Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia-based battle rapper Tech 9’s death has been ruled a suicide.
First deputy coroner Alexander Balacki of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office made the official determination, according to Philadelphia magazine. The cause of death was an overdose of diphenhydramine, the common antihistamine known as Benadryl.
Tech 9 — not to be confused with Strange Music co-founder Tech N9ne — passed away on March 24. The late battle rapper, whose real name was Akhiym Mickens, was scheduled to appear to be in court for an arraignment hearing on March 25.
The 32-year-old artist was facing charges of child pornography, indecent assault, indecent exposure and corruption of minors.
Cowanis L. Duckett, Tech 9’s court-appointed lawyer, said he believed the accusations were “some kind of retaliation” against his client.
“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 told PhillyVoice.
Tech 9 was arrested in January on multiple charges, including unlawful sexual contact with a minor, indecent assault, corruption of minors, harassment and possession of child pornography.
In March, a judge dropped two indecent assault charges at a preliminary hearing.