Philly battle rap icon Tech 9 dies at 32

Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Denzel Curry and more mourn hip hop’s loss.

Philadelphia battle rapper Tech 9—not to be confused with Tech N9ne—has died. He was 32 years old. His close friend Buttah From the Block announced the news on Instagram on Monday morning.

“Philadelphia and the battle rap culture all took a loss with this one,” Buttah wrote. “He was a legend and a pioneer, gentleman, great father, entrepreneur, enthusiast and philanthropist. With deep hurt and sorrow, I say we will miss you and love you, bro.”

Born Akeem Mickens, the Philly MC was most noted for pioneering battle rap with his remarkable skills behind the mic, which combined his flair for humor and wordplay. Tech 9 was also a competitor and commentator for New York City’s battle rap league, The Ultimate Rap League.


While he wasn’t a mainstream hip hop figure, many prolific rappers including Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Lupe Fiasco and Denzel Curry have taken to social media to express their condolences and mourn hip hop’s loss.


The rapper’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed, although Buttah told XXL Mag that there were “no signs of harm done to his body.” He is survived by his daughter.

Rest in peace, Tech 9.

Check out one of his most recent rap battles on URL below:

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