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Tech N9ne Clarifies He’s Not Dead in Video, Mourns Tech 9 After Battle Rapper's Sudden Death

Tech N9ne took to Twitter Monday to express his condolences after the death of battle rapper Tech 9, real name Akeem Mickens, whose death caused confusion about which rap guru had passed.

Tech 9’s death was announced earlier Monday in emotional statements on Facebook by his friend and fellow battle rapper Buttah From-Da Block. The notable rapper and Strange Music record label founder Tech N9ne, whose real name is Aaron Dontez Yates, posted a video to show his respect and respond to people concerned for his welfare.

“Condolences to the battle rapper Tech 9,” Tech N9ne said in the black-and-white video. “He’s been battling for years. I’ve observed many a battle of his. Condolences to the family.”

The rapper then addressed the pair’s similar names. Though spelled differently, both rappers pronounce their name “Tech Nine.”

“This Tech N9ne is going through customs back in the U.S., coming from Canada, coming from Europe,” the rapper shared in the video, which panned to a security line in an airport.

Since Tech 9’s unexpected passing was announced, there have been misconceptions about which rapper died. Some Twitter users mistakenly paid their respects to Tech N9ne and his family. After friends and family of TechN9ne expressed their concerns, the rapper decided to clarify that he is healthy and safe.  

“My family is calling my phone wondering if I’m OK. I’m OK. My condolences go out to the battle rapper, Tech 9. Philly, stand up,” TechN9ne said. 

Tech N9ne’s clarification may be much needed, as there are still social media questions about the rappers. “'Tech 9' or 'Tech N9ne' someone give me details,” wrote Twitter user @FluffyiG. Others mistakenly mourned TechN9ne. “NO F****** WAY. DID TECH N9NE REALLY PASS AWAY?” said user KAlonso_LNG.

Tech 9 was a battle rapper who had been powerful in his community for over 10 years. Though he never branched over to mainstream, radio rap music, he was well respected by many famous artists. Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco and others issued statements of mourning and respect to the notable lyricist on Twitter Monday.

No cause of death has been confirmed by the battle rapper’s camp, though Buttah From-Da Block revealed there were no outward signs of harm on the rapper’s body, he told XXL. He also explained close friends were praying Tech 9’s death was of natural causes. Tech 9 was 32 at the time of his death.

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