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.
THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK-
Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) March 25, 2019
Rip Tech 9…one of the most entertaining battle rappers.
Condolences to his family and friends.
May God have mercy on his soul.
— “DROGAS WAVE” NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) March 25, 2019
Rest In Peace Tech 9 one of the funniest and illest battle rappers I’ve seen
— ZXLTRXN (@denzelcurry) March 25, 2019
Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9
— Lloydbanks (@Lloydbanks) March 25, 2019
?? R.I.P Tec 9 …… This Crazy . Gone but will never be forgotten.. watch over us King ?.. Wayne Ave
— HEAD I.C.E (@Headice) March 25, 2019
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: