Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia battle rapper Tech 9 has passed away. Fellow Philly rapper Buttah From The Block confirmed the news via Facebook on Sunday (March 24).

“Aw man it hurts me to be saying this right now and after speaking to your dad this even harder to process,” he wrote. “Philadelphia and the battle rap culture all took a loss with this one. He was a pioneer, gentleman, great father, entrepreneur, enthusiast and philanthropist.

“With deep hurt and sorrow I say we will miss u and love u bro. Tell Spittage We gon hold it down bro. S.P.I.T.T.A.G.E. YALL MVFKAS BETTER GET IT RIGHT WAYNE A.V…REST IN PEACE TO MY BROTHER #TECH9 @therealtech9.”

Born Akeem Mickens, Tech 9 — not to be confused with Strange Music’s Tech N9ne — was a highly regarded icon in the battle rap world. For over a decade, he competed in dozens of battles, quickly establishing himself as a powerful force on the mic.

As of publication time, Tech 9’s cause of death hasn’t been revealed.

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Several of his peers shared their grief on social media. From Kendrick Lamar and Tech N9ne to Lupe Fiasco and Lloyd Banks, there was no shortage of condolences pouring out for the late MC.

Check out the reactions below.