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battle rapper Tech 9 passed away; Kendrick Lamar & more pay tribute

Tech 9

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 also was very generous teaching others about this art form he so loved. [The Source]

Philly battle rapper Tech 9 (not to be confused with Tech N9ne) has passed away, as his friend and fellow battle rapper Buttah From The Block posted on Facebook:

Aw man it hurts me to be saying this right now and After speaking to your dad this is even harder to process 😪 …. PHILADELPHIA AND THE BATTLE RAP CULTURE ALL TOOK A LOSS WITH THIS ONE. HE WAS A LEGEND AND 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. 💔🎯💯😪 S.P.I.2.T.A.G.E YALL MVFKAS BETTER GET IT RIGHT WAYNE A.V. … REST IN PEACE TO MY BROTHER #TECH9 @therealtech9

Buttah also confirmed the news to XXL, saying, “Sadly it’s true. We lost a Philadelphia and battle rap legend and pioneer. Unfortunately we haven’t fully figured the cause of death. We are praying that it was natural causes. He had no signs of harm done to his body.”

Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, Denzel Curry, Lloyd Banks, Tech N9ne, Smoke DZA and more have paid tribute to the late rapper:

Check It Out

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