Who was Tech 9?
Tech 9, whose real name was Akeem Mickens, was a Philadelphia-based battle rapper who was a prominent figure in the rap battle scene for more than 10 years. He was known for his witty and humorous style, and his battles with big names like T-Rex, Arsenal, and Rich Dolarz. He was also a co-host of Champion, a YouTube show that covered battle rap news and events. He was not to be confused with Tech N9ne, another rapper who founded Strange Music.
How did Tech 9 die?
Tech 9 died on March 24, 2019, at the age of 32. His friend and fellow rapper, Buttah From-Da Block, announced his passing on Facebook, saying that he had spoken to Tech 9’s father and that there were no signs of physical harm on his body. The cause of death was not immediately revealed, and many fans and celebrities expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Tech 9 on social media.
However, two months later, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office ruled Tech 9’s death a suicide, according to Philadelphia magazine. The specific cause of death was an overdose of diphenhydramine, the common antihistamine known as Benadryl. This shocked and saddened many people in the rap community, who wondered why Tech 9 would take his own life.
What was Tech 9 facing before his death?
It was later revealed that Tech 9 was facing serious criminal charges before his death, which might have been a factor in his suicide. He was arrested on January 5, 2019, in Philadelphia, and charged with possession of child pornography, indecent assault, indecent exposure, and corruption of minors, among other offenses. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor girl, who was a relative of his girlfriend, on multiple occasions. He was due to be arraigned in court on March 25, 2019, the day after his death.
His lawyer, Cowanis L. Duckett, said that he believed the accusations were false and motivated by retaliation, and that Tech 9 was confident of his innocence. He also said that Tech 9 did not show any signs of depression or suicidal thoughts, and that he was working on his music and his show. However, some people speculated that Tech 9 was overwhelmed by the pressure and the shame of the allegations, and that he chose to end his life rather than face the consequences.
How did Tech 9’s death affect the rap community?
Tech 9’s death had a profound impact on the rap community, especially the battle rap scene, where he was respected and admired by many. His fans and peers remembered him as a pioneer, a legend, a gentleman, a great father, and a philanthropist. They also celebrated his legacy and his contributions to the culture of hip-hop. Some of his battles were rewatched and analyzed, and some of his songs and lyrics were quoted and shared. Some of his friends and collaborators also organized events and fundraisers in his honor and to support his family.
However, Tech 9’s death also raised some questions and controversies, especially after the details of his charges were made public. Some people felt betrayed and disgusted by his actions, and denounced him as a pedophile and a rapist. Some people also criticized those who praised and defended him, and argued that his crimes should not be overlooked or excused. Some people also called for the removal or boycott of his music and his show, and demanded that his victims be acknowledged and supported.
Tech 9’s cause of death was a tragic and complicated matter, that involved both personal and legal issues. His death left behind a mixed legacy, that was both celebrated and condemned by different segments of the rap community. His death also sparked a discussion about mental health, suicide, and sexual abuse in the rap industry, and how to deal with them. Tech 9’s death was a loss for many, but also a lesson for some.