Tech 9, a Philadelphia-based rapper who was a respected figure in the world of battle rap, passed away back in March. His passing, per The Inquisitr, set off lots of confusion, as many confused him with the rapper with the similarly pronounced name, Tech N9ne. The latter rapper had to release a video, from an airport gate, clarifying to confused friends and family members that he had not, in fact, passed away, while also paying tribute to Tech 9. Other tributes poured in from notable hip hop world figures including Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, and Lloyd Banks.
“Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well,” Kendrick Lamar wrote on Twitter March 25.
The following month, it was reported that Tech 9, whose real name was Akhiym Mickens, was, in fact, facing child pornography and corruption of minors charges at the time of his death. Per The Inquisitr, the rapper had been found dead the day before he was scheduled to appear in court to answer those charges.
Mickens, who was 32, had been arrested in January and hit with a variety of charges that included possession of child pornography, indecent assault, indecent exposure, and corruption of a minor. The alleged victim in the case was the daughter of the woman Mickens was dating.
Now, Philadelphia Magazine is reporting that Tech 9’s cause of death has been ruled a suicide by the local coroner. Mickens died of an overdose of diphenhydramine, the common antihistamine, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office told the magazine. Montgomery County is the suburban county, just outside the Philadelphia city limits, where Tech 9 was found dead.
Per the magazine, family members of Mickens had launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for his funeral expenses, although some who had donated asked for their money back once the story broke about the child pornography charges.
Per Philly Voice, a court-appointed attorney for Mickens had said that he believed the accusations against the rapper were “some kind of retaliation.”
The rapper had been due in court the day after he died. https://t.co/cz4YlumrBX
— PhillyVoice (@thephillyvoice) May 29, 2019
Tech 9 was known for his work in the Ultimate Rap League (URL), a battle rap circuit, and was also a commentator on a battle rap show called Champion.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.