The Untold Truth Of 6ix9ine

Daniel Hernandez goes by many names, including 6ix9ine, Teka$hi 6ix9ine, and 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 with 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. Not bad for a newcomer in the rap game. 

Despite success coming at him faster than one can say "blicky got the stiffy," 6ix9ine's rise to fame and fortune has been highly controversial. His poverty-stricken childhood was traumatic, and as an adult, his rap sheet is horrific. Serious charges lobbed against him in November 2018 could put him away for life. That said, for every person who loathes 6ix9ine, there are thousands more who attend his concerts and gleefully recite his bravado-based songs. So who exactly is this divisive, rainbow-haired artist whose body is blanketed in "69" tattoos? Let's explore the contentious untold truth of 6ix9ine.

He started rapping because he looked 'mad cool'

While some artists have to grind nonstop 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. It's impossible to ignore his aesthetic, which is similar to fellow artist Lil Pump, but the "Kooda" lyricist has differentiated his style among 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 growing up in Brooklyn. 

Although his 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 and the general public contends with his terrible rap sheet?

He pleaded guilty to a heinous crime

Rapper 6ix9ine pleaded guilty in 2015 in New York Supreme Court to three felony counts of "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, reported Billboard

In an interview with DJ Akademiks, 6ix9ine claimed he was duped about the girl's age. "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," he 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," he said, describing the acts that were filmed. 6ix9ine avoided jail time, but the "Billy" rapper was ordered by the court to complete a very specific task...

School or jail? Pick your poison.

During his interview with No Jumper, 6ix9ine revealed he was "expelled" from school in the eighth grade. He later attended his high school freshman orientation but ended up dropping out before the school year began. When asked why he'd been kicked out, the rapper said, "I literally forgot what happened," before admitting he sometimes blacked out with "rage" and started "bugging" in school. 

When he pleaded guilty to the aforementioned 2015 child sex case, 6ix9ine made numerous commitments to the court to avoid jail time, including a promise to obtain his GED, reported Jezebel. In January 2018, after failing to uphold his end of the bargain, 6ix9ine was back in a Manhattan courtroom begging for his freedom. His lawyer said the rapper "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 face the music.

For a while, 6ix9ine seemed to be taking things more seriously ... kind of. He live-streamed an attempt at the test on Instagram. The video depicts him stumbling through a math equation. "That don't make no sense," he says before finally figuring out the correct answer with some help from his trusty calculator. Pass or fail, that GED may not be enough to keep him out of prison anymore...

A federal indictment could put him away for life

Tekashi 6ix9ine has boasted that he'll retire in 2018, but he may not have a choice because armed robbery, racketeering, and drug trafficking charges could put him away for life. According to NPR, the rapper was indicated in federal court on Nov. 19, 2018. "Prosecutors allege that he, along with five other men named in the indictment, are part of, or associated with, a violent New York City gang called Nine Trey Gangstas Bloods." The indictment accuses 6ix9ine of allegedly playing a role in three specific incidents in 2018: robbing a man at gun point near Times Square in New York; "shooting at a rival inside the popular Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn;" and shooting "an innocent bystander" when "gang members planned to shoot someone who had been disrespectful to Nine Trey," reported NPR. If found guilty, the rapper could be sentenced to 3 years to a lifetime behind bars, reported NPR.

Federal authorities reportedly warned 6ix9ine that his life was in danger just days before the indictment. According to the Daily Beast, "Several of his associates — who had just been fired and dissed by him on a radio show — were overheard on a wiretap saying they wanted to 'super-violate' him." Agents "offered to put him up in a hotel, but Tekashi 6ix9ine declined the offer." The rapper once told The Breakfast Club that he feared only two entities: God and the FBI.

Tragedy and hard times struck at a young age

Tekashi 6ix9ine has certainly grappled with life and death before. His lost his father when he was just a boy. "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 told 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, explaining that 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, 6ix9ine 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."

What does '69' really mean?

During a 2017 interview with No Jumper, the idiosyncratic rapper 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 a part of his rap moniker, it must have some sort of significance, right? 

When 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.

Long hair don't care ... or maybe not

As if he doesn't have enough real controversies to contend with, the rapper has also grappled with an online scandal focused on his hair. In a video entitled "Tekashi 6ix9ine 69 Caught Without His Wig," the rapper's hair appears to be pulling a Houdini act because 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 hat. 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 clip, 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 mane. 

You won't 'cash' these two on a duet

Tekashi 6ix9ine has feuded with almost everyone, from J Prince Jr. to Compton, Calif. rapper YG, so what's one more battle added to the list? Let's talk about the time he went toe to toe with viral sensation Danielle Bregoli — the out-of-control teen whose catchphrase, "Cash Me Ousside How Bah Dah," broke the internet after her appearance on the Dr. Phil show. After jumping into the hip-hop world and claiming the rap moniker of Bhad Bhabie, a Twitter follower suggested she and 6ix9ine "make a song together already." Bhad Bhabie replied, "Only if by song u mean restraining order." 

The "Billy" rapper wasn't amused, penning a since-deleted Instagram rebuttal (via DJ Akademiks). "I denied this girl a song.... and now she's mad lol she blew up for beating her mom... go and tell her stop hitting her mom..."

What followed next was a lengthy Instagram Live session in which Bhad Bhabie bashed 6ix9ine and his long-standing beef with his former friend and music partner, Trippie Redd. "Trippie Redd birthed your a**... Nobody knew who the f**k you was," she says — or rather, screams– in the video. "I ain't never ask you to be on no f*****g song. And I know my label didn't asked you for no f*****g song, you little f*****g weirdo." Welp, so much for that collab.

He's 'good' in his hood ... or so he thought

During the video shoot for his breakout hit, "Gummo," 6ix9ine is flanked by Bloods gang members who haughtily brandish their red bandannas in front of the camera. Consequently, 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, 6ix9ine proclaims, "I'm good in my hood," while stating that just because he hangs with gang members from both ends of the spectrum, it doesn't mean he's affiliated with either group. His attempt at promoting street unity fell on deaf ears. In fact, an appearance in Minnesota led to a scary situation when shots were supposedly fired at him and his crew by alleged gangsters who supposedly questioned his ties to the streets.

He's making enemies in the industry

A few prominent hip-hop artists have embraced 6is9ine, 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, TMZ said Acie High felt "a little street justice" was in order. The altercation was caught on video, and it's not pretty.

Los Angeles rapper The Game has also spoken out about his abhorrent feelings toward 6ix9ine, calling the rapper a "fake-a*s Blood" during a European concert and encouraging the crowd to chant, "F**k 6ix9ine," reported 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, posting a photo to his Instagram of a sweet and innocent looking 6ix9ine pre-fame with the caption: "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." 

Threats of violence put the kibosh on his video shoot

While filming the music video for "Billy" in Brooklyn, N.Y., the rapper and countless extras took to the streets of a neighborhood called Crown Heights, reported 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, but without the proper filming permits in place, the NYPD was forced to shut the festivities down. The authorities were also reportedly concerned for 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**," TMZ reported. Before things could get too out of control, the rapper was placed into the back of a squad car and carted off to the police department — although he wasn't arrested. The cops who showed up on the scene made a cameo in the music video, and an image of the rapper being placed inside the squad car also made it into the final version of the vid.

He wants to banish bullying

Despite his horrible headlines, 6is9ine claims he wants to bring positive 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 the music he releases clearly contradicts his so-called anti-bullying campaign, but he has demonstrated some charity in the past. 

During a trip to the Dominican Republic, he handed out $100 bills to random folks. The half-Puerto Rican and half-Mexican rapper promoted his generosity with an Instagram video. "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," he said in the caption.

That wasn't the only time 6is9ine showered people with dough. In another video, he's seen throwing money into the air at a high school in NYC as the excited students scurrying to collect the cheddar. So there's that.

He thinks he proved his haters wrong

During an interview with The Breakfast Club, 6ix9ine recalled how teachers in his special education classes would ask him where he saw himself in five to ten years. "I was like 'I don't know.' I was just a Mexican kid with Payless shoes." he said. "One therapist told me, 'You're going to be cleaning my car.'" Ouch. 

He says his teachers thought he was a lost cause, and some predicted he would be "dead or in jail." Their harsh words stuck with him long after he dropped out of school, and today, they fuel the pride he feels about his success in the music industry. "I have five platinum records that's coming, five Billboard hits, right, and no one will ever f*****g take that away from me," he said. "$300,000 [worth of jewelry] around my neck, my beautiful daughter, I'm able to give back to my community ... that's why I'm the king of my city."

A pastor prayed over him, but will it help?

Much of Tekashi 6ix9ine's appearance on The Breakfast Club was dedicated to the show's co-hosts — Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee — attempting to mentor the lyricist and keep him out of trouble. They even called on the almighty for an assist. Pastor Brian was brought into the studio to pray over 6ix9ine, but getting the rapper to stay put during the impromptu invocation turned out to be more difficult than the hosts had anticipated. After 6ix9ine tried to walk away and pleaded for the pastor to pray for Charlamagne instead, the host responded, "You're running from God. You're gonna be dead in a year if you don't get this prayer." That doomsday prophecy convinced the rapper to sit in his chair and hold hands with Charlamagne and the pastor. The holy cleric prayed for a higher power to "keep him strong" and "healthy."

We're not sure how long it takes for prayers to kick in, but hopefully the big man upstairs heard that request because 6ix9ine is facing a mountain of trouble and could use a little help right now.