Tekashi 6ix9ine faces life in prison for armed robbery. How did it all go so horribly wrong for the rapper?
In less than a year, Tekashi 6ix9ine has topped the charts and made a name for himself in the rap world. Now, his career hangs in the balance as he stares at probable jail time.
Even if you're not the biggest fan of rap, you would have come across the name 6ix9ine aka Tekashi 69 (real name Daniel Hernandez) at least once in the last year. If not for all the good reasons (his breakthrough on the Billboard charts, collaboration with Nicki Minaj, Murda Beatz etc.) you'd have heard of the young rapper for all the wrong ones. It has been less than a year since the meteoric rise of the unconventional rapper who made the rap world stop and take notice and already, 6ix9ine has found himself on the wrong side of the law on multiple occasions.
In late October of this year, 6ix9ine had three different court dates for three different cases in a single week: one for misdemeanor assault of a police officer, one for misdemeanor assault of a teenager. And the most hair-raising: a sentencing in Manhattan, stemming from his 2015 arrest for the use of a child in a sexual performance. He was sentenced to four years of probation (with one year previously served), was not required to register as a sex offender, but he was required to serve 1,000 hours of community service, in addition to refraining from the posting or reposting of sexually explicit or violent images of women or children on social media platforms.
Most recently, 6ix9ine was back in court for sentencing on the charge of assaulting a police officer. After pleading guilty to the charge, the judge ruled that the violation will not appear on his criminal record on the condition that Hernandez must stay out of trouble and not discuss the case on social media. It would also not affect his current probation for his sexual misconduct case. However, in the event 6ix9ine is arrested again in the near future, he was to face immediate jail time.
Just a week after the conditional probation, 6ix9ine has found himself in a fix yet again. On Sunday, November 18, 6ix9ine and three associates, including his former manager (who he recently fired along with his entire PR team) were arrested on federal racketeering and firearms charges. And this time, it looks like the rapper could actually end up in jail. What's worse? The arrest comes just hours after 6ix9ine unveiled the tracklist for his long-awaited debut album, 'Dummy Boy', which is scheduled for a November 23 release. So behind all the legal scuffles and controversy, let's take a look at the story of the new bad boy of rap.
6ix9ine was born Daniel Hernandez in Brooklyn, NYC. Growing up, he had a tough childhood and his father was murdered while crossing the road when the rapper was in 8th grade. That year he would just black out in rage and stopped attending school after getting expelled. He had a few jobs here and there up until he started his rapping. Hernandez also had multiple hustles including working at a bodega while selling marijuana on the streets in order to help his mother financially. He was eventually arrested for his activities and sentenced to prison at Rikers Island where he began to associate with the Nine Trey Gangsters prison set of the Bloods street gang (6ix9ine has alluded to being a Blood in songs like “BILLY” and “Blood Walk.”)
In 2014, he started releasing music under the stage name of 6ix9ine, a moniker that echoed the fact that he had the number '69' tattooed over 200 times on his body, with several on his face. Although his rise to fame would start three years later, 6ix9ine was riding the wave of the "Soundcloud Rap" explosion, carving a name for himself in the constantly shifting landscape of rap. But he wasn't a Soundcloud rapper himself. He was actually signed with a little known Slovakian label called FCK THEM, under which he released early tracks like "Scumlife", "Yokai", and "Hellsing Station".
With his distinctive rainbow colored hair and grills, the young rapper drew quite a bit of traction on the internet until in 2017, the inevitable happened and he turned up as a meme on the internet. The fame would accelerate his career all of a sudden, culminating in his commercial debut single 'Gummo', which was released in Nov. 2017 and eventually peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In early 2018, 6ix9ine dropped his mixtape 'Day69', which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts, announcing the rapper's arrival on the mainstream scene. Through most of his career, 6ix9ine rejected all major labels and instead opted to release his music and even produce his anime-flecked, often graphic, music videos himself.
As his career began to skyrocket, his legal troubles kept getting worse. It also didn't help that he would jump at any opportunity he found to get into a feud with other rappers from the industry. He has long-running feuds with Chief Keef, YG, and Trippie Redd, to name a few. Meanwhile, his clique, which goes by the name "Treyway" was drawing heat as they were being associated with multiple shootings, most notably the shooting of Chief Keef in New York City on June 2, 2018.
But thanks to the rapper's growing fan base across the internet, his brushes with the law did not slow down his musical output. A month after the shooting, 6ix9ine collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz on "Fefe", yet another chart-topper. Earlier this month, 6ix9ine finally announced his debut album, titled 'Dummy Boy', set for release on November 23. The album boasts a string of high-profile collaborations, including Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Lil Baby, Gunna, Tory Lanez, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Anuel AA and Bobby Shmurda, among others.
Now, just a week away from the big release, 6ix9ine finds himself in federal custody on charges of racketeering and firearms. 6ix9ine's career is one that has been embroiled with the image of the unconventional right from the get-go. He operates at the fringes of both rap music as well as the law. His aggressive rapping style often incorporates screams and wails that would land closer to the genre of metal than rap. He is a provocateur who is most comfortable when stretching the rubber band as far as it can go. Only this time, it might finally snap, threatening to cut short a career that has looked promising, to say the least. An arraignment is scheduled for later today in Manhattan and that could very well decide the fate of the young rapper.