Battle rapper Tech 9, born Akhiym Mickens, has reportedly passed away.

Earlier this morning (March 25), battle rapper Buttah From Da Block, who was friends with Tech 9, announced Tech's death on Facebook before providing more context in a statement to XXL.

“Sadly it's true. We lost a Philadelphia and battle rap legend and pioneer," Buttah From Da Block tells XXL. "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.”

Tech 9, not be confused with Strange Music's Tech N9ne, had been throwing down defensive bars in the ring for well over a decade. In that time, he'd battled artists like Arsenal, T-Rex and plenty more. Although he wasn't a key player in mainstream hip-hop, elite lyricists like Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Denzel CurryLloyd Banks and more have already hopped on Twitter to express their condolences and offer prayers to the battle rapper's family and friends.

"Rip Tech of the most entertaining battle rappers," Lupe Fiasco tweeted. "Condolences to his family and friends. May God have mercy on his soul."

Check out reactions to Tech 9's death from the hip-hop community below. Rest in peace, Tech 9.

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