Daniel Hernandez goes by many different names, including 6ix9ine, Teka$hi 6ix9ine, and just plain ol’ Tekashi69. However you choose to address him, make sure you don’t omit his self-proclaimed title as the King of New York. The Brooklyn-based rapper dropped his song “Gummo” in 2017 — a gritty track that accompanied an in-your-face music video that’s not for the faint of heart. It made a beeline for the top of the charts, ultimately reaching its peak at the no. 12 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 in late-December 2017. Not bad for a newcomer of the rap game.

By Stassi Reid

Despite success coming at him faster than one can say “blicky got the stiffy,” 6ix9ine’s rise to the top hasn’t been hiccup-free. A traumatic event shifted the dynamics in his household, causing him to be pushed into adulthood when he was just a teen. And a horrific legal issue threatened to eviscerate the flamboyant and provocative artist’s career before he even had a chance to release his debut mixtape, Day 69.

For every person who hates him, there are thousands more who attend his concerts and gleefully recite his bravado-based songs word for word — no matter how elementary his lyrics may be. So who exactly is this rainbow-haired, colorful grill-wearing artist whose body is fully covered in “69” tattoos? Let’s dive deeper as we explore the untold truth of 6ix9ine.

While some artists have to grind non-stop just to make it in the music industry, 6ix9ine took a shortcut on his journey. “I started rapping for fun to be honest with you. I didn’t really want to be a rapper or whatever. I just started making music because everybody was like, ‘Yo you look mad cool,'” he told the No Jumper podcast.

Of course, it’s impossible to ignore his aesthetic, which is similar to fellow artist Lil Pump, but the “Kooda” lyricist differentiates himself by carving out a new niche in a sea of SoundCloud artists. The nod to illicit drug use that has been found in Lil Pump’s hit, “Gucci Gang,” is noticeably absent in many of 6ix9ine’s tracks. Instead, his music pays homage to violence and the gang culture he was surrounded by in his hometown.

Although his “cool” look was the catalyst that helped jump-start his music career, will the novelty wear off once hip-hop heads grow tired of his shtick? Only time will tell.

Rumors were rumbling that he was involved in a child sex crime, and the allegations seemed to have some merit after Jezebel dropped the explosive details about the criminal charges. According to the website, the rapper pleaded guilty to “the use of a child in a sexual performance” after three videos of him, a man named Tyquan Anderson, and the 13-year-old victim were posted online in February 2015, according to Billboard.

He later came clean in an interview with DJ Akademiks. “When she came in she asked me how old I was and I told her I was 18 and I assumed she was older. The way she was asking made me think she was older,” the rapper said.

“I’m not touching the girl, I’m not having sexual intercourse with the girl, I’m not doing nothing, she just nude in some type of way,” the rapper insisted while describing the acts that were filmed.

After entering his guilty plea, he was able to avoid jail time, but the “Billy” rapper was ordered by the court to complete a very specific task, which we’ll get into in a bit.

During his interview with No Jumper, 6ix9ine revealed he got “expelled” from school in the eighth grade. He later attended his high school freshman orientation but ended up dropping out before school began. When asked for the reason behind his expulsion, he answered, “I literally forgot what happened” before admitting he would sometimes black out with “rage” and started “bugging” in school before officially bidding it adieu.

His lack of education came back to bite him after he pled guilty to the aforementioned 2015 child sex case. According to Jezebel, he made numerous agreements to the court to avoid jail time, including a promise to finally obtain his GED.

In January 2018, after failing to uphold his end of the bargain, he was back in a Manhattan courtroom to plead for his freedom. His lawyer stated the rapper had “struggled” to pass his GED test, but 6ix9ine said he was determined to obtain the high school equivalency certification by taking “mad courses.” The judge gave him until April 2018 to pass the test or he’d be hauled off to the pokey.

He now seems to be taking things more seriously… kind of. He has streamed live on Instagram during his study sessions, including one video in which he stumbles through a math equation. “That don’t make no sense,” he can be heard saying before he finally figures out the correct answer with some help from his trusty calculator. GED, here he comes!

The “rage” the rapper experienced during his final year of school could be attributed to the death of his father. “He got murdered a block away from my crib… I was 13. I was waiting for my pops to come back home, he never came home,” he said candidly while speaking with No Jumper.

When asked how his dad’s death affected him, he answered, “I don’t want to talk about it,” but he did shed some light on the aftermath of the traumatic event. “I stopped going to school to help my mom pay the rent,” he said before revealing he became a busboy for a short period of time. “I got fired because I wasn’t strong enough to carry the plates.”

After working a series of odd jobs, he and his brother began to sell “weed to buy food,” but it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

“I went to sleep hungry. I would still sleep with my mom until the age of 13, 14, word, I would go to sleep…with my stomach hurting and my mom would lay over and cry because she could hear how screeching my stomach would get. It was bad, bro,” he said.

During his July 2017 interview with No Jumper, the idiosyncratic talent revealed he had the number 69 tattooed on his body “over 200 times.” Most notably, the numerals are proudly displayed smack dab above his right eyebrow and the numbers are also written out multiple times on the left side of his face.

Considering “69” is also apart of his rap moniker, it must have some sort of significance, right? Well, when he was asked what the number meant to him, he answered rather peculiarly, leaving the door open to more questions. “It’s just a lifestyle, you know what I’m saying? And it has to do a lot with how I came up, you know what I’m saying?” No, actually, we don’t know what you’re saying. But please, go on…

“I don’t want to get too much into what 69 is, you know what I’m saying?” he continued. “I want people to really understand it so I’m gonna let them know who I am first before they get to understand the 69, you know what I’m saying?… It’s part of me and it’s part of my people… it’s a lifestyle.”

Well, that settles things — said no one ever.

in a video entitled “Tekashi 6ix9ine 69 Caught Without His Wig,” the rapper’s hair appears to be pulling a Houdini act as his multicolored mane is noticeably MIA. In all fairness, he’s wearing a beanie in the footage, so it’s possible his hair was tucked underneath the headwear. However, the internet was in an uproar at the thought of his Skittle-colored locks actually being a wig.

In response to all of the snarky allegations, the rapper posted a since-deleted rebuttal on his Instagram (via Vlad TV). In the video, he runs his fingers through his hair to prove that every single strand is truly growing from his scalp. “Where is the wig, man? I ain’t got no lace front [wig] like y’all…” he proclaims as he forcefully uses his hand to tousle his hair.

Whether his hair is real or fake, we have to admit, we sort of dig it.

During the video shoot for his breakout hit, “Gummo,” 6ix9ine is flanked by Bloods gang members who haughtily brandish their red bandanas in front of the camera lens. Unsurprisingly, it was assumed that the rapper was at least somewhat affiliated with the gang, but when rumors emerged that he was also cordial with members of the rival Crips, the rapper thought it was about time he set the record straight.

In a video, he proclaims, “I’m good in my hood,” while stating just because he hangs with gang members from both ends of the spectrum, it doesn’t mean he’s affiliated with either of them.

Well, his attempt at promoting street unity fell on deaf ears. After making his declaration, he’s been relentlessly hounded, like the time an appearance in Minnesota led to a scary situation where shots were fired at him and his crew by alleged gangsters who think his ties to the streets are just an act.

A few prominent hip-hop artists have embraced him, including Birdman from Cash Money Records (pictured) and 50 Cent. However, not everyone has been so welcoming toward the Day 69 rapper.

In February 2018, he was accosted by Acie High of the group Aqualeo, and his partner, Priceless, at a Los Angeles airport. Acie High told TMZ that 6ix9ine and his crew were hitting on some women that he had dropped off at the airport. To curb 6ix9ine’s blatant disrespect, the website stated that Acie High felt “a little street justice” was in order. The altercation was all caught on video. And, let’s just say, we hope 6ix9ine learned his lesson.

Los Angeles rapper The Game has also spoken out about his abhorrent feelings towards 6ix9ine by calling the rapper a “fake-a*s Blood” during a European concert before corralling the crowd to chant, “F**k 6ix9ine,” according to TMZ. When the “Gummo” rapper clapped back by saying, “A kid with rainbow hair got the whole industry right now aggravated,” The Game went full-throttle.

He posted a photo to his Instagram of a sweet and innocent looking 6ix9ine pre-fame and captioned the picture: “This the bum y’all let call himself the king of New York ???…You a nice guy, look at that smile…cut the tuff s**t out before it’s too late.”

In other words, don’t hold your breath on a The Game and 6ix9ine collaboration.

While filming the music video for his track “Billy” in Brooklyn, N.Y., the rapper and countless extras took to the streets of a neighborhood called Crown Heights, according to TMZ. With hundreds of people clad in red and Pit bulls tethered to chain dog collars, the streets were turned into an impromptu block party. Without the proper filming permits in place, the NYPD was forced to shut the festivities down, and they were also concerned with the rapper’s safety after numerous threats popped up online.

Apparently, once word leaked about the video shoot’s location, some internet users threatened to travel to the neighborhood to “kick [6ix9ine’s] a*s,” the website reported. Before things could get too out of control, the rapper was placed into the back of a squad car and was carted off to the police department — although he wasn’t arrested. Oddly enough, the police who showed up on the scene made a cameo, and an image of the rapper being placed inside the police vehicle also made it into the final version of the music video.

He may be making enemies everywhere he goes, but there’s another side to the rapper that many people aren’t aware of. He isn’t in the industry to make some fast cash off of a couple of hits before riding off into the sunset. He actually wants to bring some major changes to the world. “I want to have an impact. My goal seriously is to stop bullying. I want bullying to stop. I want abuse to stop, all that s**t I don’t f**K with,” he told XXL magazine. “I’m going to use this as a platform to get that across.”

With lyrics like, “Black van, pull up to your momma crib, boy / Tie her up, drive that s**t off a bridge, lil boy” on his song “Kooda,” some may think his goal to stop bullying is a contradiction to the music he puts out. However, we’ve learned that there are two sides to 6ix9ine — the gun-toting, hyper-sexual rap idol he portrays through his tunes, and a generous altruist who loves giving back to his community. Don’t believe us? Keep reading…

It’s hard to believe that someone who raps, “Get the f**k up out my f*****g face, ‘fore I murder you” actually has a softer side, but it’s true. At the time of this writing, the rapper has yet to sign a mega-recording contract, but he appears to still be banking off of his independent record releases. He never hesitates to pose with stacks of cash in his hands, and he’s even more willing to share his newfound wealth with others.

During a trip to the Dominican Republic, he handed out $100 bills to everyone he came in contact with. The half-Puerto Rican and half-Mexican rapper shared his random act of kindness by uploading the video to his Instagram account along with a caption that read, “Words can’t explain the anger I have right now… I grew up not having s**t in Brooklyn… Everyone knows me for giving back in my community BUT as a Latino I feel the need to help my people. I’m not Dominican… But we are ALL ONE.”

That wasn’t the only time he showered people with dough. In another video, he was seen throwing $10,000 into the air at the high school he was set to attend before life’s circumstances prompted him to drop out. The unsuspecting yet pleasantly surprised students can be seen scurrying to catch the airborne bills the generous artist had thrown their way.

 

 

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