May 29, 2019
The death of Philly battle rapper Tech 9 has reportedly been ruled a suicide, roughly two months after he died.
Tech 9, whose real name is Akhiym Mickens, was 32 years old when he died on March 24. The cause of his death was unclear at the time. PhillyMag first reported Wednesday that the Montgomery County Coroner's Office determined Mickens committed suicide. The exact cause of death reportedly was an overdose of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine found in Benadryl, according to PhillyMag.
PhillyVoice reached out to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office on Wednesday but didn't hear back.
Mickens had been due in court March 25, the day after he died, to be arraigned on child pornography charges, according to court documents. The news of his court date was reported one week after friends, family, and supporters organized a vigil in Germantown to remember Mickens' legacy.
Mickens was arrested Jan. 5 and charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, indecent assault, corruption of minors, harassment, possession of child pornography, and other offenses. At a preliminary hearing on March 12, a judge dropped two indecent assault charges – including the charge of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old – and Mickens was ordered to stand trial on the rest.
Mickens' court-appointed lawyer, Cowanis L. Duckett, told PhillyVoice last month that he believed the child pornography accusations were "some kind of retaliation" against rapper.
"Circumstances surrounding the timing of the actual accusation seem to me to be an act of retaliation rather than ... an actual incident that happened," Duckett said at the time.
When news of his death was first reported, Mickens received shoutouts from the Philly community, and also from star rappers like Kendrick Lamar:
Rip dawg!!! I’m tired of saying rip 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/zocx0pyUhL— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) March 25, 2019
Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9— Lloydbanks (@Lloydbanks) March 25, 2019
THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK-— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) March 25, 2019
Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well.
Rip Tech 9...one of the most entertaining battle rappers.— “DROGAS WAVE” NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) March 25, 2019
Condolences to his family and friends.
May God have mercy on his soul.
This is a developing story, and will be updated when more information becomes available.