Rapper Tech N9ne took to Twitter on Monday to offer condolences to the family of battle rapper Tech 9 — whose stage moniker sounds and is spelled similarly — and clarify that he himself is very much alive and well.
“This Tech N9ne is going through customs back in the U.S. coming from Canada, coming from Europe,” he said in a Twitter video. “My family’s calling my phone wondering if I’m OK. I’m OK. Condolences go out to battle rapper Tech 9. Philly stand up.”
Tech N9ne’s real name is Aaron Dontez Yates and he co-founded the independent hip-hop label Strange Music Inc., based in Kansas City, Mo.
The rapper, 47, whose music has been featured in “Alpha Dog,” has been confused with the battle rapper because of their near-identical pseudonyms. In the video, he said that he observed many of Tech 9’s battles.
Philadelphia battle rapper Tech 9, whose real name is Akeem Mickens, was announced on Monday to have died by fellow battle rapper Buttah From Da Block.
“PHILADELPHIA AND THE BATTLE RAP CULTURE ALL TOOK A LOSS WITH THIS ONE. HE WAS A PIONEER, GENTLEMAN, GREAT FATHER ENTREPRENEUR, ENTHUSIAST AND PHILANTHROPIST. With Deep Hurt And sorrow i say we will miss u and love u bro,” he wrote on Facebook.
Mickens was considered “one of the architects of modern battle rap” and later became a commentator, according to hip-hop news website the Source.
Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar and “Superstar” rapper Lupe Fiasco were among the fans who paid tribute to Tech 9 on social media following word of his death.
“THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK-Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well,” Lamar wrote.