Known for his distinctive rainbow-themed look, aggressive style of rapping, and public feuds with celebrities and gangs, Tekashi 6ix9ine is quite the personality. He also has quite the story.
He’s still fairly new to the rap scene, but he’s been incredibly successful in terms of sales. All 10 of his singles have charted on the Billboard Hot 100. But, it’s not his music that’s brought him into the news. He was arrested and charged with a plethora of illegal activity and could be facing life in prison. But, let’s take a deeper look into the untold truth about the rapper.
Unsurprisingly, Tekashi69 isn’t a legal birth name. He was born Daniel Hernandez on May 8th, 1996. His mom was originally from Mexico, and his dad from Puerto Rico.
He was raised by his older brother and parents until he was thirteen when his father was shot dead just outside of the family home. This was a massive turning point in his life, and to be honest, it’d be easy to see why.
Not The Same Kid
After his father was murdered, he started to act out and was expelled from school in the 8th grade for bad behavior. It was no secret that he was emotionally disturbed and traumatized by his childhood.
He gave up on education and began to do odd jobs and even worked as a busboy to help his mother financially. But that wasn’t going to be enough to support his mother, or himself.
He Turned To Drugs
He started dealing drugs to help supplement his income. It was pretty lucrative for him and his family. He most dealt weed and heroin on the streets of Brooklyn.
He was eventually arrested for his criminal activities and sentenced to prison time at Rikers Island where he began to associate with some bad influences. It was at Rikers that he would meet the Nine Trey Gang. That’s a prison subset of the Bloods.
He was caught by police in a sting operation that had him selling heroin outside of a store. He then proceeded to beat the store owner up afterward.
He was able to escape a long prison term because at the time he was a minor. This was incredibly lucky and the fact that he ended up getting caught at the time he did was probably the only reason he was able to start a rap career.
He Began To Rap
He wouldn’t even start rapping until 2014. Most of his early stuff was taken down by YouTube because it was too profane and inappropriate.
If you’ve ventured your way through the video site, you know that it takes A LOT to get your video taken down for being too inappropriate. I mean, there are terrorism “how-to’s” on YouTube that don’t get the snips. It took a few years to garner any attention.
He Started Associating With Some Big Names
He released multiple tracks in 2014 after getting some minor success on SoundCloud and YouTube. He was signed to a record label in Slovakia by 2015, and was getting some internet fame as a meme for his rainbow hair and rainbow grills.
He eventually became associated with a New York rapper named ZillaKami. The two would start feuding as word got out that 69 was stealing his instruments and beats.
Becoming A Household Name On The Internet
His first taste of fame was in 2017, when he teamed up with an Ohio-based rapper named Trippie Redd. This was his first big break on the internet.
By July 2017, he was becoming a household internet meme because of his hair and the fact that he had "69" tattooed on him everywhere. He released his first single "Gummo" in November 2017 which hit #12 on the Billboard Hot charts.
Why The 69?
Let’s just take a break from his story and dive into his rap name a little bit more. He has the number “69” tattooed on his body over 200 times.
The name of his gang is ’69’ and he says that ’69’ also represents his lifestyle. His explanation had counter-culture roots. It’s the idea that just because you’re right, doesn’t mean I’m wrong. A 6 and a 9 are the same depending on your perspective.
Surprisingly, he can actually be incredible to his fans and to people who are struggling. The SCUM gang stands for “Society Can’t Understand Me”, and he says his philosophy is to always help those who can’t stand up for themselves.
He’s even done a few walks in New York that support the AIDS movement. He encourages his fans to open their hearts and open their minds to people with different perspectives than their own.
He Has A Daughter
Tekashi hasn’t been in any serious relationships, but he does have a child. Her name is Saraiyah, and she was born in 2013. Her mother, Sara Molina, has alleged that she was struck in the face by Tekashi after confronting him about cheating.
She said that she found texts from a girl named Jade, who Hernandez was seeing. It left Molina with a bruised lip. But, this isn’t the only sketchy behavior shown by the rapper.
This Is Where It Gets Interesting
To say that 69 is a controversial figure would be an understatement. He was involved in a child sex case in 2015, before his fame.
He was charged with three counts in a "use of a child in a sexual performance" case. The charges came after a February 2015 incident in which he had physical contact with a 13-year-old girl and later distributed videos of the incident online as part of a music video.
There were multiple videos that showed the 13-year-old performing a sexual act on another man, while Tekashi was seen in the background of the video.
He claims that he never touched the girl and had no idea that she was even 13. He also claimed that during the filming of the video, he was 17 which also made him a minor. He ended up reaching a plea deal for the case.
The Terms And Conditions
Under the deal, he had to complete his GED, refrain from posting anything sexual or violent on social media, and not commit another crime for two years.
He would get three years of probation and he wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender. If he didn’t comply with these conditions, he would get three years of prison time. But, of course, he didn’t comply. He failed his GED but was lucky because his court hearing kept getting pushed back.
He Got Arrested In New York
69 was arrested in New York in July 2018 on separate charges that involved the choking of a 16-year-old at a Houston mall.
He was released on bail, and then, perhaps, one of the most incredible events happened. He got kidnapped. Yes, kidnapped from his place in Brooklyn. It was July 22, 2018, when he had just finished shooting his song FEFE with Nicki Minaj when three armed assailants grabbed him.
At first, they pistol-whipped him into the back of a car. He was continuously beaten and smashed in the face by the robbers. It was obvious that this was a targeted hit.
Could it be that his gang-related past was going to come back and bite him? He was able to escape by rolling out the back door of a moving car. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the dangers of being close to any New York gang caught up with him.
"I’m Good In The Hood"
In his video for his first single "Gummo" he was surrounded and flanked by members of the Bloods. They happily showed off their red bandanas in front of the cameras. It was assumed that he was at least somewhat affiliated with them.
But, it was also clear that he was cordial with members of the Crips as well. It shouldn’t be news to you that those two gangs are arch rivals.
“Good In The Hood”
In a video he posted, he claimed that he was "good in the hood" while stating that he hangs out with people from both gangs. He doesn’t affiliate with either side, but, that grey area was still not enough to stop assassination attempts.
He had an appearance in Minnesota and him and his crew were shot at in a drive-by. That would be one of the three times he was publically shot at.
He’s Had A Few Iconic Breakfast Club Appearances
Despite his new fame, people want to hear what he has to say. He’s had a few iconic appearances on the radio show The Breakfast Club. He’s given the radio station two of their highest viewed interviews of all time.
In his first one, he had a priest actually come and pray with him. He’s someone who claims to be a man of faith. In fact, God is one of his only fears in life.
The Breakfast Club Pt 2
The second Breakfast Club interview was interesting because he ended up being arrested just a few days after. If you’ve ever seen him in an interview, you know that he’s a wild personality, but in this interview, it was taken to another level.
He has now been famously quoted as saying that he only fears two things in life: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the FBI), and God. The first one is kind of ironic now.
It Almost Catches Up With Him
Due to his mounting legal troubles in light of his plea bargain back in 2015, it was announced by the Manhattan District Attorney that he could face up to three years in prison.
Instead, he was sentenced to four years of probation in October 2018. He had one clause attached to that, he couldn’t mutter the words “treyway” in public as it’s seen as promoting gang activity. He also had to do 1,000 hours of community service.
But, It Continued
But, the gang stuff continued. Just a few days later, two of his closest friends were in a shootout in Manhattan and were charged with gang assault.
On November 10th, there was footage released of two men opening fire at the set of 69, Kanye, and Nicki Minaj’s music video set in Beverly Hills. This wasn’t the only video released that showed Tekashi was still deeply engraved in the gang lifestyle.
Released Another Video
TMZ released another video that showed Tekashi talking on the phone to rapper Chief Keef and his cousin. By the sounds of the conversation, it seemed like 69 may have set a hit on him.
That’s all unclear, but just a few days after the video was released, Chief Keef and his crew were shot at outside of one of his concerts. It was unclear whether it was a direct result of the Tekashi phone call.
Plans To Retire In 2018
Tekashi has boasted that he will retire in 2018. Yes, a guy who just came onto the scene in 2017 is going to retire from rapping in 2018. I guess there’s some merit to that.
I mean, he would’ve got his money and then dipped out. Instead of having all the BS follow him, he would be able to just be rich for the rest of his life. Not a bad deal.
That brings us to why he’s been in the news recently. He was indicted by the federal court on November 19th, 2018. The prosecutors allege that he, and five others, are associated with a violent New York gang called the Nine Trey Gangstas Bloods.
The indictment accuses Tekashi of allegedly playing a role in three specific incidents in 2018: robbing a man at gunpoint near Times Square, shooting a rival gang inside Barclays Center, and shooting an innocent bystander.
FBI And God
Feds warned 69 that his life was in danger just days before the indictment. They warned him that several of his associates, who he had just fired, were overheard on a wiretap saying they wanted to super-violate him.
Agents offered to put him up in a hotel, but Tekashi ended up declining that offer. Remember, the only two things he feared was the FBI and God. So, apparently, he didn’t fear his fellow associates.
His Former Manager Turned On Him
So who are these associates about to “super-violate” him? Well, one of them was his former manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan.
The guys that the FBI feared would attack Tekashi were all his former friends, who, Tekashi assumed, were stealing money from him and doing other sketchy stuff. Not only did he handle this dispute privately, but he also went on a few radio shows and publicly blasted Shotti for his loyalty.
The Celebrity Feuds
He’s no stranger to celebrity feuds either. I mean, he’s been here for a short time, but he’s basically taken on everyone in the industry. Most recently he was feuding with rapper YG.
One of his, uh, funniest beefs was with Danielle Bregoli. If you don’t know who that is, it’s the “Cassh Me Outside How Bou’ Dah” girl from Dr. Phil. She goes by Bhad Bhabie in the rap world now and told one of her Twitter followers that she needs a restraining order against him.
The Beef Is HOT
The Twitter follower asked whether they would do a collab, and well, she took it to another level with the whole restraining order thing. He wasn’t happy with her answer, that’s for sure.
He said that he already denied doing a song with her and that he doesn’t take anyone seriously if they get famous for beating their mom, as Bhad Bhabie did. Anyway, enough about those two, they’re weird.
Another public feud sprouted itself in February 2018 when he was accosted by Acie High. Acie told TMZ that 69 was hitting on some women that he had dropped off at the airport.
Acie even said that he felt like there needed to be a little “street justice” in order to get the young rapper on track. That was channeled by rapper The Game as well, who called 69 a “fake Blood.”
He Does Have Some Allies
He does have a few good relationships with other rappers though. He’s been embraced by a few heavy hitters in the rap community. I mean, just take a look at some of the collabs he has on his EP — Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Lil Baby, Bobby Schmurda, and Torey Lanez to name a few.
He’s also been embraced by rappers like 50 Cent and Birdman, the CEO of Cash Money Records.