Tech 9, the Philadelphia battle rapper, has died, according to friends. One of the rapper’s close friends, Buttah Madison, made multiple posts on Facebook regarding Tech 9’s passing. In one of those tributes, Madison referred to Tech 9 as “a legend and a pioneer, gentleman, great father entrepreneur, enthusiast and philanthropist.” Tech 9’s cause of death has not been made public, nor have the circumstances of the rapper’s death.
Madison said that he confirmed Tech 9’s passing through speaking to the rapper’s father. Tech 9, real name Akhiym Mickens, is survived by two daughters. He was 32 years old. Throughout his rap career, Tech 9 was renowned for his battles with Arsenal and T-Rex. Arsenal wrote in tribute to Tech 9, “REST EASY MY BOY WE WILL ALL MISS U….. 💔 LONG LIVE @therealtech9 DAM MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO YA FAMILY AND FRIENDS….. SAD DAY FOR BATTLE RAP.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lloyd Banks & Lupe Fiasco Have Both Paid Tribute to Tech 9
Despite his status as an underground rapper, some of hip-hop’s elite have been paying tribute to Tech 9. Among the rappers paying tribute was New York rapper Lloyd Banks who said on Twitter, “Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9.” While Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco tweeted, “Rip Tech 9…one of the most entertaining battle rappers. Condolences to his family and friends. May God have mercy on his soul.” Rap mogul Joe Budden added, “Not the news i wanted to wake up to…. smmfh.” Kendrick Lamar tweeted, “THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK- Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well.”
2. Tech 9’s Death Has Led to Confusion With Many Believing Strange Music’s Tech N9ne Has Passed
As news of Tech 9’s death spread across social media, confusion arose with many thinking that Strange Music founder Tech N9ne had passed. To help to clear up the confusion, Vibe deputy editor, William Ketchum III, said, “There’s gonna be a lot of confusion this morning. Tech 9 (@Therealtech9), a respected battle rapper, passed away. Tech N9ne, founder of Strange Music, is still with us. Hip-hop definitely lost someone dear today. Just want to be clear on who it was.” Tech N9ne later took to Twitter to pay tribute to Tech 9:
3. Tech 9’s Final Instagram Post Paid Tribute to His Late Sister
Tech 9’s final Instagram post paid tribute to his late sister. The rapper wrote, “9 years to this date my sister passed away leaving us with many questions however Allah makes absolutely no mistakes! We love you ❤😘 rest up Queen.” That last update came in December 2018. In 2017, Tech wrote on Twitter that his sister had been murdered in 2009. Haala Mickens was killed in a shooting in December 2009 in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On his Instagram bio, Tech 9 wrote, “Public Figure. Billed from Philadelphia, PA #CHAMPION.” He went on to describe himself as “THE ESPN OF BATTLE RAP #STOPTHEMICROWAVE.” “Stopthemicrowave” is a reference to Tech 9’s catchphrase, “Microwave Stopper,” which was part of his critique of fellow battle rappers, according to hip-hop bible The Source’s tribute to Tech 9. That report makes reference to Tech 9 being “very generous teaching others about this art form he so loved.”
4. Tech 9’s Last Recorded Battle Was in July 2018
Tech 9’s last recorded battle was against Geechi Gotti in July 2018, according to Genius.com. A month earlier, he had battled Jimz. That marked his first rap battle since August 2016 and the first time he had been recorded battling twice in a year since 2015. Tech 9 was only recorded once in 2014 and not at all in 2013.
Tech 9 had become as famous for his color commentary on battle raps on the online series, “Champion,” along side Jay Blac. Tech 9 wrote on his Twitter bio, “MC Battle Analyst as seen on 🏆CHAMPION 🏆 Part-Time MC with Full-Time benefits.”
5. In 2014, Tech 9 Was Accused of Trying to Run Over His Girlfriend In His Car
In May 2014, Tech was accused of simple assault, theft, criminal mischief, receiving stolen property and harassment. A report from the time said that police responded to a home in Philadelphia after hearing a domestic incident was reported. The rapper was accused of attempting to run his girlfriend over in a car after he was accused of stealing her purse, that had a large amount of money in it. The report says that in the past, Tech had been accused of vandalizing his girlfriend’s car. The incident was referenced by battle rapper DNA during a battle with Tech 9 in 2015.