutt Calhoun and Krizz Kaliko, who sub in on verses when Tech is out of breath, and have plenty of their own verses on many of Tech’s songs.
Tech's song catalog is impressive; he's released six hearty albums since 2001, and his performance style is distinctive in that it’s all one big medley. Rarely does the rapping stop once Tech takes stage, unless he takes time to call out an audience member on their outfit, tell a girl how beautiful he thinks she is, or do a quick outfit modification (putting on a Dracula style robe or something simple and fast so that he doesn’t leave the audience hanging).
At one point during Tech's lengthy set, there was a girl standing next to me who knew every single world to every single song Tech performed. I took a moment to look around and noticed that many people in the audience were in the same boat as this girl: Tech N9ne super fans. Shirts from shows Tech has previously done in Utah were everywhere, but now they’ve been purposefully shredded and drenched in fake blood and glow-stick goo—an ode to Tech, of course. Tech’s Utah fans worship him, and he knows it; he makes a point to visit Utah at least two times annually.
Regardless of one’s thoughts of the hip-hop industry, Tech N9ne’s talent as a rapper is undeniable, and what’s even better is that he doesn’t brag about it. There’s no hopping around on stage, grabbing his crotch and boasting how great he his. He’s there for one thing: to perfectly entertain his unique and adoring fans, which he no question succeeds at doing.