.Got the opportunity this weekend to be a different kind of featured artist during the annual A3C [All Three Coasts] Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta, GA. During my stint, besides meeting and gaining new fans in hip hop elite, legends, up-and-comers, and appreciators, I gained a new fan and opportunity:
Painting the face of strange emcee Tech N9ne, literally.
Aaron Dontez Yates (born November 8, 1971), better known by his stage name Tech N9ne (pronounced “Tech Nine”), is an American rapper from Kansas City, Missouri. In 1999, Yates and Travis O’Guin founded the record label Strange Music. Throughout his career, Yates has sold over one million albums and has had his music featured in film, television, and video games. In 2009, he won the Left Field Woodie award at the mtvU Woodie Awards.
His stage name originated from the TEC-9semi-automatic handgun, given to him by rapper Black Walt due to his fast rhyming style. Yates later applied a deeper meaning to the name, claiming that it stands for the complete technique of rhyme, with ‘tech’ meaning technique and ‘nine’ representing the number of completion.
Revisiting my Nas sketch that I did a few weeks ago. Decided to go with a theme a bit more along the lines of the “Life is Good” album art design work. So I’m doing a limited run of prints in honor of it.
Shawn Corey Carter(born December 4, 1969),better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2011.He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving fourteen Grammy Awardsfor his musical work, and numerous additional nominations.He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers of all-time. He was ranked #1 by MTV in their list ofThe Greatest MCs of All-Timein 2006.Two of his albums,Reasonable Doubt (1996) andThe Blueprint(2001) are considered landmarks in the genre with both of them being ranked inRolling Stonemagazine’s list ofthe 500 greatest albums of all time.Blenderincluded the former on their 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die.
Jay-Z co-owns the40/40 Club, is part-owner of theNBA’sBrooklyn Netsand is also the creator of the lineRocawear.He is the former CEO ofDef Jam Recordings, one of the three founders ofRoc-A-Fella Records, and the founder ofRoc Nation.As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on theBillboard 200with eleven.Jay-Z also has had four number ones on theBillboard Hot 100, one as lead artist.
He married American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles on April 4, 2008. They gave birth to a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012. On December 11, 2009, Jay-Z was ranked as the 10th most successful artist of 2000s by Billboard and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He is also ranked the 88th greatest artist of all time, according to Rolling Stone.
Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones ( /nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known by his stage name Nas ( /ˈnɑːz/), is an American rapper and actor.
His rise to fame began in 1991 with his feature on hip hop group Main Source’s debut album on the track “Live at the Barbeque”. His debut album Illmatic, released in 1994 by Columbia Records, received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip hop community and would go on to be widely hailed as a musical landmark and a classic in the genre and is consistently ranked as one of the greatest LPs of all time. His follow up album It Was Written debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Charts, stayed on top for four consecutive weeks and went platinum twice in only two months, propelling Nas to worldwide notoriety.
In 2006, Nas signed to Def Jam and released his latest two albums; Hip Hop Is Dead in 2006 and an untitled album in 2008. In 2010, he released a collaboration album with renowned reggae artist Damian Marley in which all income generated from the album’s sales were sent to charities created to end poverty and financial suffering in Africa. He released his tenth studio album, Life Is Good in 2012.
Nas is often listed, mentioned, and ranked as one of the greatest and most influential rappers in history. MTV ranked him at number 5 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. On a similar list, MTV 2’s “22 Greatest MC’s”, compiled by the results of an online poll, fans voted Nas as the 4th greatest MC of all time. Editors of About.com also ranked him number 4 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), making him the highest ranking rapper of his generation (ahead of The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and 2Pac). In 2012, The Source ranked him #2 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.