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March 25, 2019

Tech 9, legendary Philly battle rapper, reportedly dead

Akhiym Mickens was known for his lyrics and delivery; Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar and Lloyd Banks were among those noting his passing on Monday

Music Rappers
Tech 9 philly rapper Photo courtesy/Tech 9 on Instagram

Philly battle rap legend Tech 9 is dead, according to multiple sources.

Philadelphia battle rapper Tech 9 reportedly has died, according to friends of the artist.

Tech 9, whose real name was Akhiym Mickens, was a pioneer of the battle rap scene, making a name for himself over the last decade competing in more than two dozen battles. 

LATEST: Tech 9 was to be arraigned on child porn charges the day after his death

The cause of death has not yet been released, XXL Mag reported. He reportedly was 32 years old and is survived by his daughter.

Philly rapper Buttah Madison confirmed the news on Facebook Monday morning. 

The Source described Mickens as a pioneer in rap battle culture for both his lyrics and delivery. Later in his career, Mickens worked as a commentator on the popular show "Champion," cementing him as a leader and voice in the community. 

An obituary for Tech 9, published Monday afternoon by, described his rise in the early 2000s and detailed the Philly battle rapper's ability to intermingle humorous rhymes into his performances. Eric Beasley, co-founder of Ultimate Rap League, said:

“To see Tech 9 command a room and make people laugh in a tense environment, was really unique. People would laugh in other people’s battles, but not the way that he had (them laughing). … His delivery and his theatrics combined made him so entertaining to watch. He could say some of the simplest things, but the way that he moved his face and his neck and his body language and everything else, it just brings everything that he says to life.”

When news broke Monday morning about Tech 9's death, there initially was confusion between the Philly native and similarly named Strange Music co-founder Tech N9ne until Buttah Madison confirmed what had happened with Tech 9's family.

Other rappers and musicians offered their condolences Monday morning, including Kendrick Lamar, Lloyd Banks and Meek Mill.

Meek Mill tweeted, "Rip dawg!!! I’m tired of saying rip."

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