What Is Tech 9's Cause of Death? Philadelphia Battle Rapper Unexpectedly Dies

Seasoned battle rapper Tech 9 has died at the age of 32 years. A cause of death was not immediately revealed. The rapper, whose real name is Akeem Mickens, was a notable figure in the rap battle scene for upward of ten years.

Mickens's friend, rapper Buttah From-Da Block, announced his passing on Facebook in a series of emotional posts. "Aw man it hurts me to be saying this right now and After speaking to your dad this is even harder to process," he wrote in a Facebook status with a photo of Tech 9. "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."

Buttah said there were no signs of physical harm on Mickens's body when he was found, in a comment to Newsweek. "Sadly its true," Buttah explained. "We lost a Philadelphia and battle rap legend and pioneer. He's a friend of mine and I work with his family."

As for how Mickens died, it's still unclear. "Unfortunately we haven't fully figured the cause of death we are still waiting on the autopsy. We are praying that it was natural causes. He had no signs of harm done to his body."

Buttah also said Mickens was "rushed to the hospital with the help of his neighbors."

Tech 9 was known for his skillful rap battles in which he faced big names like T-Rex and Arsenal, according to XXL. He did not cross over into radio hip-hop but did gain the respect of notable artists throughout his time as a battle rapper. Some of those artists expressed their grief for his passing on Monday.

Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar was one of the first to pay his condolences on Twitter. "THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK- Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well," Lamar wrote on Monday morning.

Lupe Fiasco also contributed to the sorrowful conversation. "Rip Tech 9...one of the most entertaining battle rappers," he shared on Twitter. "Condolences to his family and friends. May God have mercy on his soul."

Some Twitter users were confused about Tech 9's death, as he shares a similar name to another respected music community member. It's important to note Tech 9 is not Tech N9ne, who founded Strange Music, as there has been some confusion online as to which of the musicians has passed.

This article has been updated to include a comment from Buttah From-Da Block.