25 October 2019 17:19
Battle Rapper turned commentator and the culture's version of Stephen A. Smith, Tech 9 transitioned over the weekend, leaving the entire culture mourning. One of the architects of modern battle rap, Tech 9 (whose real name is Akeem Mickens), started his professional battle rap career in as a fighting cub in the legendary leagues, Lionz Den and Street Arena. However it was at the Ultimate Rap League (URL), where he became a staple in culture- shifting the way people listened to rhymes by presenting humor, clever wordplay and the intensity in delivery (like only a Philly emcee could spit). While as an emcee he was memorable, it was his colorful commentary on the hit Battle Rap platform, Champion (alongside Jay Blac), that showcased his personality and made him the most visible in the culture.
With his catchphrase "Microwave Stopper," no-holds-bar critique of battles and battlers, he was unmatched and beloved personality and influencer. It does him no justice to limit his rising star to just this platform in Hip-Hop media, he could have honestly been as legendary as veteran cultural critics and music enthusiasts such as Harry Allen, Selwyn Hinds or Allen "Black Cat" Gordon. As a professional, he felt almost responsible for the content he reported on, maintaining an ability to challenge rappers from a space of familiarity and accountability. He leaves to mourn his immediate family and children, friends and an entire culture of fans who send their prayers and sympathies. While The Source would have wanted to produce a compilation of his most legendary moments, YouTube fans and content creator Damnimwild offers this in memorial.
Born Akeem Mickens, Tech 9, not to be confused with Strange Music's Tech N9ne, has been a staple in the battle rap community for well over 10 years. A co-host of Champion, he's battled some of the sport's elite MCs, including T-Rex, Arsenal and Rich Dolarz as part of Smack's Ultimate Rap League Details about Tech 9's reported passing have not currently been made public. Paying tribute on Twitter, Kendrick Lamar referenced one of Tech 9's battle rap bars, writing: "THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK – Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. G-Unit's Lloyd Banks tweeted: "Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9," while Joe Budden wrote: "Not the news i wanted to wake up to…. Lupe Fiasco also meanwhile, posted: "Rip Tech 9…one of the most entertaining battle rappers.
Fans and notable figures of the genre have taken to Twitter to offer their words of respect. According to Verse Tracker, Tech 9 was born Akeem Mickens and logged in two dozens battles. Tech 9 also hosted the Champion series alongside longtime compatriot Jay Blac and judged countless battles while still keeping his pen sharp himself. Queen Of The Ring league owner Debo confirmed the news via Twitter after speculation it was all a terrible rumor. DEAR BATTLE RAP COMMUNITY UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS NO RUMOR OR HOAX. MY FRIEND & BATTLE RAP LEGEND @Therealtech9 PASSED AWAY. FOR THE 1ST TIME LETS COME TOGETHER WITH HONOR FOR THIS MAN pic.twitter.com/NGvFT5R3aI — BIG HOMIE (@deboqotr) March 25, 2019 For now, we've taken the time to collect some of the responses on Twitter below. Rest Powerfully in Peace, Tech 9. Tech 9 has sadly passed away (Picture: Twitter) Battle rap legend Tech 9 has died aged 48, according to reports. Friends and fans of the battle rap scene have been paying tribute to the Philadelphia rapper after reports of his death broke today. Premier Battles posted on Twitter: 'We're very sad to hear Philly and battle rap legend Tech 9 has passed away. 'His work both in the pit and as a co-host on Champion, pushed this strange little scene we're all apart of forward everyday. Battle rap has lost a good one! The rapper, real name Akeem Mickens, is one of the most prominent names on the battle rap scene, having battled MCs including T-Rex and Rich Dolarz in the Smack Ultimate Rap League. He was also the co-host of Champion alongside Jay Blac, where he became known for his catchphrase 'Microwave Stopper'. Amongst those paying tribute was Lupe Fiasco, who wrote: 'Rip Tech 9…one of the most entertaining battle rappers. Condolences to his family and friends. Lloyd Banks also wrote: 'Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9.' Kendrick Lamar joined the tributes, tweeting: 'THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK- Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Many others clarified on Twitter that Tech 9 had passed away, not Tech N9ne, the founder of Strange Music. 'Tech 9 (@Therealtech9), a respected battle rapper, passed away. Tech N9ne, founder of Strange Music, is still with us. Tech 9 was active on Twitter just days ago, when he retweeted a number of posts about his rap battles which praised his showmanship. His cause of death has not been confirmed. If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you. With heavy hearts we send our love & Condolences Out to friends and family of our friend, brother & Battle rap Icon Anthony "Tech 9" Mickens.. You Will Be Missed Tremendously REST IN POWER.. #Legend #Icon pic.twitter.com/BOPbbjiokb The battle rap community is in mourning today as Philadelphia's own Tech 9, one of the iconic figures in the culture, has reportedly passed away. Although the circumstances behind his death are unknown, the tragic news was confirmed this morning by close family and friends on social media, thus leaving a devastating feeling of loss throughout the extended family of battle rap. It goes without saying that Anthony "Tech 9" Mickens was a legend in the sport, with perhaps his most memorable battle at URLTV's Summer Madness, when he opened his round against Midwest Miles with one of the most symbolic performances in battle rap history. Tech also had classic battles with DNA, X-Factor, Rich Dolarz, Bill Collector, Head Ice, and countless others, with more recent battles with the likes of Jerry Wess, Jimz, Geechi Gotti and more. Additionally, he also became a beloved analyst in the sport on Jay Blac's celebrated battle rap platform "Champion," where his comedic personality and passion for the art form filled a void in battle rap media. With that said, the loss of the fallen legend will likely galvanize the sport and bring battle rap closer together, as seen in dozens of tweets posted online from notable names throughout the culture. In addition to condolences sent from the leagues and battle rappers themselves, mainstream artists such as Lloyd Banks and Smoke DZA are honoring his legacy as well, thus symbolizing his impact and what Tech truly meant to the culture of hip-hop in general. Source: Twitter